A Tohoku line (Utsunomiya section) local train bound for Ueno from Koganei Station in Shimotsuke, Tochigi Prefecture departed empty, leaving behind 16 passengers waiting on the platform and the conductor at around 4:25 p.m. on Tuesday.
The problem is thought to have been caused by a misunderstanding between the train driver, 29, and the conductor, 32, who was responsible for opening the doors and boarding passengers on the uncrowded train.
According to the JR East branch office in Omiya, the conductor was in the staff room because he "mistook the train's departure time." The train was forced to continue to Oyama Station.
A JR East Omiya spokesperson said: "The parties responsible have been disciplined and retrained in the importance of careful time management."© News reports