Wednesday 2 September 2020

UIC publishes new International Railway Solutions (IRS) about technical aspects of vegetation control and tree risk management - IRS 70723

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UIC develops and distributes IRSs in order to help railway stakeholders achieve further harmonisation and collaboration in daily railway operations.

As IRSs are gradually replacing UIC leaflets, the Track & Structures Sector within the UIC Rail System Forum and the Sustainable Land Use Sector within the Energy, Environment and Sustainability Platform collaborated to provide recommendations and clarification with regard to the development of UIC Leaflet 723 into IRS 70723.

Vegetation management within and alongside the track, besides other properties owned by the railway companies, has to be adapted to expected future demands. Therefore, the railway sector has often separated railway corridors into several areas to reflect the various vegetation control measures applied. IRS 70723 on vegetation control and tree-risk management summarises the corresponding methods to improve the safe and efficient operation of the railways while reducing the overall impact on the environment. The new IRS 70723 has been developed within the scope of the HERBIE project where the final report can be found on the UIC ETF-Shop.

With the aim to provide guidance and recommendations about technical aspects of vegetation control and tree risk management in terms of railway applications to reflect the current state of the art and to investigate vegetation control methods currently implemented or 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 of the nationally and regionally specific solutions that apply to the global railway network. 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 the safe passage and braking of 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 the discussions that took place at the UIC Track Experts Group (TEG) and Sustainable Land Use expert meetings attended by both UIC members and staff.

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

IRS 70723 EN: https://www.shop-etf.com/en/technical-aspects-of-vegetation-control-and-tree-risk-management-guidance-and-recommendations.html

HERBIE Report: https://www.shop-etf.com/fr/herbie-guidelines-state-of-the-art-and-integrated-assessment-of-weed-control-and-management-for-railways

For further information please contact Pinar Yilmazer, Senior Advisor of the Sustainable Land Use Sector: yilmazer@uic.org, or David Mirayo, Infrastructure and TTI Senior Advisor: mirayo@uic.org

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