Tire socks and brass collector shoes help TransLink prepare for winter

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      Anyone who has children knows that they need warm socks and sturdy winter boots in many parts of Canada.

      And it seems that seasonal footwear is equally important for buses and rapid-transit cars.

      In a new TransLink video, Coast Mountain Bus Company maintenance engineer Simon Agnew is seen showing off new tire socks.

      "They're a product that we're planning to use this winter to assist in getting traction on snowy and icy roads," he says.

      The tire socks will be launched in a trial on buses going up and down Burnaby Mountain, which was positively treacherous after last winter's heavy snowfalls.

      According to Agnew, these tire socks don't create any noise or undermine transit riders' comfort. Best of all, they only take two to three minutes to install.

      Coast Mountain Bus Company maintenance engineer Simon Agnew hopes new tire socks will keep classes open on Burnaby Mountain.

      SkyTrain cars are also getting some winter-proofing in the form of glycol, which is a de-icing product that's emitted on the power rails to maintain electricity connections with the linear-induction motors.

      Brass is also being added to collector shoes on the trains.

      In the video below, TransLink spokesperson Chris Bryan says this helps them "cut through any ice that accumulates on the power rail".

      Chris Bryan discusses steps TransLink is taking to improve SkyTrain operations in winter weather.

      "Last year was a difficult year on Canada Line," Bryan says. "There were some challenges getting the trains over the bridges over the Fraser River. This year, what we're doing is we're having heat tracing installed on the power rail, which basically heats up the power rail and makes sure that ice doesn't form there."

      And in a third video, which you can see below, Bryan explains how electric wires are being de-iced to help trolley buses continue moving.

      Trolley de-icer tricks are another way that Coast Mountain Bus Company hopes to keep vehicles rolling through cold conditions.