A Japanese rail company apologised after one of its trains left 20 seconds early due to the large number of leaves that are still on the branches of nearby trees.
Management of the Tsukuba Express line that runs between Tokyo and the city of Tsukuba said the early departure was unavoidable due to a lack of leaves on the track and a normal service with delays will resume as soon as the temperature drops by a few degrees.
The Tsukuba Express Line’s Head of Cancellations and Delays Mr. Tim Table said, “the train had been scheduled to leave at 9:44:40 local time but left at 9:44:20 – a full 20 seconds early and for that we are truly sorry. We fully appreciate the fact that our passengers require a reliable service and leaving early when we are usually the best part of 15 minutes late will only cause disruption to passenger’s schedules. We aim to ensure that this is an isolated incident that will not lead to an improvement in overall punctuality – because then that would really start to f*ck things up for everyone.”
Rail experts say the mistake may have occurred as a result of there being no snowfall during the rush hour – one of the main elements required to ensure that commuters trains don’t run according to their published timetable.
Some passengers have complained that not having to ring their boss at work and explain that they’re going to be 10 minutes late for the third day in succession is having an adverse effect on their career, with some employers even going as far as suggesting that staff should move further away from work to ensure they are able to adhere to the strict 10 minutes spent ringing their mobile and wondering where they are at the beginning of every working day.
“There are many things we can do to ensure the trains never leave early or on time going forward. One idea is to make sure there aren’t enough carriages for the number of people that are trying to get on the train – with people holding the doors open and yelling at each other to ‘move down please!’ that should use up at least a good few pointless wasted minutes in the station,” Mr. Table added.