VEGETATION control on the Tyne & Wear Metro relied on handheld strimmers, cutting and spraying equipment, until Avondale Environment Services was awarded a contract to carry out the work with a specialised road-rail vehicle.

A two-man team remains within the Mercedes Benz Unimog’s air-conditioned and filtered cab during spraying. Six integral sprays can be selected or pre-programmed to apply different herbicides to the trackbed and lineside over an area from 1·5 to 16·5m wide. Off-track nozzles can be adjusted remotely, providing a spray curtain of more than 6m to each side.

An onboard computer and GPS provide detailed reports on which herbicides are used and where; these can be used to demonstrate compliance with safety and environmental legislation.

Avondale Environment Services, UK