But in Japan, where the railway system is famous for being consistently punctual, no more or less, leaving too soon doesn't quite fly with authorities.
A Japanese railway company has made global headlines after one of its trains left a few seconds earlier than scheduled.
A service on May 11 was due to depart at 7:12 am from Notogawa station, in central Japan, but due to a miscommunication, the train left at 7:11:35 am instead. Sometimes mistakes happen, and West Japan Railways (also known as JR West) screwed up badly enough last Friday that the company felt an official apology and press release were in order.
Trains are rubbish in Britain, which is why we've all found ourselves helplessly waiting on a freezing platform for a delayed service at some point.
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A subsequent message from the company was somehow even more contrite, as JR-West said it "will be thoroughly evaluating our conduct and striving to keep such an incident from occurring again".
The trouble started when the conductor of the train (an express that makes its final stop at Nishi Akashi Station in Hyogo Prefecture at 9:14) mistakenly thought it was supposed to leave at 7:11, and so closed the doors of the 12-car train at that time.
Just a year ago, managers of the Tsukuba Express Line between Tokyo and Tsukuba apologized after a train departed 20 seconds earlier than scheduled, even though passengers did not complain. One of these passengers reported the incident to a station attendant, who contacted the Osaka General Directorate.
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