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.
Pull-aparts are rail defects in which two rails separate at their connection. They occur in extreme cold when the metal shrinks and the rails literally pull apart from each other. How Metra forces make repairs is by warming the metal with fire until it expands and the two rails can be reconnected. 🔥🔥 Photo: Mark Llanuza . . . #metra #metrarail #trains #traingram #locomotive #railroad #railway #workingontherailroad #traintracks #hardhatarea #fightingwithfire #railfan #lovetransit #ontherailroad
Railroad switch points can also become clogged with ice and snow. Heating systems melt that snow.