Chicago Heat Wave

Amid Chicago heat wave, Metra implements speed restrictions for trains

Officials with Metra say that the agency is ordering a reduction in speed on all trains because of the extreme heat currently gripping the Chicago area.

Those restrictions, which will be in effect Wednesday afternoon, will likely lead to delays throughout the Metra system, with officials asking riders to allow extra time to complete their journeys.

According to Metra officials, when temperatures exceed 95 degrees, trains must reduce speeds by at least 10 mph to compensate for heat-related stress on the tracks.

Metra says tracks can experience “sun kinks,” which warps rails and can cause issues in extreme heat.

Reducing speed not only reduces stress on the tracks, but also enables engineers to spot impacted trains. Wires on the Metra Electric Line can also be impacted by extreme heat, according to officials.

Amtrak and the CTA also typically implement similar restrictions when the temperature exceeds 95 degrees, but no official announcements have been made at this time.

As of the noon hour, Chicago’s O’Hare airport had reported temperatures of 96 degrees, with heat indices rising all the way up to 116 degrees.

The hot conditions are expected to continue through Thursday, according to officials.

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