Louisiana & Pacific Railway Company: Interstate Commerce Commission "Tap Line Case", 1911-12.  
     
  Sources: 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.  
 
 
 
     
 

LOUISIANA & PACIFIC RAILWAY. The Louisiana & Pacific Railway Company was incorporated June 6, 1904, with an authorized capital stock of $200,000, of which only $51,000 has been issued. It is controlled by what is referred to on the record as the R. A. Long interests, 70 per cent of its capital stock being held by R. A. Long and the rest apparently by his agents and associates. The record indicates that Long owns the same pro-portion of the capital stock of the Hudson River Lumber Company, King-Ryder Lumber Company, Longville Lumber Company, and the Calcasieu Long Leaf Lumber Company, all of which have saw-mills on the Louisiana & Pacific. The Long-Bell Lumber Company, which is a part of the same general interest, does not manufacture lumber, but markets the output of these mills. Only $30,000 of the capital stock of the tap line was issued for cash, and the balance was subsequently distributed to its stockholders as a stock dividend. It has outstanding bonds to the amount of $582,200, which were issued for the purpose of taking up notes payable to the various lumber companies, and covering purchases of track and equipment. All of the tracks of the Louisiana & Pacific, as hereinafter described, were originally constructed as private logging roads by the individual lumber companies.

The Lake Charles & Northern Railroad, which is owned by the Southern Pacific, extends from De Ridder, La., southward for a distance of about 46 miles to Lake Charles. It was originally built by the R. A. Long interests as part of the Louisiana & Pacific, and was sold to the Southern Pacific, which thereupon incorporated the Lake Charles & Northern to operate the property. In the sale of the property to the Southern Pacific, however, the R. A. Long interests reserved to the Louisiana & Pacific the right of jointly operating the track between Lake Charles and De Ridder. The Louisiana & Pacific pays the Lake Charles & Northern 25 cents per train-mile for the trains that it operates over that track, and also bears a certain proportion of the station expenses; the payments aggregated for the fiscal year 1910 approximately $7,000. The two companies, as the record indicates, enjoy equal rights over the track, and in view of the price received by the R. A. Lon; interests from the Southern Pacific the trackage arrangement is obviously a most advantageous one.

The Louisiana & Pacific is a peculiar property. There are five separate branches or tracks not directly connected with each other, but all joining at different points the track conveyed to the Lake Charles & Northern. The five tracks may be described as follows: (1) A track connecting with the Lake Charles & Northern at De Ridder Junction, and extending 8 miles to Bundicks, which is apparently a logging camp with a company store. The mill of the Hudson River Lumber Company, in whose interest this track is operated, is at De Ridder, being within a few hundred feet of the rails of the trunk lines. (2) At Lilly Junction, a second section of the track of the tap line connects with the Lake Charles & Northern, extending therefrom about 72 miles to a point in the woods known as Walla, where the King-Ryder Lumber Company has a commissary, and there is a small independent yellow-pine mill, owned by the Bundick Creek Lumber Company. The mill of the King-Ryder Company is at Bon Ami, on the track jointly operated by the tap line and the Lake Charles & Northern. This is a town of 2,000 people, but apparently has no other industries. (3) Two miles of incorporated track of the Louisiana & Pacific connect with the Lake Charles & Northern track at Longville, a town of 2,000 population, where the Longville Lumber Company has its mill, and a store. There are also several independent stores. (4) There are 9 miles of track connecting with the Lake Charles & Northern at Fayette, and extending to Camp Curtis, a settlement of 200 people, where the Calcasieu Long Leaf Lumber Company has a company store, its mill being at Lake Charles. (5) A track 1 mile in length described on the record as connecting with the Lake Charles & Northern at Bridge Junction and running to Lake Charles station. Through its operating rights over the Lake Charles & Northern the tap line connects with the Kansas City Southern and the Santa Fe at De Ridder, with the Frisco at Fulton, and with the Southern Pacific, Iron Mountain and Kansas City Southern, at Lake Charles. The equipment of the Louisiana & Pacific consists of 22 locomotives, 6 cabooses, 41 freight cars, and 270 logging cars. It also owns a private car which is used in traveling around the country by its officers who hold free transportation, and who are connected with the lumber companies. The lumber companies have many miles of unincorporated logging tracks connecting with the several sections of the Louisiana & Pacific at various points. There are a number of other towns or settlements named on the record, which it is unnecessary to mention; and there is a second small independent mill, owned by the Brown Lumber Company, and located at Bannister, on the Lake Charles & Northern.

