• Weeds and grass on tracks

  • General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.
General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

  by jsncrso
So how much weeds or grass can be on a railroad track and still have a train get through? I drove by a very infrequently used siding that runs to a business the other day, and the track usually has quite a bit of kudzu vines growing over it. Well, it looked like the kudzoo was just plowed through...most looked like it was ripped up by something passing though.

But yeah, odd question I know, but I've always wondered just how much grass can grow up on an unkempt track and still have the occasional train pass though. If anyone has any pics that would be great!

(apologies if this is in the wrong thread, mods can move if needed)
  by jsncrso
Thanks for the reply, the Clinton Terminal Railroad in my state has track in about that shape. More interesting though is a related video from this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaXXjjUWe_E

Now the weeds I were referring to weren't nearly as bad, but that definitely takes the cake!
  by Backshophoss
Thats real bad,where's the Brush Hog to cut down the weeds?? :P
  by Robert Paniagua
Boy those weeds and grass need to be cleaned up and removed! Too much of them, they make it look like if it were abandoned! Also, if there were to be passenger service on the MAW Shortline row, not only the weeds and grass would have to go, but also the track, railbed and ties would need complete replacement to have passenger service and faster freight service too.
  by Desertdweller
I've run power down plenty of sidings where the track was completely hidden by the grass. Makes it hard to follow the restricted speed rule. How can you stop short of a broken rail if you cannot see the track?

The first time I ran a Geep through a siding overgrown with kudzu, I tried to remove the cut kudzu from the pilot by grabbing an armful of it. It was like lifting a big washtub full of water! That stuff is really heavy!

Kudzu can stall a train on a hill. The stuff grows at an unbelievable rate. In Mississippi, I would run over rails overgrown with kudzu in the morning. By the time for the return trip in the afternoon, the rails would be overgrown again! It grows 18" or more per day. If I hadn't seen this first hand, I wouldn't have believed it.