Energy & Sustainability

jet powered snowblower
Photograph: John Tlumacki/Boston Globe

The MBTA uses a Korean War-era jet engine mounted on a train to keep a short section of the Mattapan line clear of snow.

Snowzilla, one of the more unusual pieces of equipment in the MBTA’s toolshed, has a singular task — clearing the Mattapan High Speed Line during heavy snowstorms. But it is essential for the 4,500 riders a day who rely on that line’s 10 lovingly restored, 1940s-vintage streetcars.

The Mattapan line carries just one-third of one percent of the MBTA’s 1.3 million daily riders, but the T is determined to serve the urban neighborhoods along the Mattapan line, whose trolleys also function as connectors to the Red Line and several high-ridership bus routes.

Now, if we could mount one of Mayor Curley’s flamethrowers, it could be quite festive.


Making things is the best way to learn about our world.

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