Metra Will Slow Trains During Extreme Heat

Andy Dahn
July 17, 2019 - 3:28 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- As temperatures skyrocket across the Chicago area this week, so could travel times for Metra riders.

When temperatures exceed 95 degrees, as they're forecast to over the next few days, Metra is required to reduce train speed by 10 miles per hour.

"That's to reduce the stress on the rails," rail agency spokesperson Meg Reile said Wednesday. "Metal expands and contracts in extreme temperatures. When we reduce speed, we reduce the force applied to the rails, which helps prevent rail buckling or moving out of alignment."

Reile said the railroad will also be increasing the number of track inspections.

"Most sections of the tracks will be inspected a minimum of once a day, other sections will be even more frequently inspected."

Those two changes could mean hefty delays.

"The heat is going to try everyone's patience," Reile said. "We all get a little cranky. Just take a deep breath. Our goal is to get you to your destination safely."

An extreme heat warning is in effect through Saturday, weather authorities said.