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Industry Data > Economic Data: Depreciation

Depreciation Rate Prescriptions

Class I railroads are required to submit to the Board for review and approval the depreciation rates they propose to use for their property. Each submission must be accompanied by a Depreciation Study detailing how the depreciation rates were developed. The Study must also include analyses supporting the average service lives, retirement dispersion patterns, and salvage ratios used to develop the rates.

A Depreciation Study must be submitted every 3 years for equipment property and every 6 years for track property (ties, rail, and ballast) and for other road property. [49 CFR Part 1201, §4]

After the Board reviews a railroad's Depreciation Study, the Board issues a document prescribing depreciation rates for the railroad. Below are the most recent Depreciation Rate Prescriptions issued by the Board.

Click here to view Depreciation Rate Prescriptions


The Surface Transportation Board's (STB) Computer Assisted Depreciation and Life Analysis System (CADLAS) is comprised of 12 programs. An installation CD containing the programs, necessary code files, sample data, and electronic version of the user documentation is available. The cost generally runs $35.50 (based on a rate of $71 per hour -- Regulations Governing Fees for Services Performed in Connection with Licensing and Related Services - 2010 Update, EP 542 (Sub-No. 17) (STB served July 28, 2010), effective August 27, 2010). You may call STB staff (202) 245-0323 for more details, or send an e-mail to