A Japanese rail company has apologised after a train left a station 25 seconds early, the second such case in months.The operator said the “great inconvenience we placed upon our customers was truly inexcusable”.
If the details are anything to go by, customers are faced with slipping standards: a train last November left 20 seconds early while this time it was a full 25 seconds premature.
According to Japan Today, the train conductor thought his train was scheduled to leave Notogawa Station at 07:11 instead of the actual scheduled time of 07:12 on Friday. After closing the doors to the commuter train one minute early he realised his mistake and still could have averted the looming embarrassment. But as he couldn’t spot any waiting passengers on the platform, he decided to go head and leave early – rolling out of the station 25 seconds ahead of time.
Japanese trains have a reputation for extreme punctuality, and it turned out that there were indeed still people hoping to get onboard. Left on the platform, they complained to the rail operator and an official apology was issued shortly afterwards.
In the case last November, management on the Tsukuba Express line between Tokyo and the city of Tsukuba said they “sincerely apologise for the inconvenience” caused. Back then the mishap was also caused by the conductor mixing up departure times – though no passenger was left behind.
“it’s too early to go, but it’s never too late to leave.”