Keeping your commute functioning in winter often means keeping the tracks unfrozen. That’s why when temperatures dropped to well below freezing last week, the Long Island Rail Road needed to do something to keep all the moving parts working. And this crazy-looking fire mechanism is how they did it.
It’s actually a very practical solution to a very pressing problem, when you think about it. What better way to warm something up, than with fire? And since most of New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority track equipment is still just leftovers from a hundred years ago, this ages-old solution still makes sense.