Despite the decision of the European Commission to extend the authorization for the use of glyphosate (the world’s most common herbicide) until the end of 2023, the German railways (DB) have decided to immediately stop using it to control vegetation on the tracks. It is reported by Railway Supply magazine with reference to zdmira.


Alternatively, DBs are implementing a coordinated set of activities, including a digital track condition monitoring system, mechanized and manual devegetation, and the use of pelargonic acid.

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The approval for pelargonic acid was obtained from the German Federal Agency for Consumer Protection and Food Safety, which worked closely with the German ministries of agriculture and transport. It is also expected to receive approval from the Federal Railroad Agency (EBA) in the near future.

DB has long been committed to introducing sustainable technologies for removing vegetation from the tracks and has been closely cooperating on these issues with the railways of other European countries, primarily Austria, France and Switzerland. In particular, technologies for electric pulse weeding and the use of mowers with semi-automatic control are being developed.

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