Japan’s Shinkansen or bullet train, was the world’s first high-speed train running at 200 km per hour, and today the Tokaido Shinkansen is the world’s most used high-speed rail line. Impressively, even with over 120,000 trains running on the line each year, the average delay time is a mere 36 seconds. Part of the reason the bullet train system can run as smoothly as it does is thanks to the "hospitality group" working behind the scenes of the sleek, futuristic facades of these famous trains.
The video was captured by the American journalist Charli James that shows the cleaning crew diligently wiping the trays, sweeping the floor and clearing the seats. The custodial teams with JR East subsidiary JR East Tessei Co. must finish cleaning the shinkansen train from end to end between the trains’ arrival at the JR Tokyo Station terminal and their next departure time. You can see, each worker covers one 100-seat car, and takes 12 seconds to clean a row. They only have 7 minutes before the train must take the next set of passengers. More than 300 bullet trains depart daily from Tokyo station, transporting nearly 400,000 passengers.
Cleaning has always been a back-end service. However, TESSEI have somehow managed to grab the attention of CNN as well as many Japanese business publications. There are 2 main reasons behind this, the first of which is speed; TESSEI are able to clean and prep an entire train in just 7 minutes from start to finish. With many of these trains, the typical turnaround time is just 12 minutes. If you minus 2 minutes for everyone to get off and minus a further 3 minutes for new passengers to board, that leaves a mere 7 minutes at best.
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