Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Railroad Commission of Texas, Rail Division:

An Inventory of Railroad Commission Tariffs at the Texas State Archives, 1890-1985, bulk 1914-1984



Overview

Creator: Railroad Commission of Texas. Rail Division.
Title: Railroad Commission tariffs
Dates: 1890-1985
Dates: bulk 1914-1984
Abstract: The Railroad Commission of Texas had jurisdiction over the rates and operations of railroads, terminals, wharves and express companies. These records are tariffs issued by the Railroad Commission of Texas, dating 1890-1985, bulk dating 1914-1984. Tariffs are publications of rates, rules and regulations that concern common carriers, in this case railroads. The 1891 act that created the Railroad Commission empowered it to adopt the necessary rates, regulations, and charges in connection with railroad freight and passengers. The Railroad Commission promulgated the tariffs for intrastate commerce on railroads but did not itself publish them. The Commission required railroad companies to publish and submit the companies' proposed general and specific tariffs. The Commission would then issue the approved tariffs and keep copies of the proposed general and specific tariffs as reference tools. This series includes loose intrastate tariffs and accompanying division sheets issued directly by the Railroad Commission,1890-1929, and several bound volumes of tariffs issued by the Railroad Commission, including railroad freight circulars, 1901-1984; Texas Lines tariffs (later became Texas-Louisiana Lines tariffs, then Southwestern Freight Bureau), 1913-1985; Western classification tariffs, 1918-1962; and Texas-Louisiana Lines routing circulars, 1937-1953.
Quantity: 44.8 cubic ft.
Language: These materials are written in English .
Repository: Texas State Archives

Agency History

The Railroad Commission of Texas regulates the exploration, production, and transportation of oil and natural gas in Texas. Its statutory role is to prevent waste of the state's natural resources, to protect the correlative rights of different interest owners, to prevent pollution, and to provide safety in matters such as hydrogen sulfide. It oversees hazardous materials pipelines and natural gas pipelines and distribution systems as well as propane, butane, compressed natural gas, and liquefied natural gas. It works to make sure a continuous, safe supply of natural gas is available to Texas consumers at the lowest reasonable price. Additionally, the Commission regulates surface mining for coal, uranium, and iron ore gravel, and conducts a program for reclaiming lands that were mined and abandoned before 1975.

The Railroad Commission of Texas had its origin in the demands of the shipping public in the late 1880s that insisted that railroads be subject to regulation based on public interest. An advocate for governmental regulation, Attorney General James Stephen Hogg ran for Governor in 1890 with the issue of railroad regulation as the focal point of the campaign. Hogg was elected Governor in the general election and the voters also approved an amendment to Article X, Section 2 of the Texas Constitution that empowered the Legislature to enact statutes creating regulatory agencies. These elections paved the way for the Legislature to enact on April 3, 1891 "An Act to Establish a Railroad Commission of the State of Texas," that later was placed in the Texas Revised Civil Statutes under article 6444 et seq. (House Bills 1, 3, and 58, 22nd Texas Legislature, Regular Session).

The Commission originally consisted of three members appointed by the Governor for three-year terms. Governor Hogg appointed the first three Commissioners in 1891 including John H. Reagan, who resigned as U.S. Senator from Texas to serve as the first Chairman. The Texas Constitution, Article XIX, Section 30 was amended in 1894 to provide for elective six-year overlapping terms for the Commissioners. That same year John H. Reagan was elected and served until his retirement in 1903.

The Texas Railroad Commission was the first regulatory agency created in the State of Texas and originally had jurisdiction over the rates and operations of railroads, terminals, wharves and express companies. The legal focus was on intrastate passenger and freight activities. Interstate jurisdiction fell under the U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission. For the first twenty-five years of its existence, the Railroad Commission was largely concerned with regulating railroads, setting rates, receiving complaints, and making investigations. As other controversies arose where the Legislature deemed that the public interest could best be served by regulation, additional duties were assigned to the Railroad Commission.

