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See Why Chicago Lights the Train Tracks on Fire in the Winter

Did you know that to combat the icy conditions in Chicago, the Metra lights the train tracks on fire!

To combat the severe cold and winter weather that hits Chicago's metropolitan area this time of year, Metra uses controlled burns to melt disruptive ice from train switches. See the process in action here:

Fire solves a big problem for the commuter trains. Ice accumulates and freezes even more quickly on metal tracks because of the way metal holds cold temperatures. When that ice is on the Metra train switch—the place where trains can change routes by switching tracks—it disrupts the flow of electricity that helps train engineers keep driving at speed. The trains must slow to a halt and wait for the switch instead of passing through quickly.

The more you know, right? This will especially be needed as some extremely cold temperatures hit Chicago this weekend.


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