JR Rail Jr.

On my way home from Hiroshima I arrived at the train station with quite a while before I caught my train.  The waiting area where I was sitting had a giant, busy train set with a rotating audience of children and adults.  But then the trains stopped moving and the crowd dispersed, leaving behind one young boy who looked like . . . well, who looked like his toy train had just broken.

The boy eventually sat down with his family and his parents tried in vain to distract him with a book.  Just as his mother was moving on to plan B, snacks, a man  wearing a uniform and a stern expression approached the waiting area and examined the train set.  The little boy jumped up and started talking to the man, excitedly pointing at the trains.  Then the man said something into his radio and the boy, now looking smug, walked back to his chair and sat with his arms folded across his chest.

For about three minutes he sat that way while the uniformed man looked at the motionless trains through the glass.  Then two more men arrived, one of them carrying a massive tool kit.  The little boy once again sprang out of his seat to supervise more closely.

The men looked at the trains from every imaginable angle before deciding that drastic measures needed to be taken. At that point, they removed the cover to get closer to the trains.  Their young supervisor gasped and retreated to the bench where his family sat, apparently unable to cope with how real the situation had become.

The men took out their tools and tinkered with the trains and then with the tracks for a few minutes.  All the while they kept stern faces and conducted themselves as though the Shinkansen track to Tokyo was out of order and it was up to them to fix it.

And so they fixed it. After about ten minutes the men packed up their took box and gave a final examination of the track before bowing and exiting the waiting area.  After a job well done, the trains were back up and running.

Back on schedule!


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