He might also have gotten away with it, if there hadn’t been an anonymous tip-off.
Safety is a top priority for Japanese railways, which means staff need to be vigilant while on duty, especially when working on the country’s high-speed trains, which can cover distances of up to ‘To 320 kilometers (200 miles) per hour.
So it was a surprise when the news of a conductor playing a game on a smartphone while working on the Shinkansen. And it was a bigger surprise when it was revealed that it wasn’t a one-time event either – in fact, it was something he had been doing regularly for ten years.
He might have continued to get by too, if it hadn’t been for an anonymous person posting a message on the Japan East Rail website who reads :
“It looks like someone like a Shinkansen driver or conductor was playing a location-based game on November 6th.”
The anonymous whistleblower led JR East to investigate the case, which allowed the company to conclude a 40-year-old driver playing a smartphone game in the driver’s cabin on the Joetsu Shinkansen bound for Tokyo at 11:30 a.m. on November 6.
The Joetsu Shinkansen operates between Tokyo and Niigata.
While the exact game (s) the conductor was playing have not been revealed, the Niigata branch of JR East has confirmed that the type was location-based. When questioned, the man said he started playing on board during his shift about ten years ago, playing around 10 to 20 times per trip. As to why he was doing it on board, the man said he was competing for the number of places visited and wanted to get more locations.
With each trip from Tokyo to Niigata measuring 269.5 kilometers (167.5 miles), the driver could have spotted many places. However, this did not impress any online commenter, who said:
âHe should take his job more seriously.
“Customers won’t like if rail workers can still get paid while playing games on the job, especially when it is so expensive to ride the Shinkansen.”
âNowadays everything is automated, including on-board announcements, so incidents like this happen because the staff have nothing to do.
âI would be annoyed if I saw a coworker doing this – I wonder if the whistleblower was another member of the team. “
“Lately there have been a lot of violent incidents on the trains, so I would prefer the drivers to patrol the cars more frequently.”
It is true that crime on trains has increased in recent times, including on the Shinkansen system, where a man must have been taken off the train by police after hitting another man on the head and another attempted to get off the train. start a fire, all over the span of two days earlier this month.
With all eyes now on the railways to ensure the safety of commuters, JR East Niigata made an official press announcement regarding the on-board gambling incident, saying:
âWe prohibit the use of personal cell phones, etc. on board, and let’s take this matter seriously, providing staff with detailed instructions to prevent this from happening again. “
Guess things could have been worse – at least he wasn’t like that driver, who fell asleep at the controls of a Tokyo train.
Sources: Yahoo! Japan News / Niigata Sogo Television via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Wikipedia / MaedaAkihiko
Insert an image: Wikipedia / toki200
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