TRISTRAM TransItion STRategy on vegetAtion Management

Background

The need for vegetation management goes hand in hand with the need for safe and reliable railway operations. Furthermore, vegetation management reduces risks to customers and personnel.
Vegetation control on railway tracks is a key activity undertaken by railway infrastructure managers to ensure safe and efficient operations. In light of increasing transport requirements, successful and efficient vegetation management in the railways is governed by legislation and regulations at various levels: EU, national, federal, regional (where applicable) and local.

Studies conducted by the UIC Sustainable Land Use Network show that selecting an economical and environmentally friendly vegetation management plan that can be implemented on railway infrastructure in a technical and operational context is effective in minimising the railways’ impact on the environment and optimising their environmental performance.

At present, the purpose of using multiple vegetation control methods is to facilitate the creation of a more productive and attractive landscape resource. The main goals are to minimise unwanted chemical deposits, environmental impact and risks to human health.

The vegetation can currently be controlled effectively by using herbicides, especially conventional chemical herbicides. However, the railways are aware of their responsibilities with regard to a clean and biologically diverse environment. Significant political and public pressure to move away from the use of conventional chemical herbicides is an additional driver for the railways to work on a strategy for transition from well-established conventional methods to integrated vegetation control management.

Since 2019, UIC has been collaborating with its members to develop a holistic approach to integrated vegetation control management on railway tracks. Transitioning from conventional chemical herbicides to integrated vegetation control constitutes a major challenge for the railways, especially in the railway track area, since:

  1. all promising alternative methods of vegetation control, such as hot water, wet steam, organic acids and electro-weeding, are currently
    • in research and development phase,
    • not yet mature enough for large-scale industrial application on the railway track area,
    • required to be officially registered and approved by EU and national authorities.
  2. further research is needed with regard to
    • adaptation to the specific requirements of the railway track area (track geometry, electrical installations or devices, corrosive materials, etc.),
    • automation and improvement of operational speed,
    • improvement of the duration of the effects of treatment (reducing the need for multiple treatments).
  3. conventional chemical herbicide-based methods (i.e. glyphosate) are the most easily accessible on the market and, to date, are the most effective and cost-efficient substances available for vegetation control.
  4. it is not yet clear yet whether it will be possible to completely abandon vegetation control using conventional chemical herbicides in the future.

Objectives

Objectives

  1. Progress from a single method-based concept - spraying of conventional chemical herbicides - to an integrated, flexible, multi-method-based approach.
  2. Develop a strategy for transition from conventional chemical herbicides to integrated vegetation control in the railway track area.
  3. Facilitate and promote information and knowledge exchange between the railways on all aspects of integrated vegetation control, with a special focus on investigations into and experience with alternative methods of vegetation control on railway track, including the associated regulatory constraints.
  4. Improve and expand upon the technology-based monitoring and assessment approach developed within the framework of the Herbie project, with a particular focus on acquisition of reliable data to measure the economic and operational performance of alternative methods for vegetation control.
  5. Collect best practices and strategies for supporting integrated vegetation management approaches by means of IT tools and solutions.
  6. Explore options at national and EU level for funding collaborative efforts undertaken by the railways to adapt alternative methods of vegetation control to the railway sector’s specific requirements.

Work Packages

WP1: Global Strategy

  • Task 1.1 Strategy Development
  • Task 1.2 Parameters needed

WP2: Information & Knowledge Exchange

  • Task 2.1. Standard Documentation
  • Task 2.2 Knowledge and Exchange platform
  • Task 2.3 Reporting/ information exchange

WP3: Technology Monitoring & Assessment

  • Task 3.1 Data collection
  • Task 3.2. Upgrade of Assessment Tool
  • Task 3.3. Assessment of results

WP4: IT Tools for integrated Vegetation Management

WP5: Evaluation of Funding Options

  • Task 5.1 Identification of needs
  • Task 5.2 Identification of possible funding options
  • Task 5.3 Preparing the demand for funding

WP6: Supporting the SLU group

Project Participants

Members

  • Austria/ ÖBB: Thomas SCHUH
  • Belgium/ SNCB-NMBS: Elodie VILAINE and Sven van DRIESSCHE
  • Belgium/ Infrabel: Pascale HEYLEN, Stéphane DUFOUR and Jean-Pierre DEFORET
  • Czech Republic/ SZDC: Bohumir TRAVNICEK
  • Finland/ FTA: Susanna KOIVUJARVI
  • France/ SNCF: Jean-Pierre PUJOLS
  • Germany/ DB: Michael BELOW
  • Italy/ FS: Antonio RANUCCI and Serena CUZZOLA
  • Netherland/ ProRail: Jeff DIKS
  • Spain/ ADIF: Pedro PEREZ and Marta RUIZ
  • Sweden/ Trafikverket: Carol BIRGERSSON
  • Switzerland/ SBB: Gunter ADOLPH

Guests

  • Norway/ Bane Nor: Gry DAHL
  • Portugal/ Infraestruturas de Portugal: Ana PELLETIER SEQUEIRA

