"Tap Line Case" Summary of Wilson Northern Railway  
  Abstracted from "Tap Line Case", published in Decisions of the Interstate Commerce Commission, 23 I.C.C. 277, 23 I.C.C. 549, and in Decisions of the United States Supreme Court, 234 U.S. 1.  

WILSON NORTHERN RAILWAY. The Wilson Northern Railway was originally constructed as a private logging road extending from the sawmill situated at a point now known as Wilson, Ark., about 1 mile from the Mississippi River, northward for 10 miles into the timber. There was at that time no trunk line in the vicinity. The Frisco was subsequently extended through and is now joined by the tap line at Wilson. In addition to the 10 miles just mentioned the record states that the tap line operates about 7z miles of track extending northward from its own ter-minus to a connection with the Jonesboro, Lake City & Eastern at Ross. This track was owned by Moore & McFerren, a lumber firm, and has been purchased by the Wilson Northern since the hearing. The tap line also has trackage rights over the Frisco for a distance of about 21 miles from Deckerville to Wilson, paying the Frisco $4 per loaded car and $2 per loaded truck. The equipment consists of 3 locomotives, 1 caboose, 2 box cars, and 15 flat cars.

The Wilson Northern Railway Company was incorporated in December, 1904, with a capital stock of $100,000, which is held by the same persons who owned the stock of Lee, Wilson & Company, which operates the mill at Wilson. The two companies have the same principal officers.

The tap line hauls the logs from the point of loading on its own track or from the spurs on the Frisco near Deckerville to the mill. The mill is reached by a spur track about a mile and a half long, owned by the Frisco, and the tracks of the tap line do not reach the mill. Nevertheless the tap line, as a matter of fact, switches the lumber over the spur track to the point from which it is actually taken by the Frisco engines. The record does not describe any movements of lumber from the mill northward over the line of the tap line, and the track formerly owned by Moore & McFerren to Ross; and apparently shipments were not routed that way prior to the hearing. The Frisco allows the tap line 2 and 3 cents per 100 pounds out of the joint rates, which are the same from points on the tap line as from the junction point with the Frisco, except from Ross, where the rate is one-half cent higher, the division of the tap line being increased by that amount. In addition to these allowances out of the trunk line's earnings the tap line charges the lumber company 2 cents per 100 pounds for hauling the logs to the mill.

At the time of the hearing the Wilson Northern did not carry passengers, mail, or express matter. Mention is made on the record of a small independent sawmill and a manufacturer of staves and heading. Out of a total movement of 85,635 tons during the fiscal year 1910, the volume of logs and lumber amounted to 81,780 tons, of which about 85 per cent was furnished by the proprietary company. There were 4,253 tons of merchandise and agricultural products, a substantial portion of which was doubtless consigned to the store of the lumber company, although there are one or two independen stores on the line.

We are advised at on September 15, 1911, the Wilson Northern was leased to the Jonesboro, Lake City & Eastern Railroad Company, by which it is now operated, the rental reserved by its owners being $12,000 per annum. The Jonesboro, Lake City & Eastern has over 100 miles of road, operates regular passenger trains, and has a general freight-train movement under tariffs filed with the Commission. We had not understood that the tap-line question had any application to it. Nevertheless, it has failed to make annual reports to the Commission. It is apparent that the situation with respect to these lines needs further examination; and we shall withhold announcement of any conclusion respecting the Wilson Northern or the tracks formerly operated by it. We shall look to the trunk lines, however, to give effect to the general views that we have expressed in this proceeding.

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