Railroad Weed Control Worries Belgian Rail Authority

* Weedintech Offers Solutions

Infrabel sprays some 2.8 tons of herbicide annually along railroad tracks.

Belgium’s railway network management is looking for an alternative to the product, which is made of glyphosate.

Weeding the tracks is a security imperative for the company. Vegetation can retain water and distort the tracks; and paths along the tracks must facilitate the evacuation of passengers when necessary.

“Weeder’’ trains then go by in the spring for the spraying of a glyphosate-based solution, a product being accused of causing cancer. There is still no alternative large-scale technology for the rail sector that would completely eliminate the use of herbicides, Infrabel says.

The company actively participates in several international working groups to promote the sharing of experience. Pilot projects have also been set up: manual maintenance, the placing of geotextile, or asphalting, to replace the use of the herbicide at issue.

Each year, 2.8 tons of herbicides are being sprayed along the tracks, at a cost of 3 million euros per year.

Weedingtech to Rescue

A British firm,Weedingtech has offered a solution to the Belgian Rail management authority.

Foamstream is the award-winning solution in the herbicide-free space for controlling weeds, moss and algae, brought to you by Weedingtech.It works by harnessing the power of thermal technology. It kills weeds using the precise application of hot water and a biodegradable, environmentally-friendly foam made from natural plant oils and sugars.

Used throughout the municipal, utility and amenity sectors, it provides companies, councils and operators with a safe, effective and affordable method of herbicide-free weed control. In addition to weed control, it can be used for all manner of street cleaning tasks, including gum removal.

Foamstream visibly kills weeds within minutes.It is approved for organic use by multiple certification bodies across the UK, Europe and the USA, and contains no harmful ingredients.It is safe for unrestricted use around people, animals and in sensitive environments.It can be applied in all weather, allowing for better labour resource allocation and helping to avoid downtime.It is easy to apply and requires no specialist training or on-going certification, unlike traditional herbicide.

Weedingtech is a British company that designs and manufactures innovative, herbicide-free weed control systems for the amenity and utility markets.

As far back as the early 1990s, her founders, a group of leading environmentalists, were concerned about the environmental impact of the widespread use of traditional chemical herbicides in the pursuit of higher agricultural yields. They felt certain that there must be a viable commercial alternative to traditional weedkillers and they wanted to offer the market herbicide-free options for use in sensitive areas.

Working in conjunction with industry leading partners, they worked on refining the process by which heat is applied to weeds to kill them, arriving eventually at a patented system that used foam and hot water for the first time.

Other companies had tried to develop herbicide-free alternatives; these included hot water on its own, and steam on its own.

Weedingtech take:We don’t believe they ever cracked it: those technologies weren’t efficient enough, and in our opinion, they didn’t kill weeds effectively enough. We believe Foamstream is the only genuinely commercially viable alternative to traditional chemical herbicides.

“Since then the company has enjoyed rapid growth, backed by investment from the prestigious Low Carbon Innovation Fund and other high profile UK and European investors including Ben Goldsmith and the Moulton family. The investment has allowed us to develop and manufacture The MW-Series, powered by Foamstream, (specially manufactured units that allow for the precision application of the weedkilling system) to become available on a commercial basis.

Headquartered in London, Weedingtech has an international expansion strategy and the company has already appointed agents to handle sales across Europe and in Western Canada.

Founded with a mission to challenge the status quo and use innovative technology to solve customer’s problems, the future for Weedingtech looks bright. Planning is in progress to bring the company’s vision for herbicide-free weed control to the domestic market, reducing the impact of traditional chemical herbicides in back gardens across the world.

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