News Release for June 18, 2010

For more Information:
Paul Merrill, Public Information Officer - 207-624-3355 or 207-215-9297
Bob Moosmann, MaineDOT Statewide Vegetation Manager, 624-3107


MaineDOT to start annual railroad vegetation control program

The Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) will begin its annual vegetation control program along state controlled railway systems starting Monday, June 21, and continuing through Thursday, June 24 on rail lines through out the state.

MaineDOT manages several rail tracks that are used by freight haulers including the Rockland branch from Rockland to Brunswick which is an active rail line. The Lewiston Lower Road and Augusta branch rail lines are used on an occasional basis. Other tracks managed by MaineDOT may not be in active use but must also be maintained to meet both state and federal standards that all railroads are required to comply with nationally.

“Vegetation management is a critical component in maintaining rail for safe operation,” said Bob Moosmann, MaineDOT Statewide Vegetation Manager. “Among the most serious potential problems that railroads face is derailment and the potential for fire that starts within the rail corridor.”

MaineDOT researches all vegetation control materials and approves only those with the lowest environmental risks, as well as the lowest health risks for applicators. The materials scheduled for use on the rail lines in June include Razor (glyphosate) and Oust Extra (sulfometuron methyl and metsulfuron methyl). As part of its commitment to environmental and worker protection, the department uses the lowest rates possible for control of vegetation.