Japanese rail company apologises for train leaving 25 seconds early

Marco Green
May 16, 2018

But in Japan, they take public transport far more seriously - as shown by a weird recent incident.

The company said the train left the platform at Notogawa Station at 7.11am and 35 seconds on Friday, when it should have left at 7.12am.

The conductor accidentally closed the doors ahead of schedule, with at least one customer reporting they could not get on the service.

Once again, a Japanese passenger train operator has apologised for the most grievous of mistakes: one of their services left the platform precisely 25 seconds early, which caused a single passenger to miss their ride.

He quickly realised his mistake, however after looking across the platform and seeing it empty he made a decision to leave early rather than reopen the doors and depart later than expected. The train was destined to Nishi Akashi station.

This was a problem as punctuality is hugely important in Japan, and arriving six minutes later than normal could lead to a telling off for workers and school pupils.

Just past year, managers of the Tsukuba Express Line between Tokyo and Tsukuba apologized after a train departed 20 seconds earlier than scheduled, even though passengers did not complain.

According to Casey Baseel, an American blogger living in Japan, this isn't surprising: Many commuters in the country plan their journeys so that they arrive at the train platform just as the cars pull up.

"The great inconvenience we placed upon our customers was truly inexcusable", West Japan Railways said in a statement.

"We will be thoroughly evaluating our conduct and striving to keep such an incident from occurring again".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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