These Tracks Are On Fire
These tracks are on fire and I don't mean selections from our favorite playlist.
When it’s been this cold 50 below zero outside getting around is a lot tougher. When that happens, the folks in Chicago who keep the commuter trains running, employ a blazing hot idea. They set the train tracks on fire.
Flames were seen sprouting from the tracks of Chicago’s Metra commuter rail system this week.
Metra isn’t literally setting the tracks ablaze.The flames actually come from gas-fed heaters that run along the rails and keep them warm. They use a tubular heating system and hot air blowers to heat up cold track.
Why? Tracks are affected by extreme cold in some cases the tracks experience what’s called “pull-aparts.” This kind of rail defect occurs when two rails separate at their connection. The extreme cold shrinks the metal and the rails literally pull apart from each other, according to Metra in a recent Instagram post. Heating the tracks with fire expands the metal until the two rails can be put back together again. That's hot.