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It’s So Cold In Chicago, Rail Crews Are Lighting Train Tracks On Fire Just To Keep Them Running

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Jena Greene Reporter

It’s so cold in Chicago that rail crews have been forced to come up with creative ways to keep the public transit systems running.

The downside? Wind chills are making Chicago feel like it’s -50 degrees Fahrenheit today, making January 30 likely to be the coldest day ever recorded in the Windy City. (RELATED: There’s Growing Speculation That This Famous Rapper Is Going To Run For Chicago Mayor)

The upside? One of those creative methods involves fire.

According to ABC News, Chicago is lighting fire to their train tracks to keep them warm enough to keep the trains running. When temperatures dip well below zero (as of noon, it’s 16 below), tracks can stop working. So they’re just letting the whole thing go up in flames.

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The train tracks can withstand immense heat and pressure, so the flames are not likely to do any permanent damage. Just think about that for a second. It’s so cold that the train tracks, which can withstand literal fire, can’t handle the severe temperatures.

Also pretty wild: a solid portion of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River have frozen over entirely. Which is rare.

The so-called “polar vortex” is expected to last into late this week, with Chicago temperatures dropping to a low of -21 Fahrenheit Wednesday night.

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