With such as the Shinkansen bullet train system and stations with A.I. vending machines, it’s comfortable to assume that Japan’s rail network is technologically impeccable. The high-tech image disappears further into the countryside, and in many rural areas, there are stations with no employees.
It’s what’s happened at Shizu Station in Ibaraki Prefecture, located on the Suigun Line. Very few passengers use the train through that station which does not call for the services of a full-time attendant. So instead, conductors have to do double duty by getting off the train when in stations, to handle any adjustments to the fare and passenger queries and other issues before returning to the driver’s compartment.
It’s at least how the system is should have functioned. However, on Sunday, things didn’t go well. Around 4:40 in the afternoon, a train heading south arrived at Shizu. The train was two cars and had two conductors. The one in the back is responsible for departing and attending to the travelers at the station. Once he’s done, he signals the driver on the front through the station’s speaker system that he’s boarded the train and it’s ready to leave.
Turns Out Conductors Don’t Need Train!
However, on Sunday, due to some reason, the driver left the station without the signal at the planned time. Thus, leaving the rear conductor at the station’s platform. When the train arrived at the station next to it, Urizura, the conductor in the front, noticed his missing coworker and realized that he’d left him back at the previous station.
If you’re that out in the country that the stations do not have personnel, trains aren’t passing by regularly. The next train was not scheduled to arrive until almost 50 minutes later, So rather than wait, the left-behind conductor decided to do the sole thing he could do: He walked up to Urizura Station.
The train sat in Urizura until the conductor could complete his 1.4-kilometre (0.87-mile) trip on foot. When he arrived, he went immediately back to work. After an 18-minute wait, the train resumed, after conductor got on.
East Japan Railway Company manages Suigun Line, and they claim that there is no evidence of similar incidents ever occurring before. It also apologized to the passengers who experienced delays.
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