The West Japan Railway, in conjunction with with Suma Aqualife Park in Kobe, Japan, has made the initiative to make its railway tracks safer. The difference, however, is that this has been done to ensure the safety of turtles.
Yes, you heard that correct.
The West Japan Railway has recently installed railway tunnels meant exclusively for turtles so that they can cross the tracks by passing through these tunnels underneath the tracks.
Turtles have, up until recently, been victims of tragic accidents due to getting crushed, or stuck in the track switches. Not only does this cause massive delays, it also has a negative impact on their survival.
Situated in Kobe, the Suma Aqualife Park is visited by various people from all over the country, most of whom use the train for arriving. Due to the park being close to the ocean, turtles often wander off and get trapped between the tracks.
Rocket News reports that turtles commonly get trapped between the two high metallic rails when they attempt to crawl over the railroad tracks. Unable to climb out, the animals have no option but to follow along the track, and eventually get run over by a moving train. They may also get stuck in a part of the rail-switching mechanism, with the switch subsequently crushing the turtle at some point or the other. This leads to switches getting damaged, which in turn forces trains to stop until the issue can be fixed.
In light of these events, Railway authorities of Japan decided to implement the unique solution of making escape ditches along railways tracks made exclusively for turtles.
Launched in April, this escape route for turtles has already helped prevent several accident that lead to the death of turtles. In the first four months alone, at least ten turtles were seen making use of this tunnel, which implies that ten potential accidents involving turtles have been prevented.