In Tokyo Train Company Apologizes for Leaving 20 Seconds Early

Train Company

Tokyo Train Company:

On November 14, at approximately 9:44 a.m., a northbound Metropolitan Intercity Train Company (main office in Tokyo, Chiyoda Ward, President & CEO Koichi Yugi) train left Minami Nagareyama Station roughly 20 seconds earlier than the time indicated on the timetable. We deeply apologize for the severe inconvenience imposed upon our customers.

Japanese trains are awesome for a number of reasons, not the least of which is how amazingly punctual they are. But on Tuesday, a train on the Tokyo-area Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company’s Tsukuba Express line failed to stick to its timetable.

The train’s conductor had not properly checked the train’s timetable, the firm said, adding that the crew had been instructed to strictly follow procedure to prevent a recurrence.

Passengers who might have made the train had it left on time in fact suffered little inconvenience: the next one arrived just four minutes later.

While delays – even of just a minute – prompt profuse apologies by Japanese train operators, Metropolitan Intercity’s mea culpa drew inevitable, and unfavourable, comparisons with rail services in other countries.

The statement notes that there were no official customer complaints lodged about the early departure from a station just north of Tokyo, but apologizes if any customers missed the train by 20 seconds and were forced to wait for the next one—four minutes later, reports Bloomberg.



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