The Railroad Commission's authority was broadened beginning in 1917 with the passage of the Pipeline Petroleum Law (Senate Bill 68, 35th Legislature, Regular Session) that declared pipelines to be common carriers like railroads and placed them under the Commission's jurisdiction. This was the first act to designate the Railroad Commission as the agency to administer conservation laws relating to oil and gas. The Commission's regulatory and enforcement powers in oil and gas were increased by the Oil and Gas Conservation Law (Senate Bill 350 of the 36th Legislature, Regular Session), effective June 18, 1919. This act gave the Railroad Commission jurisdiction to regulate the production of oil and gas. Acting upon this legislation, the Commission adopted in 1919 the first statewide rules regulating the oil and gas industry to promote conservation and safety, including Rule 37. This rule requires minimum distances between wells at drilling sites in order to protect field pressure and correlative rights.

The Gas Utilities Act of 1920 (House Bill 11, 36th Legislature, 3rd Called Session) gave the Commission regulatory and rate authority over individuals and businesses producing, transporting, or distributing natural gas in Texas. In 1937, following a large natural gas explosion in a school in New London, Texas, the 45th Legislature passed legislation giving the Railroad Commission the authority to adopt rules and regulations pertaining to the odorization of natural gas or liquefied petroleum gases (House Bill 1017, Regular Session).

The passage of the Public Regulatory Act of 1975 (PURA) (House Bill 819, 64th Legislature, Regular Session) required certain state regulatory agencies, including the Commission, to set the overall revenues of a utility based on its "cost of service." Regulation of liquefied petroleum was added to the Commission's responsibilities in 1939 by the 46th Legislature (House Bill 792, Regular Session). The legislation authorized the Commission to adopt and enforce safety rules and standards in the storage, handling, transportation, and odorization of butane or LP-gases. Regulation of compressed natural gas was added to the Railroad Commission's responsibilities in 1983 (Senate Bill 617, 68th Legislature, Regular Session).

Railroad regulation was initially overseen by the Main Office, later the Main and Transportation Division, then the Transportation Division and finally the Rail Division. This division was responsible for checking equipment and track, railroad and signal operations, and hazardous material handling; conducting investigations of accidents and complaints concerning railroads; and securing federal funds to improve branch lines and preserve rail service to rural areas. The Division enforced rules aimed at removing obstructions on railroad rights-of-way and operated a crossing safety education program. In 2005, the Rail Division and its remaining function, rail safety regulation, were transferred to the Texas Department of Transportation (House Bill 2702, 79th Legislature, Regular Session). The Railroad Commission no longer has any railroad-related functions.

(Sources: Guide to Texas State Agencies, various editions; general laws and statutes; and the records themselves.)


Scope and Contents of the Records

The Railroad Commission of Texas had jurisdiction over the rates and operations of railroads, terminals, wharves and express companies. These records are tariffs issued by the Railroad Commission of Texas, dating 1890-1985, bulk dating 1914-1984. Tariffs are publications of rates, rules and regulations that concern common carriers, in this case railroads. The 1891 act that created the Railroad Commission empowered it to adopt the necessary rates, regulations, and charges in connection with railroad freight and passengers. The Railroad Commission promulgated the tariffs for intrastate commerce on railroads but did not itself publish them. The Commission required railroad companies to publish and submit the companies' proposed general and specific tariffs. The Commission would then issue the approved tariffs and keep copies of the proposed general and specific tariffs as reference tools. Each type of merchandise or commodity was classified by the Railroad Commission and had its own shipping rate. The more important commodities, such as cotton, had their own tariffs published and issued. Other commodities were grouped as categories: vegetables, lumber products, etc. The cost of shipping was usually figured for every 100 pounds of merchandise. Sometimes a railroad or express company issued tariffs just for the stations on their routes, other times in conjunction with other carriers. Division sheets then listed the cost for shipping part way on one line, up to the division point, and the rest of the way on another line.

