Tokyo Train Company Issues Apology For 20-Second Early Departure

Photo: Wikipedia

This will certainly blow the minds of American mass transit riders. On Tuesday, a train on the Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company’s Tsukuba Express line in the Tokyo-area, left a station 20 seconds earlier than it’s supposed to, according to So Tsukuba Express management issued an apology. No, really, they were deeply sorry.


On weekday mornings, the train’s supposed to depart the Minami Nagareyama Station at 9:44 a.m., reports That didn’t happen on Tuesday. Shockingly, the train left at 9:43:40. According to the train’s management, they recognized this as a “severe inconvenience.”

Here’s the statement, by way of

On November 14, at approximately 9:44 a.m., a northbound Metropolitan Intercity Railway 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.

I’m trying to imagine how this would work in New York City, with its constant subway delays. The MTA’s subway response team on Twitter is already working nonstop to address user complaints—I can’t even begin to imagine the number of employees it would need to bring on if a statement was needed for every minor schedule screw up.

The train company in Japan reportedly received no complaints about the early departure, either. What do you even call this? Above and beyond? Insanely good? I don’t know.

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Ryan Felton

Senior Reporter, Jalopnik/Special Projects Desk

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