It’s So Cold in Chicago They’re Setting Tracks on Fire to Keep Trains Moving

it27ssocoldinchicagothey27resettingtracksonfiretokeeptrainsmoving28329 Its So Cold in Chicago Theyre Setting Tracks on Fire to Keep Trains Moving

 

Extreme cold has been ravaging large swaths of North America, and in Chicago temperatures have dipped as low as -25°F (-31.67°C). When temps reach extremes like these they tend to create unique issues that require unorthodox solutions.

For example, the extreme cold can cause metal on train tracks to contract; pulling up bolts or causing stress fractures, both of which can shut down entire lines and create chaos for systems that transport a lot of people in and around the city.

To combat this, crews will literally set fire to the tracks to keep them warm keep and keep the trains moving; particularly at track switching points where the mechanisms can freeze. Elsewhere crews will soak long pieces of rope in kerosene and burn it next to the tracks to keep them warm.

Check out the videos below for examples of this technique being used earlier this week.

[via Jalopnik]

 

 

it27ssocoldinchicagothey27resettingtracksonfiretokeeptrainsmoving28129 Its So Cold in Chicago Theyre Setting Tracks on Fire to Keep Trains Moving

Photograph by Metra/Michael Gillis

 

It’s so cold in Chicago, crews had to set fire to commuter rail tracks to keep the trains moving smoothly. https://t.co/ccrTwwwO6C pic.twitter.com/av7o5opEQ8

— ABC News (@ABC) January 30, 2019