This series includes loose intrastate tariffs and accompanying division sheets issued directly by the Railroad Commission, 1890-1929, and several bound volumes of tariffs issued by the Railroad Commission, including Railroad freight circulars, 1901-1984; Texas Lines tariffs (later became Texas-Louisiana Lines tariffs, then Southwestern Freight Bureau), 1913-1985; Western classification tariffs, 1918-1962; and Texas-Louisiana Lines routing circulars, 1937-1953. While the bound volumes consist mostly of intrastate tariffs issued by the Railroad Commission, some include interstate tariffs issued by the federal government.

This finding aid describes one series of the Railroad Commission of Texas records. See Railroad Commission of Texas: An Overview of Records for more records series.

To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.


 

Arrangement of the Records

These records are arranged into two groups by State Archives staff - Loose tariffs, and bound volumes of tariffs. The loose tariffs are largely unorganized, roughly in chronological order, the bound volumes are arranged by type of tariff, then chronological within the volumes.

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

Restrictions on Use

Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted and may be freely used in any way. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements

None.


Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Subjects:
Railroads--Texas--Freight.
Railroads--Texas--Rates.
Freight and freightage--Texas.
Railroads and state--Texas.
Document Types:
Regulations--Texas--Railroads--1890-1985.
Functions:
Regulating railroads.

Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Texas Secretary of State, Statutory Filings Division, Statutory Documents Section, Railroad charters and related records, 1876-1988 , 7.84 cubic ft.
Railroad Commission of Texas minutes, 1891-1996, 20.85 cubic ft. and 113 microfilm reels
Railroad Commission of Texas outgoing correspondence, 1891-1934, 34.38 cubic ft. (255 letterpress copybooks)
Railroad Commission of Texas incoming correspondence, 1891-1942, 52 cubic ft.
Railroad Commission of Texas, Transportation Division correspondence and reports, 1888-1948, 8.7 cubic ft.
Railroad Commission of Texas, Main Office and Transportation Division Interstate Commerce Commission finance dockets, 1920-1952, 33.84 cubic ft.
Railroad Commission of Texas, Transportation Division application files, 1891-1971, 15.05 cubic ft.
Railroad Commission of Texas, Transportation Division special authority orders, 1894-1935, 12.22 cubic ft.
Records relating to Railroads, 1842-1939, 9.4 cubic ft.
Railroad Commission of Texas annual reports of railroad companies, 1859-1867, 1873-1885, 1890-1996, 380.24 ft.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Railroad Commission of Texas tariffs. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession numbers: 1961/005, 2002/002, unknown

These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Railroad Commission of Texas in October 1951, on September 5, 2001, and on unknown dates.

Processing Information

Processed by Paul Beck, April 1987

Additional accession of tariffs added by Laura K. Saegert, October 2003

Finding aid edited for DACS compliance by Laura K. Saegert, November 2008

Appraisal Information

These records were appraised as archival by the appraisal staff of the Texas State Archives on March 16, 2001. This was one of a series of Railroad Commission records reviewed as part of an overall appraisal of the records of the Commission. The appraisal report can be found in the search room of the State Archives. The online version of the report for this series is available at http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/arc/appraisal/rrc2.html#125.


Detailed Description of the Records

 

Tariffs, 1890-1985, bulk 1914-1984,
44.8 cubic ft.

