Posted by Greg MacLeod on February 2, 2014 
Wild photo. Do the open flames of the switch heaters pose any risk when a train passes over?
Posted by Mark Rosnick on February 2, 2014 
Awesome photo Marshall. Great use of depth of field.
Posted by Robert Butler on February 2, 2014 
Outstanding mood, composition, and color. PCA vote from me.
Posted by Alexandria Becker on February 2, 2014 
A very rarely seen scene, very cool. Or hot, you decide.
Posted by John Simpkins-Camp on February 2, 2014 
COOL!! A spectacular photo...with not a train in sight! PCA for this hot photo!
Posted by Bhupendra Mistry on February 3, 2014 
I have seen such type of phenomena on the track in my life !
Posted by David Doty Sr. on February 3, 2014 
Great photo, Marshall. PCA from me too.
Posted by Scott Marsh on February 3, 2014 
Says do not touch like no other, Great eye make it work so well.
Posted by Jeff Sell on February 3, 2014 
Thanks for sharing this most unique view of rail heaters! I agree with the previous comments....this is one cool or hot photo!
Posted by John Crisanti on February 3, 2014 
Very interesting and well executed photo. Well done. PCA voted.
Posted by Sean Mathews on February 3, 2014 
PCA for sure. Awesome photo!
Posted by on February 3, 2014 
Neat shot, I have not seen any switch heaters which have actual open flames like this before.
Posted by Dave Schauer on February 3, 2014 
Bravo! Exceptionally well captured.
Posted by Janusz Mrozek on February 3, 2014 
Wonderful image! PCA!
Posted by Chip Allen on February 3, 2014 
I've seen a lot of great pictures, and I believe this is truly one of my favorites of all time. Excellent job with every single part of this photograph.
Posted by on February 3, 2014 
I remember riding over switches like that on a Pennsylvania RR train years ago. One sure way to insure the switches work. Does any one know what kind of fuel is used for the flames. Propane, natural gas, oil, kerosene?
Posted by Samuel Phillips on February 3, 2014 
Absolutely wonderful photograph! Thanks for sharing!
Posted by J. Randall Banks on February 3, 2014 
Truly wonderful shot. This was taken at the Western Avenue Metra Station near Fulton. The bridge in the distance is the old "Met" bridge which was part of a long abandoned "L" line. It now serves as support for signals for the Metra Trains.
Posted by Bullet69 on February 3, 2014 
On the CP, they used Propane
Posted by Jim Thias on February 3, 2014 
I think I might use this image as my desktop for these cold winter nights in Michigan. Just looking at it is making me feel warm. Awesome shot, Marsh!
Posted by on February 4, 2014 
PCA Beecher! This is seriously so cool.
Posted by on February 4, 2014 
The best of the best.....GREAT WORK Marshall....Tom.
Posted by Sean Mathews on February 4, 2014 
Congrats on getting photo of the week. And a nod to RP for selecting it.
Posted by Brian Hiscock on February 4, 2014 
Awesome! Bring out the marshmallows!
Posted by Craig Williams on February 4, 2014 
Marshall, great photo from cool spot in Chicago. Again well thought out idea.
Posted by Kent Nelson on February 5, 2014 
Congrats on photo of the week. Nice!!!
Posted by wm7473 on February 5, 2014 
Mr Beecher, a terrific photo!!! This interlocking always fascinated me, between the assorted styles of signal equipment and trackwork; the fired up switch heaters with all the 'busy' background lighting make it fascinating.....thank you for sharing it with us!
Posted by R. Franz on February 6, 2014 
I just tossed my camera in the trash. Bravo, well done!
Posted by Kris Wysong on February 10, 2014 
I don't know why but this makes me think of Back to the Future Part III. Great photo!
Posted by Maxim on February 10, 2014 
Very nice photo, shows depth really nicely. Well done. After a while looking at this though, I still don't quite understand why its on fire? Its below 0 degrees temperature it seems like with the snow around, and parts of the tracks are on fire! If anyone can answer that question for me, that'd be greatly appreciated.
Posted by Mitch Goldman on February 11, 2014 
Not much I can add to what's been said already - congrats on the PC!
Posted by Dave Blaze... on February 13, 2014 
A work of art that tells a story. A rare combination sir. You should be rightfully proud of the accolades and awards. Well done, very very well done!
Posted by Kurt Wayne on February 14, 2014 
Maxim, a Chicago railroad page I found said these were propane fired heaters which would keep the switches from freezing. It said that passing trains had to run at no faster than 30 miles per hour else the fires would be extinguished, and that this switch (at least in the early 1990s) still had propane-fired equipment as opposed to (more boring to the railroad fan) electric warmers installed elsewhere in Chicago rails. I'm wondering if the propane-flame heaters still exist here, even as the very busy railroad interchange surely does.
Posted by Maxim on February 14, 2014 
Kurt, thank you for the information. :).
Posted by on February 16, 2014 
Maxim, the flames are from switch heaters which were once individual units consisting of small tanks with a filler lid and a wick assembly plus a handle on top. These were individually placed by MofW workers or switch tenders under the rails of turnouts and the oil they contained was ignited manually. After the threat of ice/snow was past they would be removed and stored. These old types were almost universally replaced with propane/natgas fired stationary units that were manually of automatically ignited. These often had steel shields parallel to and outside of the rail to protect the flame/passersby. Many of these have been replaced by electric, natural gas or propane units installed lineside with ducts and a fan to deliver hot air to the rails.
Posted by David Henry on September 17, 2014 
A better version of the Chicago Fire... Nice capture, very creative
Posted by Gene Butler on February 3, 2015 
Fantastic shot! I remember as a child back in the 1950's seeing the smudge pots burning throughout the rail yards in downtown St. Louis and thought many times what a beautiful sight. Thanks for sharing Marshall and bringing back good memories of times with my dad who worked for the TRRA.
Posted by Steve Larson on November 21, 2016 
Works better than an electric blanket. A truly phenomenal shot, Marshall.
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