The logs are loaded by the lumber companies and switched by them over the logging spurs to the point of connection with the incorporated line. The cars are then hauled by the tap line to the mill, a distance on the average of about 30 miles, as is stated of record. No charge is made by the tap line against the lumber companies for the log movement. The tap line switches the carloads of lumber a distance of three-fourths of a mile from the mill at Lake Charles to the Southern Pacific; or a distance of a few hundred feet from the De Ridder mill to the trunk lines. It moves lumber for a distance of 18 miles from the Lake Charles mill to the Frisco; the movement from the mill at Bon Ami to the Southern Pacific at Lake Charles is 40 miles; and the lumber movement from the Longville mill to the Southern Pacific at Lake Charles is 24 miles. The average haul of the tap line on lumber movements of the controlling companies is said to be nearly 20 miles. The steel for these tracks is apparently supplied by the tap line without charge. There are written agreements under which 50 per cent of the lumber tonnage must be routed over the Frisco and 40 per cent, by the Southern Pacific; but the record indicates that these obligations are not rigidly adhered to and more than 10 per cent is delivered to the other trunk lines. The total movement of lumber for the fiscal year 1910 was 243,122 tons, and the merchandise and other commodities aggregated 8,819 tons. As much as 98 per cent of the entire tonnage was supplied by the controlling interests. A few passengers are carried, the receipts from that source for the year 1910 being $473.77. A logging train runs daily on each of the branches, and there is one "mixed train," loaded chiefly with logs and lumber, moving over the track between Lake Charles and De Ridder.

The allowances paid by the trunk lines range from 11 to 51 cents per 100 pounds, out of their earnings under the group lumber rate.

The annual report to the Commission for the year ending June 30, 1910, shows an operating revenue of $220,985.94, with operating expenses amounting to $145,433.69. There was an accumulated surplus on that date of $73,581.07.

In this case we have another instance of a service performed for a lumber company by a tap line claiming to be a common carrier for which no charge is made, namely, the service of hauling the logs to the several mills. For the switching service of a few hundred feet from the mill at De Ridder to the trunk lines, and three-fourths of a mile from the mill at Lake Charles to the Southern Pacific, allowances are made out of the rate of from 11 to 51 cents. There are other important facts of record with respect to this tap line which we have not thought necessary to include in this statement. We regard the whole arrangement as indefensible and unlawful, and see no grounds upon which any allowance may lawfully be made.

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ADDENDUM: The Louisiana & Pacific Railway case was appealed through the United States Commerce Court, and eventually decided by the United States Supreme Court in 1914. The following was abstracted from that decision, published in 234 U.S. 1:

