'The US Is Not Prepared': Hot Temperatures Stress Rail Systems
Comment of the Day

July 21 2022

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

'The US Is Not Prepared': Hot Temperatures Stress Rail Systems

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

"The US is not prepared,” said Paul Chinowsky, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. “While the rail system is incrementally being improved, there is significant work to do and what is being done is not being done fast enough.”

In Concord, California last month, triple-digit temperatures were the culprit behind a curve that emerged in a rail line that ultimately derailed a train, according to the Bay Area Rapid Transit Authority. And in Portland, Oregon, last year, temperatures that reached over 100°F wreaked havoc on the city’s public transport, MAX Light Rail, melting the overhead cables that power its trains. City officials had to suspend all train services for almost two days.

Eoin Treacy's view

UK consumers are familiar with services coming to a halt because of leaves on the track or more recently heat related issues. Covering Hammersmith bridge in London with foil insulation and installing air conditioning units for the cast iron stretches the argument for preserving industrial revolution era infrastructure to the point of incredulity. At some point, it’s time to put utility ahead of sentimentality. One way or another there is going to have to be infrastructure development.

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