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Japan builds turtles their tunnels to help them cross rail tracks

Una compagnia ferroviaria nipponica ha installato dei tunnel in mezzo ai binari per tutelare l’incolumità dei rettili (e prevenire i ritardi).

Turtles are known for their slowness. However, this peculiarity becomes dangerous when they need to cross railways, jeopardising their own survival and sometimes delaying rail traffic.

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Turtles crossing rail tracks risk their life and can cause delays and damages to trains

In the Nara Prefecture, Japan, a valid way to safeguard turtles has been developed. The West Japan Railway Company has installed tunnels in the middle of tracks in order to allow turtles to cross the rails safely. The underpasses, realised in collaboration with the Suma Aqualife Park of the city of Kobe, are made of concrete dugouts, are placed beneath the track and lead to a pond.

Turtles were responsible for 13 disruptions to train services between 2002 and 2014 by falling into spaces between rail switches. “When the point blades move, unfortunately they get squashed between them and die,” said West Japan Railway spokesman. “They can cause long delays to operations so we consulted with a turtle specialist to find the best way to help them”.

Since the tunnels were completed, 10 turtles have been saved, according to officials. Rail workers regularly control tunnels in search of turtles that need to be rescued. Injured animals are brought to the Suma Aqualife Park to receive care.

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Turtles have caused 13 disruptions to train services between 2002 and 2014

Turtle tunnels” allow reducing reptiles’ mortality, train delays and rail damages. Most of all, they can be implemented in those countries that have railways close to wetlands populated by turtles.

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