Even most die-hard Toronto transit fans have never seen these weird, slow, violent, and very sparky machines at work. It's like spotting the white squirrel in Trinity Bellwoods (RIP). 

These tanks slowly work their way along street car routes, grinding down rails.

The reason this process is needed is that over time, wear and tear can take their toll on the tracks. When this happens, the resulting rail corrugation that can occur – making rails into very long, very bumpy metallic corduroys – can lead to both increased noise and vibration according to the TTC.

Rail grinding, which uses rocks to smooth out the rails, is very, very loud and super sparky.

And with 82 kilometres of streetcar tracks throughout the city, these machines have theiur work cut out for them.

But if the occasional detour can result in a slightly less unpleasant TTC experience, grind away.

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