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It's So Cold In Chicago And They're Setting Fires To Keep The Trains Working


Posted on January 30, 2019, at 4:19 p.m. ET


Images of the fires in 2018

It's really cold in Chicago right now and people have been captivated by images and video of what looks like train tracks on fire – this might look pretty hardcore but it's actually quite common.

The practice is a fairly routine one for Metra, the city's transit system, since snow and ice can clog switch points the train needs to keep rolling (even when it is above -11°, which is the actual temperature it is at the time of this post 🙃). The temperature in Chicago isn't expected to be above zero until Thursday evening.

Though it looks like the tracks themselves are on fire, the flames actually run adjacent to the rails, according to a press release that a Metra spokesperson directed BuzzFeed News to.

A gas-fed system that runs along the sides of the tracks helps heat these switch points so they don't get blocked.


Images of the fires in 2018

Needless to say, it looks metal as hell.

Apocalypse is looking pretty dope so far

I'm just gonna show ppl this video whenever anyone asks me how cold it gets in Chicago

All aboard the fire train! 🔥

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.