Often a safer bet than cars in inclement weather, even trains can come to a grinding halt due to the snow. An excavator clears the tracks of snow after two trains got stuck in Balkakra, Sweden, on Dec. 28, 2010. Johan Nilsson/Scanpix Sweden/AP/File
Sunbathing and amusement park rides are distant memories for MTA employees clearing snow from the Q train track in Coney Island, New York, on Dec. 28, 2010. Mary Altaffer/AP/File
An ice-covered train pulls in to the station in Berlin on Dec. 28, 2010. Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters/File
Employees of the Zwickau Transport Company remove snow with heavy equipment from the tram tracks in Zwickau, Germany, on Jan. 4. Jan Woitas/DPA/Picture-Alliance/Newscom
Workers clear a platform at the Edison train station as snow falls during a storm on Jan. 26 in Edison, N.J. Mel Evans/AP
A train is stranded as heavy snow covers the train tracks in Daisen, Japan, on Jan. 1. Kyodo/Reuters
A snowplow train runs on street car tracks in Sapporo, Japan. Kyodo/Newscom/File
A commuter gingerly boards a train in Huntington, N.Y., on Jan. 12. Alejandra Villa/Newsday/MCT/Newscom
Snow and ice don't stand a chance against this frost cutter. Imago Stock&People/Newscom
An employee of the Cologne Transport Company brings some heat to bear on the situation by de-icing the tracks with a blowtorch in Cologne, Germany, on Dec. 26, 2010. Joerg Carstensen/Newscom/File
Free and clear: A steam engine run by the Harz narrow-gauge railway chugs through an idyllic winter scene in Schierke, Germany, on Jan. 29. Patrick Pleul/DPA/Picture-Alliance/Newscom
Islamic State militants are besieging the Syrian town of Kobane, leading tens of thousands of Kurds to flee into Turkey. Kurdish leaders accuse Turkey of supporting IS in order to curb Kurdish self-rule in Syria.
ByAlexander Christie-Miller, Correspondent
An 18-month-old ceasefire between Kurdish rebels and Turkey is increasingly imperiled by the crisis in the besieged town of Kobane in Syria, as well as by the Turkish government’s growing authoritarian streak.