railyard, train yard; trainsWith last week’s 7 feet of snow in upstate New York heralding an early winter, railroads crisscrossing Chicago are rushing to open 24-hour command centers, install heaters to keep switches from freezing, and plotting ways to reroute traffic.

The aim is to avoid the gridlock that started with storms last winter in Chicago, the biggest Midwest city and the epicenter of a rail system where the six largest U.S. and Canadian lines intersect. Even after adding engines, crews and capacity carriers from Warren Buffett’s BNSF Railway Co. to Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC:US) are still recovering from last winter’s delays as this one roars in.

Read the complete story at Bloomberg Businessweek.