Are Japanese train-cleaners faster than a speeding bullet?

14th of July 2014
Are Japanese train-cleaners faster than a speeding bullet?

Possibly the world's fastest cleaners are the team responsible for cleaning the Japanese bullet train between each journey.

The team is said to be able to clean an entire train in seven minutes flat.

The Japanese bullet train -- or shinkansen as it is known over there - is capable of speeds up to 200kph and more than 300 trains are in service every day.

The average stop time is just 12 minutes and since it takes five minutes for passengers to alight and board, only seven minutes are left for the cleaning operation to take place.

As the train arrives at the Tokyo platform, cleaners armed with rubbish bags line up by the doors and bow as it pulls in. Holding open their bags, the cleaners thank the alighting passengers for handing over their discarded newspapers, drink cans and wrappers.

Staff then run through the train picking up further rubbish, replacing dirty seat covers, wiping down tray tables, sweeping floors and checking the over-seat luggage racks for rubbish.

When the operation - which has become known as the "seven-minute Shinkansen theatre" - is complete, the cleaners line up by the train again and perform a second bow before departing for their next job.

The cleanliness of Japanese people was recently highlighted globally during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. After witnessing their team lose their opening match, Japanese spectators astounded onlookers by cleaning up the rubbish on their side of the stadium.




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