Japanese bullet train driver takes bathroom break as train cruises at 150 kilometers.
He asked a conductor, who wasn’t licensed to drive the train, to mind it in his absence at around 8:15 a.m.
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Japan’s trains have earned an almost cult-like status among foreign travelers for being punctual and efficient, CNN reported.
Social media users rave about them and many people in Japan take rail operators’ obsessive dedication to arrive and depart on time for granted.
But sometimes that punctuality comes with a price — especially if you’re a train operator caught up in Japan’s efficient transport web.
Take the case of a Shinkansen bullet train driver who left the cockpit to use the bathroom on May 16. This isn’t your typical work break — he did so while the train ran at 150 kilometers per hour (90 mph) with some 160 passengers on board.
The 36-year-old driver was only out of the Hikari No. 633 train’s cockpit for around three minutes. He asked a conductor, who wasn’t licensed to drive the train, to mind it in his absence at around 8:15 a.m. Japan local time as the train cruised between Atami station and Mishima station in Shizuoka Prefecture, Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Central), told CNN Travel.
Train conductors handle getting people on and off the trains and other tasks, but they don’t actually drive. As a result, both employees are in trouble, according to CNN
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