commuter

New train carriages on Tokyo’s Saikyo Line allow more sardines to be squeezed into the can

Bringing commuters to Tokyo from neighboring Saitama Prefecture, the Saikyo Line, operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East), is one of the busiest in the metropolitan area. During morning rush hour its trains are packed to 200 percent capacity. On June 30, however, E233 Series trains were introduced to the line, and officials are hoping the new carriages, which are a whole 15cm wider, will reduce crowding by ten percent.

That’s right. Now instead of having to endure bone-crushing, suffocating, sucking-the-will-to-live commutes in trains packed to 200 percent capacity, riders will be able to breathe, and perhaps move just a little, while enjoying the relative luxury of a train crammed to just 190 percent capacity!

Read More

A Rare Sight in Japan: Commuter Train Operates while Carriage Doors Remain Open

Commuter trains in Japan are known for being among the most punctual in the world. The entire rail system is a well-oil machine. When a train is scheduled to depart its station at 09:42 and arrive at its destination at 10:33, it almost always leaves the station at 9:42 and arrives at 10:33; a mind-boggling concept perhaps in some other parts of the world.

Close to 40 million passengers use the rail system daily in Tokyo alone, so when trouble does occur, it needs to be sorted out quickly. Still, it would shock anyone who has been living in risk-averse, safety-first Japan for any length of time to see their local commuter train run down the tracks with a passenger carriage door wide open.
Read More