JR West Japan said Tuesday that it will file for damages with the Kashiwara Police Department in Osaka within the next few days after services were delayed due to a train hobbyist who unlawfully entered onto the tracks to take photos on Sunday.
In a statement to the media, JR said: "Although he is a train fan and probably meant no harm, his action severely affected our services and we feel it was a malicious thing to do."
Such a move by JR to file against train hobbyists -- who are becoming increasingly bold in their desire to get photos of oncoming trains -- would be unprecedented.
In the latest incident on Sunday, the man, who was not identified, walked onto the train tracks of the JR Kansai Line near Kawachi-Katakami station with a camera in hand. The driver of an express train spotted the man, and services along the line were temporarily delayed. No one was injured, but 19 trains were canceled while 26 others were delayed for up to 30 minutes. JR said the incident affected an estimated 13,000 people.
On that day, a group of around 50 train hobbyists had hired a special "tatami room train" Asuka, and had gathered at Kawachi-Katakami station to take photos. Station employees urged the photographers to move on but some refused, and police were dispatched to the location.
According to JR, the complaint will be submitted by the stationmaster. Because such incidents by train hobbyists are becoming a problem for JR throughout the region, the company said it has no choice but to take legal action.© News reports