A months-long project that will involve grinding Metrolink’s entire system of rails begins Friday night.
It’s the first time since the late 1990’s that Metro has done the grinding on its light rail line. Metro spokeswoman Dianne Williams says it will make the track more smooth and improve riders' experience.
"It needs to be done periodically. It simply extends the life of the rail, and that's a big investment in the track," Williams said.
The work will be done at night, which means people may see bright red sparks where the grinding of metal on metal is being done.
"There is a vehicle that follows the grinder that is a fire suppression unit so there’s water right along with the sparks so that if there were any kind of an eruption in the brush or something like that along the side of the alignment, it can be taken care of immediately," Williams said.
Work will start on the tracks on the Illinois side and will then move to Missouri in March. The operation is expected to be wrapped up in early April. While the maintenance will occur at night after peak commuting hours, Williams says some minor delays could occur.