The importance of keeping train tracks and the surrounding banks weed free cannot be emphasised enough. Within the UK alone there are 52,000 hectares of track to be maintained; and with the latest technology equipment, the contractors who maintain the lines can now do so with precise control. Through incorporating the use of infrared technology, a spray train can now precisely target the weeds within the tracks and the immediate vicinity with chemical, to ensure the most efficient and effective approach, minimising chemical use and producing a safe, healthy and fit for purpose rail network. Qualified contractors also control weeds within train line facilities, and the surrounding areas, such as grass banks; as invasive weeds are often found within these areas posing real problems to the public.
Like the other areas of amenity, an integrated approach is taken when controlling the weeds using all techniques available. However, due to the nature of the work, and that trains must run no matter the weather, approved chemical use remains an essential element in management applied by professional safely and adhering to agreed procedures.