A Japanese railway firm has stopped an unusual training drill that required employees to crouch in tunnels while trains rushed past to “feel” the wind speed.
The West Japan Railway said the exercises were designed to improve safety awareness.
Trainee mechanics observed the trains which can hit speeds of 300km per hour.
The move to stop the practice, in place since 2016, comes after rising union pressure.
Japan is known for its high-speed rail network where bullet trains, or Shinkansen, snake across the country at hundreds of kilometres per hour.
Participants in the safety training would crouch down in a trench, in-between two sets of train tracks, as bullet trains whizzed by.
Squatting in the ditches – which are around one metre deep and one metre wide – allowed the workers to “feel” the strength of the winds generated by high-speed trains, a company spokesperson said.
Some 240 trainee mechanics had taken part in the drills, which could last up to 20 minutes.
The firm was moved to start the exercises after an incident in 2015 where a metal part fell off a train, and loose bolts were thought to be to blame.
The company said it wanted to “improve their worker’s skills of car inspection” and safety awareness after the accident.
ctice had mounted.
The West Japan Railway Workers Union said it called on the company to stop the program eight times since last year.
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