What the heck, Shinkansen? A 90-minute delay is the equivalent of hell freezing over? What happened?
Japan’s bullet trains are synonymous with leaving on time, on the second, and not a second later or sooner. So when I heard the news earlier today via Japan Today (Dec. 31,2018) that the Shinkansen got delayed for 90-minutes and then some, I almost did a spit-take on my laptop screen. It looks like pigs are finally flying because a mishap on this level is unheard of!
Check out the long list of social media I came across as “chaos” ensued in Japan’s Shinkansen stations.
— トリミー@CDJ18/19 (@torimiwa) December 30, 2018
— 山内大地 (@O8PKQcQDe7EE7rc) December 30, 2018
すんごい混雑 @ 東京駅?? pic.twitter.com/JrQp8zsRM0
— (U_T)y- (@LDN_HiLo) December 30, 2018
According to reports floating around social media, it looks like one singular Shinkansen bullet train was not able to open its emergency brake at the Tokyo Station, presumably a very busy hub for the train station. With trains running behind that train, trains got backed up very quickly. Japan Today further reports that all in all, more than 376 bullet trains were affected with 230,000 plus passengers waiting for more than an hour before their train arrived.
Noteworthy is how polite and organized people are waiting for their delayed trains. No one is pushing, shoving, or yelling as they know none of those things will make the trains come faster. In the United States and for this length of delay at least one out of five delayed commuters would be vlogging about their experience on Instagram stories or bemoaning their fate on Facebook live.
Earlier last year I blogged about how this small municipal Japanese Railway issued an apology for leaving the train station 20 seconds early. But being delayed for more than 90 minutes is unbecoming of Japanese train culture. I can only imagine the press release the Shinkansen Authority will surely publish shortly after. This level of delay is on par for trains in America like the New York Subway system or even the Bay Area Rapid Transit system. Heck, a 90-minute delay is low-key a minor inconvenience for some.
This anomaly is not the way to end the New Year, Japan. Get your trains together for Gawd’s sake.
Source: Japan Today