The Story of the Blue Moose
A few years ago a moose wandered in to the center of the City of Newton Massachusetts. It is a suburb of Boston along the route 128/ I-95 beltway. It was a pretty amazing thing for a moose to do. Well the City police department surrounded this dangerous creature and to save its citizens killed the moose by firing over 50 rounds into it. The event sparked a wide spread debate on everything from animal rights to gun control. Even joke bumper stickers saying "Watch out Bullwinkle it's the Newton Police" started to appear on cars. One radio station even played scenes of Rocky and Bullwinkle getting lost in Newton and running from gun sound effects.
I began to think about this recently when my son bought a moose figure with a bunch of animals at the East Coast Large Scale Train Show. I thought how would Suleski Transportation handle the problem of a wayward moose if it got stuck in the center of the tracks. (My first thought was not to call the Newton Police for advice.) I thought what might cause a moose to wander near the tracks. I thought up the idea of the air horn echoing through the tunnel drawing the moose like a mating call. It then became confused when it got caught between the main lines. No engineer would want to pass up a chance to call that one into the dispatcher. The following scenario was created.
Suleski Transportation responded its railroad police along with Massachusetts State Police K9 units to contain the moose so it wouldn't get hurt further. Officers then darted the moose with a tranquilizer, so they could remove it without hurting it. Plans were made to transport the moose to a zoo. Not only was this a good way to handle the situation, but as a business it would be good for Public Relations
What no one realized is a sleeping moose is close to a 1000 pounds. We needed something to lift the moose into a truck to take it to the zoo. We decided to use the MoW crane to hoist the moose into the truck.
The next problem to overcome was getting the moose into the harness to lift him. MoW crews had to come and dig under the moose to slide the belts under the moose.
Then ST #24, an NW2 switcher, brought the work train into position. The moose was harnessed and ready to be hoisted. During the lift into the truck the moose started to come around as the tranquilizer began to wear off. It picked up its head to look around while it was raised with legs off the ground.
Crews had to work quicker to get the moose into the truck before the tranquilizer wore off completely. The dispatcher and MoW signal crews stopped the next through freight headed up by ST #28, a GP38-2, as it came through the tunnel. Engine crews joined the growing group of onlookers.
Finally the moose was lifted into the truck and strapped into place for the ride to the zoo.
Every local news station and newspaper carried the story. The event was a public relations dream. Some stations even compared the event to the opposite blunder of the Newton Police.
(So you see how Suleski Transportation handled the problem of the way ward moose. Also every time you see a moose you will think about how my railroad was affected by one. My imaginative scenario becomes a story you'll remember. We all have stories about some aspect of our railroad hobby that we could share, so I invite you all to start thinking.)
The following article appeared in the AMESBURY NEWS a few months later on Friday July 5th.
"Ill-fated moose sought love in the wrong place"
Large, amorous animals appear to be checking out Amesbury. Last week there were several sightings of a black bear, but on Monday at 5:20am, Florence Mercer was driving her 1991 Volvo and collided with a moose not far from her home. The accident took place on Main Street near the intersection of Greenwood Street across from the Amesbury Middle School. The moose died of his injuries and the Volvo is in the body shop awaiting evaluation. Florence was not hurt during the accident."
Unfortunately none of the officials involved in Amesbury has read about Suleski Transportations success with wayward moose....
Soon another Article appeared in the Press
Suleski Transportation, Inc. announced the birth of twins. No not my wife, but the blue moose of Suleski Transportation fame. He was found a mate at the North Conway LGB Convention thanks to John of Track n Trains from NJ. The moose and his new mate were given a fenced in home by the tracks of Suleski Transportations right-of –way. Engineers still sound the horns as they go by, but the moose doesn’t answer any more now that he has a mate. Yesterday they became the proud parents of twin calves. A vet was called in to pronounce them healthy and fit. They will be grown enough to transport with our equipment to the East Coast Large Scale Train Show in April.
After the article appeared on LSOL the New England Cartel presented Scott Suleski and Suleski Transportation with a statue of a moose painted blue. It was meant to be a joke, but always looking for the imaginative ideas, Scott used the statue to mark the area and called it Blue Moose Park.
After the Twins were born we applied for National Park Status from the US Department of the Interior because of the fame the Blue Moose was drawing. With all the visitors and railfans coming to Blue Moose Park we were looking for some help in maintaining the Moose, his family and the park. National Historic Landmark status was given to Blue Moose Park and the base of the statue was changed.
Federal Rangers were also assigned to the Park by the Department of the Interior
The granting of the National Historic Landmark status and the growth in fame that the Blue Moose has brought to Suleski Transportation has caused some to become jealous of the Blue Moose and the Statue has become a target for pranksters to steel or deface. Some think of it like a college mascot and its all in fun, but since it has now become Federal property harsh penalties are now attached to any wrong doings. I think some members of the NE Cartel are realizing that the intended joke back fired.
We still get numerous people who ask about the famous moose after reading about it in the papers and on LSOL. They come and ride our excursion train, which takes visitors by the paddock area where the moose family resides. While papa moose looks very proud, he will not be passing out cigars. However if you come to the ECLSTS and stop by the New Hampshire Garden Railway Society Modules to say hi, you can meet the family.
To Continue on with the history of the Blue Moose, after the 2004 ECLSTS the following story was written
Theft at National Historic Site (AP)
Return to photo page
Motive Power Photo Page Company History
Freight Equipment List
Copyright 1993-2008 Corporate Webmaster