OSAKA – The Sanyo Shinkansen Line was brought to a halt near Okayama Station over the weekend after a boy was found walking along the tracks, West Japan Railway Co. (JR West) said.
JR West said a station worker noticed that someone had entered the tracks at Okayama Station around 4:40 p.m. Saturday. The boy, believed to be around elementary school age, was located about 70 minutes later and taken into protective custody around 4 km east of the station.
JR West suspended high-speed train operations between Shin-Osaka and Higashi-Hiroshima stations due to the intrusion, which delayed runs by up to 90 minutes and affected around 24,500 passengers.
Among them was Akemi Ookawa, who was at the station and on her way home from a business trip.
“I can no longer make it to my New Year’s party. I thought the shinkansen would be punctual,” the 52-year-old from the city of Hiroshima said.
A 62-year-old woman from Yonago, Tottori Prefecture, who was on a bullet train halted by the incident voiced befuddlement over how the child got onto the tracks.
“The train announcement said an elementary school-age child was taken into custody. I wonder how he got on the tracks?” she asked.