5-speed listening (Train Punctuality - Level 6)

Apology after Japanese train leaves 20 seconds early



Medium (British English)

Medium (N. American English)



Try  Train Punctuality - Level 4  |  Train Punctuality - Level 5

ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

This useful resource has hundreds of ideas, activity templates, reproducible activities for …

  • warm-ups
  • pre-reading and listening
  • while-reading and listening
  • post-reading and listening
  • using headlines
  • working with words
  • moving from text to speech
  • role plays,
  • task-based activities
  • discussions and debates
and a whole lot more.

More Listening

20 Questions  |  Spelling  |  Dictation


Train companies in Japan are renowned for their punctuality. Many people claim Japan's rail network is the envy of the world. Others say you can set your own watch using a Japanese train's departure. Most rail companies around the world apologize to passengers for delayed trains or cancellations. However, the operators of Tokyo's Tsukuba Express line apologized for one of its trains leaving 20 seconds too early on Tuesday. According to the apology, the high-speed train pulled out of a station 20 seconds earlier than scheduled due to staff members failing to check the departure timetable. Even though the company issued the apology, it said it had not received any complaints from passengers.

Bosses of the Tsukuba Express said the train crew did not sufficiently check the departure time and failed to accurately perform the departure operations. The company made a statement in Japanese on its website. It "deeply" apologized for the "severe inconvenience" caused to passengers who missed the scheduled train, even though the next train was just four minutes later. Many people tweeted about the apology. One tweet read: "Tokyo train company's apology for 20-second-early departure is one of the best things about Japan." A UK commuter tweeted: "They apologize for being 20 seconds early, and yet you don't get an apology from any major UK train company until they're over 2 hours late."

Easier Levels

Try easier levels. The listening is a little shorter, with less vocabulary.

Train Punctuality - Level 4  |  Train Punctuality - Level 5

All Levels

This page has all the levels, listening and reading for this lesson.

← Back to the train punctuality  lesson.

Online Activities

Help Support This Web Site

  • Please consider helping Breaking News English.com

Sean Banville's Book

Thank You