Winter in Chicago: fires along city tracks
Chicago transit workers are lighting small fires along the city's train tracks to “help fuel gas-powered heaters at different points along the tracks, especially near switches.”
On Monday, January 15, the bitterly cold weather in Chicago disrupted train services at Union Station, resulting in a 45-minute delay for commuters. Mechanical problems, broken rails, and switch issues caused delays on various train lines. Metra trains on both the Milwaukee District-North and West lines were brought to a standstill, preventing them from entering or leaving the station. The North Central Service line also faced challenges, leading to extended delays for at least one train departing from Chicago.
To cope with the icy conditions, switch heaters, which are designed to ignite the tracks to provide warmth and de-ice them, were activated on Monday in an effort to facilitate the movement of trains despite the challenging weather conditions.