Metrolinx warns heat wave could impact rails with ‘sun kinks’

Posted: Jul 05, 2016

Metrolinx says hot weather could impact GO Transit and UP Express rails in Southern Ontario

go train
Metrolinx says the heat wave in Southern Ontario may cause delays on the GO Transit system. (CBC News)

Metrolinx says it’s monitoring rails in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area due to a heat warning from Environment Canada.

Metrolinx says intense heat can cause safety issues and buckles in the rails requiring temporary slow orders for trains on its GO Transit and UP Express services.

The steel used on the tracks is designed to handle temperatures ranging from –30 to 30 C. Anything beyond those ranges “can cause a problem for rails,” said Anne-Marie Aikins, a Metrolinx spokesperson.

Temperatures for Tuesday and Wednesday are expected to be near or hotter than 31 C, a trend of hot weather that’s expected to continue throughout the summer.

‘Sun kinks’

The main concern for Metrolinx is “sun kinks”, which are a bend or buckle in the rail that can cause a safety hazard when trains go over them, especially at full speed.

In extreme cases, buckling in the tracks can even cause train derailment.

As a result Metrolinx is preparing customers in case a slow-order is called during their commute, which can call for trains to drop speed while going over “sun kinks” to as slow as 60 km/h.

Aikens said updates would be posted on Metrolinx, GO Transit and UP Express social media and websites.

“If there is a slow order we’re doing that to protect you, to get you to your destination safely,” she said.


With files from Canadian Press

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