Mumbai: It was a bizarre incident as experts realised something went wrong when Japan’s bullet train, which is known for always being on time, reached one minute late.
After a thorough investigation, the authorities learned that the driver of the speeding train had to urgently answer his nature’s call, which was a cause of a minute’s late.
The probe made it clear that the driver of the train felt a strange pain in his lower abdomen and realised he would have to rush to the toilet. He handed over the controls of the speeding train to an untrained conductor to answer nature’s call.
The train that was carrying 160 passengers ran at 150 kilometres an hour for three minutes, while the driver was away.
Though the bullet trains are mainly computer-controlled, the driver is only needed to handle the brake or accelerate the train to make sure the passengers on board remain safe and the train runs on time.
Had the train not reported one minute late on arrival, the driver’s absence would have gone unnoticed, which was flagged to his supervisors.
As per protocol, the driver should coordinate with the command centre and hand over the controls to a qualified conductor who can handle the control system of the train while the driver is away.
Another alternative to this is to halt the train for a few minutes at the nearest station.
However, the driver did not take any measures as he “didn’t want to cause a delay by stopping the train.”
“I didn’t report it because it was embarrassing,” the driver was quoted as saying by news agency AFP when asked why he did not report the incident to his seniors.