While doing research on older prototype railroad scenes from the 1970s and before, it is hard not to notice how green many of the old photos look and how overgrown some of the tracks appear to be. Since about 1980 there has been regular use of the herbicide Roundup®. This has changed the way the tracks look and many modelers may have forgotten or never knew how the lines used to look.
Last year (2022) there was a shortage of the herbicide and the local short line tracks near me were considerably more overgrown than usual. The following video shows just how much. Back before 1980, the situation must have been very similar to what we see below and our modeling should reflect that.
I have to wonder, what steps did railroads take to keep the right of way from being overgrown in the old days. I you have insight, please post a comment!