The driver piloted the bullet train from Shin Osaka on Sunday night and was approaching Okayama when he notified JR West that he had forgotten his glasses, which he was legally obliged to be wearing.
“I only noticed I was missing my glasses when I tried to wipe the sweat from my brow,” the 48-year-old driver, whose name has not been disclosed, said.
JR West instructed the driver to stop the bullet train immediately, which he did about 8 kilometers outside of Okayama. Another driver was immediately dispatched to Okayama Station, but it took 45 minutes to change drivers. In the meantime, bullet train services were delayed by up to 45 minutes.
JR West said the driver took over the train traveling from Tokyo to Hakata at Shin Osaka, when the bullet train moves from the Tokai Japan Railway Co.’s Tokaido Shinkansen Line to JR West’s Sanyo Shinkansen Line. The driver had his glasses with him at the time he switched with the JR Tokai driver, but later realized he had left his glasses resting on a locker.