Loose tariffs, 1890-1929
Box
4-3/347 Tariffs, 1890-1900
[Wallet. Tariffs (loose). Houston East and West Texas Railway Company, Southern Pacific Company and others, materials from the 1890s, unorganized.]
Box
4-3/438 Tariffs, rate hearing, 1890-1905
[First wallet. Tariffs (loose, unorganized). Some explanatory correspondence attached. International and Great Northern Railroad and other lines. Also, transcript of a rate hearing involving Rock Island hearing, undated, cover sheet of transcript missing. Second wallet. Tariffs (loose, unorganized). Various railroad lines. 1890-1905.]
Box
4-3/439 Tariffs, 1890-1905
[Two expanding wallets. Both with loose tariffs, unorganized, various lines, 1890-1905.]
Box
2-10/588 Tariffs, 1890-1912
[First wallet. Tariffs, various railroads, 1890-1896. Second wallet. Tariffs, various railroads, 1890-1896, 1900, 1906. Third wallet. Tariffs, bound, 'Texas Classification' #1, 1900 and 1906 editions, and 'Texas Classification' #2, 1912 edition.]
Box
4-3/440 Tariffs, division sheets, 1891-1909
[Tariffs, division sheets, loose. Colorado and Southern Railway Company, Colorado and Southern Railway Company, division sheets, 1899-1909. Fort Worth and Denver City Railway Company, division sheets, 1891-1908. Other railroads.]
Box
4-3/417A Tariffs, 1891-1929
[Tariffs, loose, unorganized. Cancelled tariffs from the American Express Company for use in Texas, 1893, 1898, 1902, 1905, 1908-1909, 1912, 1914, 1919-1929.]
Box
4-3/417B Tariffs, directory volume, 1891-1929
[Bound volumes of Wells Fargo and Company Express tariffs and directories, 1892, 1897, 1898. Loose tariffs from Wells Fargo, 1902, 1904-1907, 1911-1912, 1917-1918, 1925-1929. Pacific Express Company bound tariff and directory volume, 1907.]
Box
2-10/579 Tariffs, 1892-1909
[Wallet. Tariffs (loose, unorganized). Texas and Pacific Railway Company, 1892-1909. Kansas City Southern Railway Company, 1900-1903.]
Bound volumes of tariffs, 1901-1985
Railroad freight circulars:
Box
2002/002-1 Numbers 1254-4695, 1901-1914
Box
2002/002-2 Numbers 4695-7454, 1915-1927
Box
2002/002-3 Numbers 7455-9716, 1928-1932
Box
2002/002-4 Numbers 9717-11,317, 1933-1935
Box
2002/002-5 Numbers 11,318-12,871, 1936-1939
Box
2002/002-6 Numbers 12,872-14,846, 1940-1942
Box
2002/002-7 Numbers 14,857-17,326, 1943-1947
Box
2002/002-8 Numbers 17,327-20,001, 1948-1952
Box
2002/002-9 Numbers 20,002-22,331, 1953-1956
Box
2002/002-10 Numbers 22,332-25,171, 1957-1960
Box
2002/002-11 Numbers 25,172-28,263, 1961-1965
Box
2002/002-12 Numbers 28,264-31,142, 1966-1970
Box
2002/002-13 Numbers 31,143-33,265, 1971-1975
Box
2002/002-14 Numbers 33,266-35,726, 1976-1984
Texas Lines tariffs (later became Texas-Lousiana Lines, then ending as the Southwestern Freight Bureau):
[These are largely tariffs issued for transportation of different commodities, some concern rules and regulations or mileage, most concern rate charges for freight. The type of tariff is listed in the folder title.]
Box
2002/002-15 Numbers 9E-9J (mileage circular), 1924-1943
Box
2002/002-16 Numbers 9K-9Q (mileage circular), 1943-1981
Numbers 1A-1F (rules and regulations for freight traffic), 1913-1941
Box
2002/002-17 Numbers 1G-1J (rules and regulations for freight traffic), 1942-1974
Numbers 2B-2C (all classes and commodities), 1916-1919
Box
2002/002-18 Numbers 2D-2I (all classes and commodities), 1919-1928
Box
2002/002-19 Numbers 2J-2L (all classes and commodities), 1927-1934
Box
2002/002-20 Number 2M and supplements (all classes and commodities), 1934-1942
Box
2002/002-21 Numbers 17A-17D (cotton), 1914-1927
Numbers 22A-22M (short line mileage circular), 1914-1964
Numbers 26-26M (rules and regulations re: weighing of carload freight), 1915-1962
Numbers 32H-32M (diversion and reconsignment of carload and less than carload freight), 1934-1957
Box
