Shellshocked on the Riverside Line: Service halted on account of turtle

Around 8:20 a.m., an inbound Kat Powers reported:

On a D Line train in Newton delayed by a turtle on the track. Driver has announced she can't move the train because the turtle will die. Waiting for an official to move the turtle.

A few minutes later, she reported two MBTA officials arrived to try to move the recalcitrant reptile.

Action-news reporter Steve Annear adds:

Officials removed it with a shovel.

Inbound turtle-free service then resumed.



Free tagging: 



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why couldn't she just get out and pick it up?

What color was the shell?

Oh, this isn't Mario Trolley. Sorry.

(note that running over the turtle would not only kill the turtle, but damage the trolley)

So apparently...

So apparently the driver getting up to move the turtle herself was not an option?

Probably a big turtle.

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If it was big enough to stop a trolley, it was too big for a person to pick up without risking getting bitten. Have you ever seen the jaws on a big snapping turtle? I'd wait for someone with a shovel too.

I agree.

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And they don't even have to be that large since their head can snap way back around and get your hand, arm, whatever.

Many years ago I watched as someone removed a medium sized snapper from a road, using a shovel. The turtle was whipping that head around like crazy and we hardly could get it even on the darn thing to scoop it up.


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Not without permission of the dispatcher.

Unless there is a wheel chair involved?

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The driver always leaves the control to deal with wheelchair passengers.

Now, never using any initiative; this I will believe is a directive for the drivers...

turn it off

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and take the keys with you? do trains have keys?

They controls are not unattended

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if the proper service brake application is made (procedure varies by equipment) and the keys are removed from the vehicle and remain in the possession the operator on the right of way. The streetcar(s) will not move.

Growing up in Cleveland Circle, the temptation to hop in the seat and take a run down Beacon Street was all too real. Back in the day, the yard guys at the Res were wayyy too lax about leaving doors open/keys in.

Better Yet...

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Was there not one person on the trolley willing to get off and pick it up? Or would the driver possibly be letting herself in for more trouble by doing that?

By the way, if the turtle was just sitting on the rails, not moving, I would think it wouldn't be too dangerous to pick it up. I think that would indicate a comatose/unresponsive/dead turtle.



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we talking




An old snapper can get upwards of 100lbs and 2-3 feet across. And you don't want to just pick one up without doing so safely.


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apparently it was small enough to be picked up with a shovel...

Pick up

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or prod and roll?

Most people do not know how to pick up a good sized snapper. Better safe than stubby.

You're thinking of alligator

You're thinking of alligator snapper. A common snapping turtle gets nowhere near that large. Forty-five pounds is very big.

Not sure if they're native

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But I've seen ones as large as the above in waters around here when I used to go turtle hunting as a kid. We'd go for the painted turtles and red eared sliders but leave these guys alone.

Biggest one I saw was chilling in and filling a 2 1/2 diameter pipe under a causeway connecting two ponds. Some of the guys fishing said he'd sleep there during the day then come out in the morning and evening to chomp on their easy catches as they'd reel em in from the shore.