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WQAD.com

Watch: Chicago train tracks set on fire to warm them up in extreme cold

Videos taken on Jan. 29 show several fires along train tracks while crews monitor nearby.
chicago train track fires

CHICAGO, Illinois — Metra crews are fighting winter with fire.

Videos taken on Jan. 29 show several fires along train tracks while crews monitor nearby.

Crews soak ropes in kerosene, light them on fire and lay them up against the tracks in order to warm them up, according to Jalopnik. The cold can damage the tracks when the metal contracts. This process is used to warm the tracks back up to fix them.

Similar techniques can be used at switching points to keep the tracks from sticking in extreme cold, as seen in these videos.