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Evacuation drill held for foreign Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train passengers

During a Central Japan Railway Co. drill, foreign passengers evacuate from a Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train stopped near JR Shinagawa Station in Tokyo's Minato Ward in the small hours of May 24, 2019. (Mainichi/Naotsune Umemura)

TOKYO -- Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Central) on May 24 conducted an evacuation drill here for foreign passengers supposing a malfunctioning and stranded Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train.

The drill was carried out early in the morning in a section in Tokyo's Minato Ward between JR Tokyo and Shinagawa stations, in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

About 250 JR Central employees and people related to the train service participated. The drill assumed a train undercarriage failure just after departing from Tokyo Station, forcing it to make an emergency stop before arriving at Shinagawa Station.

The train crew played a recorded English announcement in the cars to inform passengers of the malfunction, and the conductors explained in English to the foreign passengers that they can check details of the train's operations using their smartphones. The staff guided an evacuation to Shinagawa Station, an about 300-meter walk along the tracks. The station clerks then did their best to brief the foreign passengers by using handheld interpretation devices.

Atsushi Tsujimura, a manager at JR Central's shinkansen service headquarters, said, "We want to develop our train staff by training them to bring a sense of safety to shinkansen passengers."

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