Vegetation like trees and shrubs can provide a natural screen to the rail corridor, helping to hide the sights and sounds of railway activity. It also provides a habitat for birds and wildlife.
However, maintaining vegetation is also essential for safety.
Overgrown trees and shrubs can obstruct the vision of train drivers. It’s important they can clearly see crossings, signal boxes, and obstructions like wandering livestock or dumped rubbish. Pests such as rabbits and rats are also attracted to overgrown vegetation.
Our vegetation management practices and strategies align with our Environmental Policy.
We strive to achieve a balance between our environmental responsibilities and ensuring the provision of a safe and reliable rail network to our customers and the general public.
How is vegetation maintained?
We clear vegetation in different ways, depending on site-specific requirements. Our activities include:
- Pruning overhanging trees and large shrubs
- Weed control of noxious species
- Spot-spraying and slashing of high grass
Weeds inhabit areas where disturbance is high and as a part of our vegetation management activities, we try to prevent the introduction of weeds to new areas of our network and the spread of existing weeds.
Who manages vegetation?
ARTC manages an overall vegetation maintenance program with the support of professional contractors who assess, review and perform vegetation control on our behalf. All waste generated from vegetation management works is recycled wherever possible. We’ll often mulch the green waste on site.
How Does ARTC respond to vegetation maintenance requests?
We typically clear the vegetation from a five metre wide strip of land either side of our tracks. Because we maintain so much track – over 8,500km – we can’t always maintain vegetation to the same standard as residential landowners, but we’re happy to respond to requests by local residents and councils to clear vegetation that’s grown rapidly or needs attention.