Wednesday 5 May 2021

IRS 70723: Technical aspects of vegetation control and tree risk management awarded in the “Proficiently Developed” category

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With IRSs gradually replacing UIC leaflets, the Infrastructure Sector within the UIC Rail System Forum and the Sustainable Land Use Sector within the Sustainability Platform collaborated to provide recommendations and clarification with regard to the conversion of UIC Leaflet 723 into IRS 70723.

Vegetation management within and alongside the track, as well as on other property owned by railway companies, must be adapted to expected future demands. The railway sector often separates railway corridors into several different areas to reflect the various vegetation control measures applied. IRS 70723 on vegetation control and tree risk management summarises the corresponding methods to improve safe and efficient operation on the railways while reducing the overall impact on the environment. The new IRS 70723 has been developed as part of the HERBIE Project, with the final report available from the UIC ETF Shop.

Providing guidance and recommendations reflecting the current state of the art on technical aspects of vegetation control and tree risk management for railway applications, and investigating vegetation control methods currently implemented or being researched by UIC members, the objectives of IRS 70723 are:

  • to assist railway infrastructure management and staff in addressing the issue of vegetation and tree risk control on the railways,
  • to provide UIC members with a single source of information on vegetation and tree risk management,
  • to enable infrastructure managers to identify affordable and effective solutions for railway vegetation managers.

IRS 70723 is directed at those responsible for planning and implementing vegetation and tree risk management within and adjacent to operational railway corridors. It has been prepared in recognition of the wide variety of vegetation types, the management issues associated with them, and the specific solutions that apply to the global railway network regionally and nationally. Thus, IRS 70723 is likely to be of interest to all those involved in keeping the railway track area plant-free, as encroaching vegetation can hinder safe passage and braking during train operations, as well as safe and efficient functioning of the control-command and signalling system.

UIC is truly grateful for the valuable encouragement and discussions at the UIC Track Experts Group (TEG) and Sustainable Land Use (SLU) meetings attended by both UIC members and staff.

As a result of this collaboration, which has led to the publication of a globally recognised, high-quality standard, IRS 70723 was awarded as one of the best new IRSs in the “Proficiently developed” category by the UIC Standardisation Platform on 16 March.

Michael Below, Chair of the SLU Sector, thanked his SLU Co-Chair, Thomas Schuh, and colleagues within the SLU for their valuable contributions, and Felix Gerhardt from the DB infrastructure group for the relevant information provided.

Bernhard Knoll, Chair of the TEG, thanked UIC for the award and the members of the TEG involved in developing this new IRS over the past number of years.

To find out more about the new IRS 70723, please visit the UIC ETF Shop:

IRS 70723 EN:

HERBIE Report:

TRISTAM Report – Future Vegetation Control of European Railways – State-of-the-Art Report:

For further information, please contact Pinar Yilmazer, Sustainable Land Use Sector Senior Advisor: yilmazer@uic.orggro.ciu:rezamliy’)]

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