The driver of a Shinkansen, a high-speed train in Japan, left his post midway to use the bathroom. In his absence, he gave the orders of the train to an unqualified employee, said the railway company on Thursday.
The matter could have gone unnoticed, but the train was a minute late. This automatically triggered an investigation in the country known for its punctuality. It emerged that the man was absent for three minutes while the train, which was carrying 160 passengers, was traveling 150 km / h.
The driver will be punished
The Shinkansen are tightly controlled by centralized computer control systems. The human driver must remain on site at all times to handle unexpected situations. They should also manually accelerate or brake as necessary to ensure safety and keep the train on schedule.
If an emergency arises, drivers should normally coordinate with the command center to hand over control to another qualified driver or stop the train on the tracks or even at the nearest station. The company apologized for this incident and delay and indicated that the driver would suffer the consequences of his act.