Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Dog delays trains in Japan

This story gave me a great laugh. From Mainichi

Dog strolling along railway tracks brings train to a crawl in Yamanashi

TSURU, Yamanashi -- A dog trotting leisurely along the tracks of the Fuji Kyuko Line here caused a train to slow down to a crawl and delayed services by 15 minutes, much to the amusement of passengers, railway officials said.

Officials said the mixed-bred dog, which resembled a Shiba Ken, appeared on the tracks between Kasei and Akasaka stations on Sunday, and kept walking along the line, even when the train sounded its horn.

The incident caused delays to two trains, but the passengers on board who witnessed the incident did not complain, and appeared amused by the unusual happening.

Officials said that the dog wandered onto the tracks at about 11:20 a.m. on Sunday before the train had reached Kasei Station. The driver sounded the train's horn, but the small canine continued to walk along the tracks leisurely, sparking laughter from passengers.

The dog, which was wearing a collar, walked about 1.2 kilometers from Kasei Station before finally disappearing from the tracks, officials said. The dog's owner remains unknown.

About 150 passengers were on the train at the time, but the railway did not receive a single complaint. Officials said they had to apologize nevertheless.

"It remains a fact that the trains were delayed, and so we have to politely apologize," a railway official said.

Only in Japan. In England you'd be lucky if the driver noticed the dog let alone slowed the train for it.

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