LifestyleAn additional passenger causes a rare delay on Japan's Shinkansen train

An additional passenger causes a rare delay on Japan's Shinkansen train

A snake was found at the station in Tokyo.
A snake was found at the station in Tokyo.
Images source: © Adobe Stock | Jordi Clave Garsot

6:46 AM EDT, April 19, 2024

The Japanese rail system is renowned for being the fastest and most punctual in the world. Nonetheless, recently, a Shinkansen train leaving Tokyo experienced an unprecedented delay.

A train carriage arriving in Tokyo on Tuesday, April 16, had to be delayed by 17 minutes. Just before departure to Osaka, a passenger alerted the train staff about a 15.7-inch snake slithering between the seats.

The railway staff opted to replace the train

Although the staff quickly captured the snake, they decided to use a new train for the journey as a precautionary measure. Whether the snake was venomous and threatened the passengers on board remains unknown.

The Central Japan Railway Company has investigated how the snake found its way onto the train. According to a company spokesperson, snakes are prohibited on the train, while passengers may bring small pets, such as dogs or cats.

- "It's difficult to imagine wild snakes somehow climbing onto the train at one of the stations. We have rules against bringing snakes into the Shinkansen," he commented. He also mentioned that passengers' luggage isn’t inspected before boarding.

The snake incident has caused major embarrassment for Japanese railways

Known globally for their punctuality, Shinkansen trains boast impressive speeds, clocking up to 199 mph. In 2017, a local railway line apologized for a delay lasting only 20 seconds.

The surprise and inconvenience caused by a 17-minute delay can only be imagined. This incident affected 600 passengers en route from Tokyo to Osaka.

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