It’s a well known fact that Japanese trains run on time. They certainly do. It makes my life easier to organise travelling, especially since our local line does not run as frequent as subway (tube).
At first, I assumed all staffs dedicate to keep the time, mechanically without emotion. Yes, it is correct that they devote to the time keeping, but I was wrong about them being robotic.
Yesterday, when I arrived at my local station, I heard a staff call to the train driver.
“A gentleman is on the way”
Soon after, the gentleman, who seemed to be in his late 60’s, was walking slowly down the stairs. Then, as soon as he got on the train, it departed.
I was pretty impressed by the fact the train was waiting for the man. I thought Japanese train would never do such a thing. The schedule is their bible!!
There was an accident long time ago in Japan, a young train driver crashed his train because of the punctuality pressure. One day, as he was running slightly behind the schedule, he accelerated the train while approaching a bend and it went off the track. The accident killed many people including the driver(I think) and became big news. JR (Japan Railway) was criticised heavily by the public and the media that they put safety second to keep trains running on time.
Altough I am not sure the accident has changed JR’s attitude or just people in Sapporo are a lot more relaxed, I am pleased to find out there is still a humanity while staffs keep up with the high standard of service.