After these passengers got stranded, they walked the rest of the way in such a precise line they practically became a train themselves.
As reliable as Japan’s public transportation system is, with so many trains running from morning to night, eventually some sort of problem is going to occur. Passengers heading to work or school in central Kobe had their commute interrupted at approximately 8 a.m. on November 16, when it was discovered that an overhead line had snapped on the Japan Railways (JR) Kobe Line between Kobe and Motomachi Stations.
No one was injured, but train service was suspended while a repair crew investigated and responded to the issue. Seeing that the repairs would take some time to complete, some 5,000 passengers were instructed to leave the carriages, which were stopped in an empty stretch of the tracks, and walk to the nearest station, as directed by JR staff who were on the scene.
With no one in any danger, it’s not surprising that the evacuation went calmly. But even still, it’s impressive to see just how disciplined and organized the process was.
The entire groups walks forward in a single-file line, diligently stepping only in the middle of the train tracks like they’ve all decided to play the hot lava game and that’s the only safe zone.
So what’s the secret to this state of calm? Is it a reflection of Japan’s cultural attitudes about not doing anything to rock the boat when in a crowd? Maybe it’s a happy side effect of this happening to people on their way to work instead of their way home? After all, for many people a morning stroll is more enjoyable than a morning meeting at the office.
Both of those factors probably played a role, but we think what really sealed the deal is the Japan Railways representative who shows up on the platform at the video’s 0:27 mark, ready to apologize to those who were inconvenienced and hook them up with bottles of tea, which he opens for each person who walks by. Because hey, on the occasions when you can’t be punctual, you may as well be classy.