New York City is running “alcohol trains” today — but don’t get too excited

New York City is in for yet another nor’easter. Winter Storm Toby is the fourth nor’easter in a month, and it is predicted to be a nasty start to spring. Toby is expected to last through today, March 21st, bringing the frigid temperatures and snow that also accompanied the previous three nor’easters. But Winter Storm Toby is also bringing something a little more unusual. During the storm, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has announced that it will run alcohol trains.

MTA officials held a news conference today to discuss changes to train schedules during the storm. Veronique Hakim, managing director of the MTA, announced that the Metro-North will be operating on a reduced schedule, meaning it will run 75 percent of its normal trains. And Hakim added that alcohol trains will run on the Long Island Rail Road.

But before you grab a six-pack for your evening commute, you should know what “alcohol trains” are.

Governor Andrew Cuomo clarified that these trains don’t feature adult beverages. Instead, certain MTA trains will be spraying the tracks with an alcohol solution to help get rid of ice.

"It doesn't mean we're serving alcohol on those trains," Cuomo said. "Otherwise, we'd have an abundance of people."

In short, New Yorkers can’t suddenly enjoy a hot toddy on the subway.

All joking aside, Winter Storm Toby is expected to bring between 10 and 12 inches of snow to the Big Apple. Strong gusts of wind and coastal flooding are also expected until the storm tapers off around 7 p.m.

So, even with the deicing power of alcohol trains, it’s best to stay inside during this blizzard. And at home, you can enjoy whatever hot drink strikes your fancy. Stay warm, NYC!