Dispersible sodic soil, a semi-arid climate and frequent high rainfall periods resulted in a highly eroded railway batter. Previous efforts had seen the application of Buffel grass, which failed due to its shallow roots and fire prone nature. Erosion control and stabilisation works were required to protect the batter and railway infrastructure.
A Vetiver System bioengineering technology design was adopted. The application of Vetiver hedgerows addressed the needs of soil stability and water flow protection of the cut and fill batters, to ensure the integrity of the railway.
The Vetiver System successfully increased the soil shear strength whilst also protecting the soil from water velocity and rainfall damage. The batters were fully stabilised after 2 summers growth.