Snowzilla in Mattapan

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.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

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

View more articles by Chris Connors


Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).