Japanese rail organisation apologises for train departing 20 seconds early


Something for the weekend: UK commuters using public transport are well-versed in dealing with delays, whether these are caused by passenger alarms pulled by squashed tube commuters, or autumnal leaves cluttering overground rail lines. In contrast, Japanese train organisation Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company issued an apology on Tuesday 14 November after one of its trains departed 20 seconds early.

The northbound Tsukuba Express train, which connects Akihabara in Tokyo with Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture, was due to leave Minami Nagareyama station at 9.44am on Tuesday. However, due to railway staff not checking the timetable, the train instead departed the station at 9.43.40; 20 seconds earlier than scheduled.

In response, the organisation’s management promptly released a statement of apology, which was published on its website.

The statement read: “On November 14, at approximately 9.44am, a northbound Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company train left Minami Nagareyama station roughly 20 seconds earlier than the time indicated on the timetable. We deeply apologise for the severe inconvenience imposed upon our customers.”

Here at Employee Benefits, we find the punctuality of trains in Japan mind-boggling compared to our own London-based commutes. We wonder if our trains will ever arrive early…