BOSTON - As a bitter cold approaches New England this week, residents and local agencies are preparing to stay warm.
The storm that brought us a white Christmas is being replaced by a dangerous cold, where temperatures in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island aren't expected to rise out of the 20's all week. New Englanders may also see temperatures dip into the single digits.
The MBTA is making sure their trains and tracks don't freeze up in order to ensure their services can run smoothly for what will be, for many people, the first days of work after the holidays.
According to MBTA officials, all transit lines will be implementing pre-established "extreme cold" procedures overnight from Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. These procedures include storing as many trains as possible inside tunnels and maintaining facilities during early morning hours.
Any trains that cannot be stored inside will be constantly moving in rail yards to prevent critical components from freezing up.
“We pre-position crews in case something does occur. But we also do track patrol and additional inspections to help reduce the chance of issues when the cold temperatures arrive,” Tory Mazolla from Keolis said.
Crews will also "exercise" the track switches, which means they'll be shifting them back and forth and constantly open and close doors to prevent those from freezing up as well.
Officials also say that all heaters for track switches and third rails have been tested and are fully functional.
On the train cars, crews will be draining air hoses in order to prevent moisture from building up inside the train's air systems, preventing ice from building up inside those systems.
The MBTA will also be storing as many buses as possible inside garages and maintenance facilities.
Customers are told to sign up for T Alerts at the MBTA's official winter page (https://www.mbta.com/winter) for service updates and/or follow the T on Twitter at @mbta.
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