Still frame courtesy of BBC Travel
We aren’t quite sure what is quicker, Japan’s bullet train system or its workers who would give some NASCAR pit crews a run for their money.
BBC’s The Travel Show recently posted a video that profiles the astounding and highly efficient Japanese bullet trains. The brief video gives viewers a glimpse of how the system manages to haul around a reported 150 million commuters every year, all while maintaining the stunning aesthetic quality of each cabin’s interior.
JR Central’s Kenichiro Yakuro explains, “We have a great system in place, but it’s the people that maintain the safety operation.” Yakuro continues, “at night we have 3,000 people working, and the drivers help too.”
It’s not just the safety that is impressive (the video explains there has been no fatalities on the rail system due to collisions or derailment), but also the upkeep.
Skip to the two-minute mark of the video and you will see the amazing cleaning crew in action, transforming the cabin for the next flood of commuters, all within mere moments.
Within seven to ten minutes, the crew cleans the seats, takes out trash and rotates the seats for the next departure, getting in and out like a pit crew about to send off a race car onto the next lap. If that’s not impressive enough, consider, as the narrator explains, Shinkansen station’s average delay all of last year was merely 0.6 minutes, an impressive figure garnered by workers trained upwards of three years on the proper and most efficient way to clean a cabin.
The most intriguing aspect might be the brush the crew uses to clean, which also has a device that sounds when moisture is detected on the seats. When that beep goes off, it signals the worker to change the seat. If only they had similar devices for the BART in San Francisco.
Now this isn’t the only magnificent video to feature Japan’s commuting prowess recently, because the following YouTube video illustrates another solution to rearranging seats after a final stop:
YouTube user Danny Choo uploaded the above video with the description: “When trains reach the final station - the seats reset and turn around ready for the next journey.”
And here we are thankful to merely find an open seat while riding most commuter trains stateside, let alone any sans “moisture.”
Yes, Japan is working on an entirely different level when it comes to trains, sending their commuters off at top speeds of a reported 320 kilometers an hour (198 mph), all while providing the comfort of a new seat cover and an immaculate chair.
Bu remember, it’s not magic that changes the cabin after each stop but a team of highly trained and extremely efficient individuals.
Japan, you had our attention, but you now have our envy.
You think that's impressive, check out these tweets: