[Federal Register Volume 88, Number 52 (Friday, March 17, 2023)]
[Pages 16512-16513]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2023-05493]



60-Day Notice of Intent To Seek Extension of Approval of 
Collection: Rail Depreciation Studies

AGENCY: Surface Transportation Board.

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.


SUMMARY: As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the 
Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) gives notice of its intent 
to seek approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for an 
extension of the collection of Rail Depreciation Studies, described 

DATES: Comments on this information collection should be submitted by 
May 16, 2023.

ADDRESSES: Direct all comments to Chris Oehrle, PRA Officer, Surface 
Transportation Board, 395 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20423-0001, or to 
[email protected]. When submitting comments, please refer to ``Paperwork 
Reduction Act Comments, Rail Depreciation Studies.'' For further 
information regarding this collection, contact Pedro Ramirez at (202) 
245-0333 or [email protected]. Assistance for the hearing impaired 
is available through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments are requested concerning each 
collection as to (1) whether the particular collection of information 
is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Board, 
including whether the collection has practical utility; (2) the 
accuracy of the Board's burden estimates; (3) ways to enhance the 
quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (4) 
ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the 
respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology, when appropriate. Submitted 
comments will be included and summarized in the Board's request for OMB 
    Subjects: In this notice, the Board is requesting comments on the 
extension of the following information collection:

Description of Collection

    Title: Rail Depreciation Studies.
    OMB Control Number: 2140-0028.
    Form Number: None.
    Type of Review: Extension without change.
    Respondents: Class I railroads.
    Number of Respondents: Seven.
    Estimated Time per Response: Approximately 250 hours per study 
(estimating that studies will require between 125 hours and 375 hours 
depending on the extent to which the carrier provides assistance to 
outside consultants performing the study for them)
    Frequency of Response: Bi-annual. (Under 49 CFR part 1201, 
Sec. Sec.  4-1 to 4-

[[Page 16513]]

4, the Board requires all Class I (large) carriers to submit 
depreciation studies no less than every three years for equipment 
property and every six years for road property. That means that for any 
given six-year period, the Class I railroads must submit no less than 
three depreciation reports, or the equivalent of 0.5 depreciation 
reports per year.)
    Total Annual Hour Burden: 875 hours (250 hours x 0.5 studies/year x 
7 Class I railroads).
    Total Annual ``Non-Hour Burden'' Cost: Approximately $210,000 per 
year. Board staff estimates that each study will cost between $20,000 
and $100,000, which equals a cost of approximately $10,000-$50,000 per 
year. Using an average cost ($30,000 per year x 7 Class I railroads), 
the non-hour burden cost is estimated to be approximately $210,000 per 
    Needs and Uses: Under 49 CFR part 1201, Sec. Sec.  4-1 to 4-4, the 
Board is required to identify those classes of property for which rail 
carriers may include depreciation charges under operating expenses, and 
the Board must also prescribe a rate of depreciation that may be 
charged to those classes of property. Under 49 U.S.C. 11145, Class I 
rail carriers are required to submit Depreciation Studies to the Board. 
Information in these studies is not available from any other source. 
The Board uses the information in these studies to prescribe 
depreciation rates. These depreciation rate prescriptions state the 
period for which the depreciation rates therein are applicable. Class I 
railroads apply the prescribed depreciation rates to their investment 
base to determine monthly and annual depreciation expense. This expense 
is included in the railroads' operating expenses, which are reported in 
their R-1 reports (OMB Control Number 2140-0009). Operating expenses 
are used to develop operating costs for application in various 
proceedings before the Board, such as in rate reasonableness cases and 
in the determination of railroad ``revenue adequacy.''
    Under the PRA, a Federal agency that conducts or sponsors a 
collection of information must display a currently valid OMB control 
number. A collection of information, which is defined in 44 U.S.C. 
3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c), includes agency requirements that persons 
submit reports, keep records, or provide information to the agency, 
third parties, or the public. Under 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A), Federal 
agencies are required to provide, prior to an agency's submitting a 
collection to OMB for approval, a 60-day notice and comment period 
through publication in the Federal Register concerning each proposed 
collection of information, including each proposed extension of an 
existing collection of information.
    Information from certain schedules contained in these reports is 
available at the Board's website at www.stb.gov by navigating to 
``Reports & Data'' and clicking on ``Economic Data.'' Information in 
these reports is not available from any other source.

    Dated: March 14, 2023.
Aretha Laws-Byrum,
Clearance Clerk.
[FR Doc. 2023-05493 Filed 3-16-23; 8:45 am]