Episode 113 - Weeds and Railroads [ 5 min 18 s ] Download
“But make no mistake: the weeds will win; nature bats last” ~ Robert M. Pyle, lepidopterist and author (Photo by Debbie Johnson)
Weeds, brush and overgrown trees aren’t just an eyesore for railroads. Out of control vegetation can reduce visibility for train operators and vehicles or pedestrians trying to cross the tracks.
Because this is a safety issue, railroad companies must keep weeds under control. That’s not as easy as it sounds and it can be pretty pricey. A weed scientist with the University of Missouri, works with railroads, testing experimental chemical mixtures and labeled products, searching for the most effective controls for the least amount of money.
Reid Smeda, weed scientist for University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Shane Riley, maintenance engineer for the Columbia Terminal railroad, or COLT
Photo by Debbie Johnson