Japan: Train departs 20 seconds early, rail operator apologises

The bullet trains are famous for their punctuality

A rail company in Japan has apologised after one of its trains departed 20 seconds earlier than scheduled.

The Tsukuba Express line, which runs between Tokyo and the city of Tsukuba, left the station a tad bit too early and management promptly announced that they "sincerely apologize for the inconvenience", BBC News reports.

The company said the train had been scheduled to depart at 9:44:40 - but left at 9:44:20.

The Tsukuba Express railway connects Akihabara and Tsukuba, two towns that are about 37 miles apart, a journey that takes about 45-minutes. Actually, just because another is a long in four minutes doesn't mean that it won't fuck up their day by making them miss their connecting train. "After that. I closed the door without checking the departure time sufficiently".

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Japanese trains are world-renowned for their reliability and exact punctuality to the timetable, meaning commuters can arrive at the platform exactly on time for a train.

As such, a train leaving 20 seconds early could cause some commuters to miss their trains, resulting in them missing their other transfers along their destinations and snowballing into them being late for work or their appointments, Japan Today said.

So yeah, if someone at Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company got reamed out by his boss for a 20-second screw-up, I feel for him, since I don't think it's worth getting that bent out of shape about.

That said, the company also pointed out that no customers had raised any complaints about the early departure.

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