LOUISIANA & PACIFIC RAILWAY. The Louisiana & Pacific Railway Company, controlled by the R.A. Long interests, owning a controlling interest in the Hudson River Lumber Company, the King-Ryder Lumber Company, Longville Lumber Company and the Calcasieu Long Leaf Lumber Company, consists of the following tracks, all of which were originally constructed as private logging roads: (1) a track from De Ridder Junction, Louisiana (all of the lines involved in these cases are within that State), to Bundicks, a distance of eight miles. The mill of the Hudson River Lumber Company in whose interest this track is operated is located at De Ridder within a few hundred feet of the trunk lines; Bundicks is apparently a logging camp with a company store. (2) A track from Lilly Junction to Walla, about seven and one-half miles, the latter being a point in the woods where the King-Ryder Lumber Company has a commissary and where is located a small independent yellow-pine mill, owned by the Bundick Creek Lumber Company. The mill of the King-Ryder Company is at Bon Ami, a town of 2,000, located on the Lake Charles & Northern Railroad Company a short distance from and connected by it with Lilly Junction. (3) A track of two miles at Longville, a town of 2,000 people, where the Longville Lumber Company has its mill and a store, and where also are several independent stores. (4) A track of nine miles from Fayette to Camp Curtis, a place of 200 population, where the Calcasieu Long Leaf Lumber Company has a store, its mill being at Lake Charles. (5) A track of one mile from Bridge Junction to Lake Charles station. The towns De Ridder, Bon Ami, Lilly Junction, Longville. Fayette and Lake Charles are connected by The Lake Charles & Northern Railroad, a Southern Pacific Railway Company line, originally built by the Long interests as a part of the Louisiana & Pacific, and sold to the Lake Charles & Northern with the reservation of trackage rights advantageous to the Louisiana & Pacific. By means of this arrangement the Louisiana & Pacific connects with the Kansas City Southern and the Santa Fe at De Ridder, with the Frisco at Fulton (a station south of Fayette) and with the Southern Pacific, Iron Mountain and Kansas City Southern at Lake Charles. Its equipment consists of 22 locomotives, 6 cabooses, 41 freight cars and 270 logging cars, and a private car used by its officers, who are connected with the lumber companies, in traveling around the country. The lumber companies have many miles of unincorporated logging tracks connecting with the Louisiana & Pacific at various points. There are a number of other stations on the line, among them Bannister, where the Brown Lumber Company owns a small independent mill.

The operation is this: The lumber companies load the logs and switch them over the logging spurs to connection with the tap line which hauls them to the mill, an average distance of 30 miles, for which no charge is made. The tap line switches the carloads of lumber from the mill at Lake Charles, a distance of three-quarters of a mile, to the Southern Pacific; at De Ridder only a few hundred feet to the trunk lines; from the Lake Charles mill to the Frisco a distance of 18 miles; from the Bon Ami mill to the Southern Pacific at Lake Charles a distance of 40 miles, and from the Longville mill to the Southern Pacific at Lake Charles a distance of 24 miles, — the average haul for the controlling companies being nearly 20 miles. By written agreement 50% of the lumber must be routed over the Frisco and 40% over the Southern Pacific, but this is not always done. 243,122 tons of lumber, as against 8,819 tons of merchandise were shipped in 1910, 98% of the whole tonnage being supplied by the controlling interests. The passenger receipts for 1910 were $473.77. A logging train runs daily on each branch and there is one "mixed" train, loaded chiefly with logs and lumber, between Lake Charles and De Ridder. The allowances paid by the trunk lines range from 1 1/2 to 5 1/2c per 100 pounds out of their earnings under the group-lumber rate. The operating revenue for the year ending June 30, 1910, was $220,985.94, with operating expenses of $145,433.69, and there was an accumulated surplus of $73,581.07 on that date.

The Commission found that no charge was made for hauling the logs to the mills by the tap line and that for the short switching service allowances were made as above stated, and concluded that it regarded the whole arrangement as indefensible and unlawful, and saw no ground upon which any allowance might lawfully be made.

 
Lake Charles & Leesville
The Rand--McNally Commercial Atlas for 1898 reveals several early station names, which likely refer to the location of logging tram switches.
 
 
Above: The Railroad Commission of Louisiana's 1914 reveals an extensive network of common carrier and logging trams in the territory operated by the Louisiana & Pacfic. [Note: right-click this image and select "view image" for an enlarged view of this map]
 
 
Louisiana Pacific Railway and the Lake Charles & Northern Railway
Above: ICC's 1919 reference map showing Louisiana & Pacific's connections with the Lake Charles & Northern Railway.
 
 
Louisiana & Pacific
Above: The Railroad Commission of Louisiana's 1914 reveals an extensive network of common carrier and logging trams in the territory operated by the Louisiana & Pacfic. [Note: right-click this image and select "view image" for an enlarged view of this map]
 

 

 
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Text and images were digitized and proofread from the original source documents by Murry Hammond. Contact Murry for all corrections, additions, and contributions of new material.