Today’s Headlines for Wednesday, January 30

  • Best Headline From the Deep-Freeze: “They’re Setting the Tracks on Fire in Chicago” (NY Post)
  • How Today’s #Chiberia Weather Is Affecting Local Transportation (Tribune)
  • Metra Electric Service Suspended Due to Wire Problems Caused by Extreme Cold (CBS)
  • Car Driver Charged With Hit-and-Run in Fatal East Side Salt Truck Crash (Sun-Times)
  • After Allegations of Misconduct, Solis Resigns as Chair of Zoning Committee (Sun-Times)
  • Study: 1/3 of Young Adults Want to Leave Chicago — Bad News Re: Population Loss (Sun-Times)
  • How to Get to the Chicago Auto Show by Bike (ABC)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

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  • planetshwoop

    I’m always curious why the Electric shuts down so frequently in the winter. Presumably it gets cold in other countries with electric trains: Sweden, Russia, Norway, China.

    Do they have the same issues? Or is it something about Metra/South Shore?

  • what_eva

    The “tracks on fire” video didn’t call out that it’s specifically switches that are lit on fire/heated to ensure they keep working.

    I was in the rear car of a Red Line yesterday morning that had the back section of seats by the cab blocked off and had some big tanks in it. A sign said it was for deicing the third rail.

  • Tooscrapps

    Also, that was either a freight or Metra, not CTA!

  • what_eva

    I was guessing Metra

  • I would also like to know how the South Shore did a test run Tuesday night that failed and so proactively cancelled Wednesday service (https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/shore-shore-line-trains-suspended-wednesday-for-weather/), whereas Metra tried to run an inbound train from University Park that had to be brought back, and then suspended further service (https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/metra-electric-line-service-suspended-until-friday-agency-says-505085261.html). Don’t they use the same wires? Or talk to each other, or something?

  • rwy

    I’m kind of amused by how much attention the fires that Metra uses to keep switches from freezing are getting.

  • Dennis McClendon

    They only use the same wires north of 111th St.

  • Don’t they use the same kind of wires subject to the same weather?

  • Dennis McClendon

    More or less, but built at different times by different people, in different geographic situations. Quite understandable that two different operators would conduct independent inspections, just as Hammond schools might close on a day when Harvey schools are open.

  • FG

    This is the first time I can remember it ever actually being shutting down. According to what I hear the wires strength was not chosen for this extreme (and they are aging). And Switzerland in the alps, but trains never stop for cold in the Nordic countries.

    The bigger issue right now is the freight train that damaged the overhead catenary structure and took out some transformers/substations. They have pictures on the MED twitter account. The CTA needs to get a few extra buses to serve HP.

  • FG

    Oh my god, was my post full of typos…