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6/16/2006



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Alaska Railroad seeks state permit to spray herbicides on weeds



The Alaska Railroad Corp. (ARRC) recently applied for a state permit to use chemicals to control weeds along rights of way as part of an annual vegetation management program.

Since 1983, ARRC has tried to control vegetation along its 600 track miles by employing mechanical brush-cutting equipment, using steam or burning weeds. But mechanical cutting and other non-chemical methods don’t control vegetation between rails and at ties’ ends, and root growth within the rail bed, ARRC said.

The Federal Railroad Administration has directed ARRC officials to address roadbed vegetation growth. To comply, the railroad plans to use herbicides to control weeds.

The enhanced vegetation management program would eliminate plants and roots that de-stabilize track sub-surface, remove brush that can fuel wildfires and help maintain safe motorist sight lines at grade crossings, ARRC officials said in a prepared statement.


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