Very impressive. Why does it seem like the UP is on a whole different level from the rest of the class 1's?
I don't follow railroads SUPER closely so my perspective is skewed but I have always thought this. I'm not even a fan of the UP. I'm in Ohio and rarely see UP anything. It just always seems like they're on the ball.
Weed spraying has come a long way from the converted boxcars and baggage cars of my era.
Ane, even further back in time, before the 1960's, they had weed burners.
On youtube.com there is a collection of home movies called the “Bob Chester” series. One movie is devoted to Frisco and shows a weed burner in action. I believe these machines burned a significant amount of ties along with the weeds. No working O gauge model of this machine has been attempted...hehe.
Breezinup, you hit the bullseye. When weed spraying began, they used very good weed killers, but that was before environmental concerns about runoff and exposure. About 1980, railroads began spraying pre-emerge herbicides in a soapy solution, which, while not quite as effective as the previously used chemicals, were considerably safer to use and were biodegradable where they did not hit foliage. And they keep coming up with better performing, environmentally safe sprays.
Controlling weeds is primarily done to keep the sub grade and roadbed weed free and thereby preserve proper drainage, but spraying a wider area approaching rural road crossings helps to preserve clear vision of approaching trains for motorists at the crossing. Less mosquito and chigger habitat, control of noxious weeds like poison ivy, keeping snakes out in the open, you could compile quite a list of ways that Union Pacific is keeping communities safe with its weed control program.
But . . . Santa Fe, and now BNSF, sprayed a wider path along the ballast than any other railroad I have ridden. Just giving a thumbs-up to the Home Road.
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