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Train driver says he can't remember overrunning platform by 220 meters

30 Comments

A train overran the platform at JR Kita-Matsudo Station in Chiba Prefecture by about 220 meters on Saturday. JR East said the 29-year-old driver said he felt sleepy and couldn't remember what happened, Sankei Shimbun reported.

The incident occurred at around 9:30 a.m. Saturday on the JR Joban line. The train, which left Abiko, was bound for Yoyogi-Uehara. The conductor applied the emergency brake after he noticed that the train was not coming to a stop at the station.

There were no injuries among the 700 passengers on the train. JR East said train services were delayed for about 10 minutes affecting 1,400 passengers, as the train was backed up.

JR East said the driver had finished his Friday shift at 9 p.m. and began his Saturday shift at 4:50 a.m. The driver said he only got about five hours of sleep on Friday. He was allowed to continue operating the train Saturday, and no further incidents were reported.

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30 Comments
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"He was allowed to continue operating the train Saturday"

Really?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"was allowed to" or "was made to"?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

The conductor applied the emergency brake after he noticed that the train was not coming to a stop at the station.

What's the difference between a driver and a conductor?

Again, another unclear story.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

What's the difference between a driver and a conductor?

Again, another unclear story.

emergency brake = wake up call from a conductor to a driver? Only JT can make it clear. by the way, disciplinary action if any would be against JR east or driver/conductor?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

BB

conductor is on the platform driver inside the train

They should have a mandatory 10 hours of delay between shifts like they do for pilots in the USA. You'd think after all the accidents they'd employ rules of obvious safety

The pilot rule is to get at least 10 hours of rest between shifts. Eight of those hours must involve uninterrupted sleep. Thus delays company puts upon employees to get to sleep is not included, not fiddled with

1 ( +5 / -3 )

this whole culture of work, work, work, next to no sleep, then work work work again, has got to alter, if not these sort of incidents will occur more and more. as one person has said air line pilots have to have 10 hours rest, as an ex lorry drivers I know that we have to have daily breaks, and rest periods before starting work. this also applies to bus drivers, Iam sure in the UK train drivers also are required to have rest breaks. I am surprised that these sort of incidents don't occur more often.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I am curious how much experience he has as an independent train driver - is he a recent recruit?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There were no injuries among the 700 passengers on the train. JR East said train services were delayed for about 10 minutes affecting 1,400 passengers, as the train was backed up.

Only in Japan, 10 minutes is considered a "delay" and the number of passengers affected matter too.

I am curious how much experience he has as an independent train driver - is he a recent recruit?

29? Can't be all that experienced, but in the bigger scheme of things, 10 minute delay is nothing, and this is only news because it's Japan.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

sf2k... Actually, the 'conductor' is the person in the cab at the rear of the train, who makes announcements and controls the doors. Must have a brake lever for emergency use. 'One-man' trains have no conductor.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

the 29-year-old driver said he felt sleepy and couldn’t remember what happened

How many nights in a row had he only had five hours' sleep?

Why does he have less than eight hours between shifts?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

What's the difference between a driver and a conductor?

The driver's in the very front of the train, driving it. The conductor is in the very back of the train. He's the one making announcements and opening/closing the doors.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

JR East said the driver had finished his Friday shift at 9 p.m. and began his Saturday shift at 4:50 a.m. The driver said he only got about five hours of sleep on Friday.

This is very poor and indeed dangerous shift patterning on the part of the railway company. It is they who are to blame.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Those hours are impossible. If his travel time is around 2 hours no wonder he got 5 hours sleep

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Can't remember? Was he drunk at the time? If so case solved!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

What would be a sensible compromise here? If sending the driver home causes too much disruption, can he switch places with the conductor?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ Kokuzi - sorry about that, I didn't read down to your post before posting the same thing

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If his travel time is around 2 hours

JR operates a lot of dorms at/near stations, so that staff don't have to go home between shifts. So he may not have had that travel time.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

did he take some rest ? Or just working whole day

1 ( +1 / -0 )

JR East said the driver had finished his Friday shift at 9 p.m. and began his Saturday shift at 4:50 a.m. The driver said he only got about five hours of sleep on Friday. He was allowed to continue operating the train Saturday

So, that's exactly 8 hours between shifts, which is considered legal in most professions, but a train driver with over a thousand passengers should be on at least a 12 hour break between shifts. If you estimate one hour travel each way home, meals and a shower he would have got less than four hours sleep. This incident could quite easily have been a lot worse if he had gone to sleep between stations. Will this kind of madness be addressed in the government's review of work practices causing overwork?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

kokuzi

oh okay! thanks.. what are the platform people called?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Having a dorm where one works so they don't have to go home. Most of a 24 hour day required to work for someone or some entity seems very much like a highly aberrant form of slavery. Kudos to those that have convinced so many that this work ethic was advantageous regardless of the risk to life and limb. An elegant example of The Long Con indeed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is why JR East has been testing in the Sendai area--and will soon implement throughout the the entire JR East system--a form of positive train control that will not only stop the train, but also control its speed between stations. That way, the train will automatically brake anyway as it approaches a scheduled station stop.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Little will change until passengers are injured in an accident that can be directly attributed to overwork.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you estimate one hour travel each way home

As I mentioned earlier:

JR operates a lot of dorms at/near stations, so that staff don't have to go home between shifts. So he may not have had that travel time.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Those hours are unbelievably stupid. It should be illegal to allow it, but I bet the fat cats don't care so long as they're getting their pay-off.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Only 5 hr sleep everyday probably. Hope this system will change for everyone after this incident.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Strangerland - JR operates a lot of dorms at/near stations, so that staff don't have to go home between shifts. So he may not have had that travel time.

More conjecture! There is nothing in the article to state either way. However, even if he did live in a dormitory close to his home station it would still take an hour by the time he changed his uniform and flew on his JR supplied magic broom back to the dorm. You are the king of conjecture Strangerland!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

More conjecture! There is nothing in the article to state either way.

There was no conjecture. I said he may not have had that travel time. I didn't say that he did not have the travel time, as I don't know whether he stayed in a dorm or went home.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He felt sleepy and couldn’t remember what happened. It’s very serious. Thanks God, no one has injury and no big accident was involved. Train driver and Bus driver should be allowed to rest or day off if they were extremely tire and unable to perform their duty safely without penalty or punishment from Company. The Company should not punish or fire from their job if they said they are very tired and could not perform their duty safely. The Company should let them to sleep or rest a few hours at Bus. They can go back to their duty and perform safely after they have enough rested. The passengers’ lives are at risk if they have falling sleep behind the wheel.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The family must now pay for the damages of the train, hospitalization of the young woman, physchological treatment of the driver, etc. in addition to the funeral expenses. The family of the person who committed suicide is really in trouble!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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