To prevent weeds from interfering with railway operations and to comply with federal regulations, the Guelph Junction Railway (GJR) has hired contractor Green Stream to conduct weed control along GJR tracks between Woodlawn Road and Victoria Road, excluding a section of tracks from Norwich Street East to just past Macdonell Street, on Thursday, May 25 between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. (rain date May 26).
Based on community feedback obtained in 2016, GJR will be using corn starch within 200 feet of waterways, with the remainder of the tracks being treated with a low-concentration mixture of Torpedo, Overdrive and Round-up. These substances have been evaluated by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency to be safe and are approved for use in parking areas, school yards, parks, golf courses and other public areas. The weed control mixture will be applied at night and a skirt will be used on the application equipment to prevent overspray.
GJR will continue to test alternative, non-chemical weed control products, such as corn starch, along the section of tracks from Norwich Street East to just past Macdonell Street.
Downtown Trail closed May 25
The Downtown Trail will be closed for 12 hours between Speedvale Avenue and Marcon Street. Signs will be posted to notify trail users in advance. Signs will be removed 24 hours after application.
Controlling weeds along railways
Transport Canada requires GJR to maintain tracks to federal safety standards by removing vegetation on and around the railway tracks. Grass, weeds and other plants can impede railway safety in a few ways:
- Plants growing over the tracks can cause slipping, which causes a train to take longer to stop in the event of an emergency
- Plants growing too close to the tracks make it difficult for operators to see around curves
- Dry plants can catch fire
- The rail bed and tracks deteriorate more quickly when surrounded by plants and moisture
- Plants makes it difficult to inspect the tracks for potential problems
For more information
Les Petroczi, General Manager
Guelph Junction Railway