2002/002-22 Numbers 32N-32P (diversion and reconsignment of carload and less than carload freight), 1957-1972
Numbers 36A-36E (lumber), 1919-1950
Box
2002/002-23 Numbers 36F-36N (lumber), 1950-1972
Numbers 48C-48K (petroleum and petroleum products), 1931-1946
Box
2002/002-24 Numbers 48L-48O (petroleum and petroleum products), 1946-1957
Box
2002/002-25 Numbers 48P-48Q (petroleum and petroleum products), 1957-1967
Numbers 51F-51V (all commodities - interstate rates), 1947-1968
Numbers 58-58G (cement), 1928-1962
Box
2002/002-26 Number 58H and supplements (cement), 1963-1985
Numbers 59-59D (cotton), 1931-1963
Numbers 60-60D (all classes and commodities), 1931-1942
Box
2002/002-27 Numbers 60E-60H (all classes and commodities), 1942-1962
Box
2002/002-28 Numbers 60I-60J and supplements (all classes and commodities), 1962-1974
Box
2002/002-29 Numbers 60K-60L (all classes and commodities), 1974-1982
Box
2002/002-30 Numbers 61-61G and supplements (grain and grain products), 1931-1964
Box
2002/002-31 Numbers 61H-61I (grain and grain products), 1964-1975
Numbers 65-65P (pickup and delivery of less than carload freight), 1931-1963
Box
2002/002-32 Number 69 and supplements (grain and grain products, hay, etc.), 1932-1939
Numbers 71-71I and supplements (cotton), ca. 1933-1962
Box
2002/002-33 Numbers 71I-71L and supplements (cotton), 1962-1984
Numbers 72A-72G (plaster and plaster board), 1936-1953
Numbers 73K-73M (plaster and plaster board), 1956-1966
Box
2002/002-34 Numbers 73N-73P (plaster and plaster board), 1966-1974
Numbers 80-80H (rough logs and blocks), 1937-1974
Numbers 84-84K (sand, gravel, etc.), 1937-1982
Numbers 85-85F (livestock), 1937-1973
Numbers 88-88B (cottonseed and cottonseed products, rice, peanuts, etc.), 1937-1954
Box
2002/002-35 Numbers 88C-88D (cottonseed and cottonseed products, rice, peanuts, etc.), 1954-1969
Number 36I and supplements (lumber), 1972-1984
Number 1K and supplements (rules and regulations of freight traffic), 1974-1984
Numbers 104-104C (freight loaded on or in trailers and transported on flat cars), 1959-1971
Number 422 (re: mileage between interchange and junction points), 1976
Number 3060M and supplements (all classes and commodities), 1982-1983
Box
2002/002-36 Number 3060M and supplements (all classes and commodities), 1983-1984
Number 4344 and supplements (gravel, sand, stone and related articles), 1982-1984
[Multiple tariffs in one volume]:
Numbers 22H-22I (short line mileage circular), 1966-1976
Numbers 26O-26R (rules and regulations re: weighing of carload freight), 1963-1973
Number 32Q and supplements (diversion and reconsignment of carload and less than carload freight), 1972-1977
Numbers 432-432A (diversion and reconsignment of carload and less than carload freight - cancels tariff 32), 1978-1982
Numbers 100-100A (routing circular, explanation of rates used in freight tariffs), 1946-1952
[Multiple tariffs in one volume]:
Numbers 67, 67B and supplements (charges for use of carriers facilities for loading and unloading heaving materials), 1932-1974
Numbers 69A-69F (grain and grain products, hay), 1948-1974
Numbers 91Q-91U (turpentine and pine oil), 1962-1976
Numbers 491-491A (turpentine and pine oil, cancels tariff 91), 1976-1981
Numbers 94-94H (scrap iron and steel), 1942-1974
Texas Rail Transport tariff, no. 23 (all classes and commodities), 1944-1945
Texas-Louisiana Lines Routing Circular no. 4, explanation of routes, 1937-1953
Texas Distance tariff 6409A, 1981-1984
Texas Switching Tariffs (in one volume):
Houston, no. 51 and supplements, 1968-1975
Beaumont, no. 53 and supplements, 1960-1974
Corpus Christi, no. 54 and supplements, 1959-1974
Western Classification (ratings, rules, regulations):
Box
2002/002-37 Numbers 55-60, 1918-1930
Box
2002/002-38 Numbers 61-67, 1930-1938
Box
2002/002-39 Numbers 68-72, 1939-1948
Box
2002/002-40 Numbers 73-78, 1948-1962