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West Japan Railways, also known as JR West, offered an official apology after one of its trains left almost half a minute earlier than scheduled last Friday morning, calling the incident “inexcusable.”
The train at Notogawa Station in Shiga Prefecture, part of the Biwako Line, pulled away from the platform at 7:11:35 a.m. instead of its scheduled time of 7:12 a.m., according to a company press release translated by SoraNews24.
The conductor thought the train, an express making its final stop at Nishi Akashi Station in Hyogo Prefecture at exactly 9:14 a.m., was supposed to leave at 7:11 a.m. He closed the doors but realized his mistake.
The man then checked the station’s platform to see if there were people hoping to board the train but it turned out to be empty. Instead of opening the doors again, he decided to leave earlier than originally scheduled.
However, there were actually a few people on the platform whom the conductor failed to notice. One of the passengers who was left behind told an attendant about the incident, which eventually reached the headquarters of JR West.
“The great inconvenience we placed upon our customers was truly inexcusable,” JR West wrote in its apology letter. “We will be thoroughly evaluating our conduct and striving to keep such an incident from occurring again.”
They had to wait six minutes for the next train to arrive, which was scheduled to reach its final destination at Nishi Akashi at 9:20 a.m. However, being six minutes late pose some serious trouble not only for workers in Japan but for students as well.
A similar incident happened last year when a train from Tokyo to Tsukuba left the station 20 seconds earlier than expected. Japanese rail company Tsukuba Express also released an official apology to the public.