Take our user survey and make your voice heard.

JR bullet train delay caused by driver suffering from heatstroke


JR East on Wednesday confirmed that one of its drivers suffered from heatstroke after a bullet train air conditioning unit failed.

JR released a statement to explain why one of its drivers had been substituted for another driver on the Tokyo-bound bullet train service just after 1 p.m. at Akita Station on Sunday. A JR spokesperson said the man was taken ill while on duty and removed from the train at Akita Station, following which he was transported to hospital to be treated for heatstroke, Sankei Shimbun reported.

An investigation into the cause of the incident revealed that the air conditioning was not working in the driver's compartment and a portable alternative was provided. However, it is believed that the portable cooler was not effective, causing the man to suffer from heatstroke.

JR reported that the train was delayed for an hour while the emergency relief driver changeover took place. The spokesperson added that a further four Tokyo-bound services were delayed as a result of the incident.

© Japan Today

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Portable alternative probably means a battery operated fan!....They should have taken the train out of service!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Was safety compromised here to ensure service?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Wow. I wonder how hot it got int there. No windows to open. It would be like a car parked in at a pachinko. (with only the occasional tunnels as relief. I hope the guy is all right.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Are these drivers allowed to have a break to pee ? If not he might have thought of not drinking liquids during his trip, cause it might have him required to go and use the bathroom.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

He could have just opened the driver's side window......

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Yet again common sense is thrown out the window. Oh wait...he couldn't open the window. Damn those aerodynamic specialists!

Time to rewrite protocols JR.


-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Basically those shinkansen driver compartments are completely sealed (no windows to open, no doors to pop open at the stations). On top of that, Shinkansens are automated trains and the drivers are very busy making manual inputs, so its not like they can leave their compartment to get air....so it must have been hell in there.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sorry...meant to say shinkansens are NOT automated trains....Surprisingly, VERY manually operated

3 ( +4 / -1 )

hope he get's a bonus, some danger pay.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hope he gets better soon and they fix that aircon and preferably provide a proper backup.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ever drink water unten-san? Nomenei yo! Nippon jin mina atsui desho? Shinei mo sugu

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

SpideyAug. 22, 2012 - 04:10PM JST

Yet again common sense is thrown out the window. Oh wait...he couldn't open the window. Damn those aerodynamic specialists!

Wouldn't help you much even if you could considering the aerodynamics. The driver is actually in the middle car, not front.

jalwaysAug. 22, 2012 - 05:33PM JST

Ever drink water unten-san?

No breaks and no water in cabin. Don't want shorts after all.

Maybe now the stupid JR people will start turning on AC in the main cars too, rush hour traffic even with windows open is a death trap.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

The driver is not allowed to take his hat off either! Pity that JR don't make a mesh baseball style cap.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

-Wakarimasen, do you know how fast a shinkansen goes??If there was a window, why would he open it while traveling at high speeds? I usually roll up the windows in my car going 40 mph and above.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Probably thought he should endure rather than inconvenience his superiors who would no doubt accuse him of laziness.

The driver is not allowed to take his hat off either!

Japanese are really horrible about case by case actions. So many will follow the rules even they see the cliff coming, and just go right off it. Lemmings. That is a great symbol for this country!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The JR and former JNR have a fantastic record running these high speed trains, but this news does scare me a bit.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

*Now its hot soon it will be cold*** Umm anymore complaints

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So if the portable AC was insufficient to cool the cab, didn't they put the replacement driver at risk for the same problem? I'm surprised they put the cab out on the line with a dead AC unit in the Summertime. Procedural FAIL.

2 ( +2 / -0 )


Is a shinkansen fast? I didn't know that. Kind of joke (maybe not funny but thought i would try).

Poor exploited driver.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites