Lots of disruption on the trains this morning thanks to a broken down engine blocking the line into Manchester. My commute took just over an hour longer than usual, and when I arrived at work I didn’t think anymore of it, pretty standard service from Northern Rail. However, as I exited the station this evening, a staff member was handing these letters of apology out!
I’ve never seen this happen in many years of using public transport, so needless to say I was quite surprised. It immediately reminded me of the Japanese densha chien shoumei sho – or Delay Certificate.
These certificates are provided by train staff for delays even as small as five minutes, collected by passengers affected these can then be presented to your superior at work as an explanation for reporting late.
In more recent years the traditional paper certificates have been replaced by time-sensitive electronic versions which can be downloaded onto your phone or computer.
I can’t see this system being adopted in the UK, we would run out of trees!