Train tracks set on fire in Chicago to keep trains moving

U.S. & World

CHICAGO (WCMH) — It’s so cold in Chicago that train tracks were set in fire in order to keep trains moving.

Aerial video shows flames coming from the tracks of the Metra commuter rail system Tuesday.

The flames are actually coming from gas-fed heaters that run alongside the rails to keep them warm, CNN reported. Metra also uses a tubular heating system and hot air blowers.

When rails get too cold, tracks can experience ‘pull-aparts.’ That means two rails separate at their connection. Heating the tracks expands the metal until the two rails can be put back together.

Railroad switch points can also become clogged with ice and snow. Heating systems melt that snow.

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