Wednesday, April 27, 2005


JAPAN'S TRAINS EXCESSIVELY ON TIME?

They certainly are on the dot; you can practically set your watch by them. If a train is late even by half a minute, waiting veteran passengers know immediately, begin looking at their watches and down the track for the reason. Conductors and announcers apologize profusely if there is even a slight delay. So there is a point to the linked article below, but I think the Amagasaki train wreck is due primarily to incompetence - on the part of the 23-year-old driver and the folks who allowed him to drive a rush-hour train. An experienced and capable driver would have dealt appropriately with (self-caused) delay, but this was the second time this guy had screwed up. And this apart from the pressure these drivers are under.

Japan's problem: Trains that are too punctual

Quiet Japanese town turned into scene of horror

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