The C Line had delays due to flamethrower

Thawing out the tracks

Ari Ofsevit watched as a T worker used a flamethrower to thaw out some track in Coolidge Corner around 8 a.m.

The T ran trolleys all night to keep the tracks clear; but that didn't help much on the B and D lines, which experienced major delays this morning due to trains that died.

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Comments

That's nothing

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Back in the day some railroads used a jet engine to clear/thaw out tracks. It worked great for melting things. Unfortunately it also threw ballast stones all over the place and they had to discontinue the practice because it was too dangerous!

Here's an example in Palmer - note - turn your sound down before watching - annoying sound and loud

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nr3CgFPYnv0

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It is

It's very hard to tell with that picture, but you can faintly make out that it's a switch. I'm not sure there's anything else which would need to be melted in such a localized point like that, anyway.

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There is a cross over there

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There is a cross over there used to occasionally turn trains.

There used to be (still?) switches in the North Station yards that were fueled by natural gas flames to keep them warmed. In days gone by oil smudge-pots were used.

There were some switch issues on the Blue Line this morning as well.

This is the very same switch

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This is the very same switch and switch heater that is always mentioned on this site when newspaper or other debris get caught in it and catch fire

Nice link

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Thanks. Dome other crazy rigs in related videos.

On commuter rail...

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...the approaches to North Station and all the way out to BET (the shop complex) are great areas to see flames from the switch heaters. Nothing to worry about, flames do wonders on snow and ice and they won't burn up that much of the track structure. I love seeing the glow of the switch heater flames when I have to ride a pre-dawn train in during the snow.

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