Consultant

  • Germany/ IZT Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment: Roland NOLTE and Karolina PIETRAS-COUFFIGNAL

Meeting Dates

2019
  • 30 January
  • 10 April
  • 4 June
  • 26 September
  • 21 November
2020
  • 13 February
  • 18 March
  • 4 June
  • 24 September
  • 26 November
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Questionnaires

Please take your time to fill in the following questionnaires: https://uic.org/events/tristram-questionnaires

UIC Contact

For any further information please contact: Pınar YILMAZER

Deliverables

TRISTRAM e-News

UIC e-News, 16 April 2019: UIC Sustainable Land Use (SLU) Network meeting was held on 10 April 2019 in Paris

UIC e-News, 18 February 2020: TRISTRAM Project Meeting held on 13 February 2020 in Paris

UIC e-News, 25 February 2020: UIC is proud to present the UIC Strategy on the Future of Vegetation Control

7th R&D Framework Programme/Horizon 2020 Acoustic control for new composite blocks Administ of HERMES Messages + relating 900 Leaflets Administration of Passenger Commercial Issues Administration of Passenger Technical Issues Artificial Intelligence for Remote Monitoring Asset Management – unified procurement methods in order to achieve high quality for less money Asset Management Common Method and Template in a GIS implementation Brake Performance Deficiency of UCT (Unaccompanied Container Transport) trains Capacity4Rail Commuter and Regional Train Services Commuter and Regional Train Services II Composite brake block behaviour under winter conditions CYRAIL DEcision-making and Slab-track MANagement Design, definition and localisation of a "Trackcircuit" for detection of broken rails without detect DIGIM DIGIM II Digital Observatory & New Projects Platform Direct electropneumatic brake Direct Radio Link for Train Completeness Safety Check DOOR TO DOOR e- WAG ECCO Phase 2 ECCO Phase 3 EES Platform Activitie Emergency Brake Valves Performance on ERTMS Lines Energy & Electric Traction Experts Group Energy Efficiency Best Practice Workshops Energy Efficiency Best Practice Workshops (Europe) eRail Freight Intermodal – Phase 2 ERTMS Platform services EUR palette European Standard Freight Wagon Axle for 25t (ESFA 25) Exceptional and Over-Loads on Existing Infrastructures Exchange of Railway Vehicules phase 2 Formalization of Interfaces Functional Specifications Future Railways Mobile Communications Systems Solutions GALILEO Panel of Experts GSM-R GSM-R Network Management Harmonised Methodology for Infrastructure Lifetime Assessment Harmonization of track quality description and assessment High Speed Activities Holding Force 2017 How to improve the overall safety at level crossings using new technologies and operating modes to m Impact of the digitalisation on the modern Traffic Operation possibilities (linked to “Traffic manag IPAAB AUDIT Lasting Infrastructure Benchmarking Long term development of railway stations Long trains with distributed power MERITS PRIFIS New UIC Standard "Overhead Conductor Rail Requirements" Noise Technical Advice Other Freight Activities Panel of Experts Activity - Asset Management Group Panel Of Structural Experts Passenger Accessibility Solutions Support and Action Group for Europe Passenger Accessibility Solutions Support and Action Group for Europe II Passenger Door System, Alarm System and Communication System: Safety and Standardised Operation PRIFIS PRM Assistance Booking Tool PROACTIVE RailTopoModel (ERIM) RailTopoModel extension for Building information modelling (BIM) RailTopoModel for Geographic Information Systems RailTopoModel for Simulation Railway Telecom Panel of Experts Recommendations for the DEsign and use of MOnoblock concrete SLEEPERs Reference guide of core rail job profiles and professional competences Requirement DataBase EUTREQ rEvERsE REVERSIBLE SUBSTATIONS Revision of UIC Leaflet 930 RIC Rolling Stock Bogie Energy Management and Brake-Wheel interaction Rolling Stock multimedia applications Rolling Stock on board applications (traction-braking management) and commissioning Rules for the consist and braking of international freight trains SAFER-LC SAFETY PLATEFORM SATLOC+ (follow up of SATLOC) system safety demonstration on the basis of the formal functional mode SECURITY PLATFORM SFERA: Smart communications for efficient rail activities SHERPA Signalling Panel of Experts Station Managers Global Group Station Managers Global Group Technical advice and assessment of European Railway noise policy and research Tourism potential of railway services Tourism Potential of Railway Services 2 Track Circuit Shunting Booster Track Experts Group Activity - (TEG) including INNOTRACK Dissemination Track stability and prevention of buckling Train Bus Applications and Homologation TRAINING CENTRE NETWORKS TRISTRAM UIC Control App UIC-IEC Overhead Contact Line life cycle harmonization Upgrading and Updating the UIC Standard 413 URT - PRISM (Passenger Railway International Security-based Mobile app) Vegetation Control and Use of Herbicides WG Pallets Wheel: European Standard low maintenance for 25t traffic Works of Programme Managers and SETs XBORDER quick wins