Why do Chicago railroad workers set fire to the rails

The staff of the Greater Chicago Commuter Railroad - Metra, in a very unusual way, is fighting the icing of the switches in the area of ​​the busiest A2 junction.

In winter, when the temperature drops below -20 ° C, they have to be warmed up with the help of lighted gas, which is supplied to the frozen arrows through a specially laid gas pipeline. If this is not done, the accumulated ice will block the transfer mechanism, which could lead to a serious accident.

As Metra experts explain, the compressed air switch mechanism has been in operation since the road was founded - that is, since the 30s of the last century. As before, as 90 years ago, railway workers switch them with the help of special levers.

However, the switching system created at that distant time has ceased to cope with the increased load: more than 350 trains pass through A2 every day. In many countries, special heaters are used to remove ice from machinery. A special feature of the old Metra switchgear on A2 is its large dimensions. Therefore, it was decided to carry out ice removal using an open flame.

As noted in Metra, every year the flame damages several pieces of railway equipment, nevertheless, the management of the railway is ready to make these sacrifices for the sake of uninterrupted train traffic.