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Depreciation Rate Prescriptions

The Board reviews and approves the depreciation rates that Class I railroads propose to apply to their property.  Carriers submit studies detailing how their depreciation rates are developed.  These studies also include analyses supporting the average service lives, retirement dispersion patterns, and salvage ratios used to develop the rates.

Each Class I railroad must submit a depreciation study every 3 years for equipment property and every 6 years for track property (ties, rail, and ballast) and for other road property.  See 49 C.F.R. Part 1201.

After reviewing these studies, the Board issues a document prescribing depreciation rates for the relevant category of railroad property.  The most recent Depreciation Rate Prescriptions issued by the Board are available here.


The Board’s Computer Assisted Depreciation and Life Analysis System (CADLAS) is comprised of 12 programs.  The programs, necessary code files, sample data, and an electronic version of the user documentation are available upon request.  For questions, please contact Board staff at Economic.Data@stb.gov.