JR Central may want to consider banning the use of 10 yen coins from their mighty Shinkansen bullet trains due to the potential hazards they pose.

On 12 March a 400-meter, 715-tonne shinkansen train capable of 300 km/h speeds was pulled off duty because of a single 2.4-centimeter 10 yen coin.

The incident happened at 1:50 p.m. on the Tokaido No. 120 Nozomi running between Osaka and Tokyo.

Just as the train was approaching its final destination at Tokyo Station, a conductor sitting in the tail-end driver’s seat was going through his wallet to settle the fares collected.

However, as he opened it a 10 yen coin suddenly popped out.

As if with purpose, the little coin found its way right into a clearance between the accelerator level and console. The gap measured only 1.3 cm by 2.4 cm.


After making its stop at Tokyo Station the train was scheduled to be rerouted as the No. 39 Nozomi bound for Hakata in 17 minutes.

However, due to the tight space the coin was very difficult to remove. Fearing that the coin could affect the equipment the train was judged unfit to run and required a replacement.

Unfortunately the 1,100 Hakata bound passengers were already boarded and ready to go. They needed to swiftly get off the train so that a substitute could reach the platform as soon as possible.

A full 16 minutes later, the new train arrived and the passengers could get on with their voyage.

The coin is expected to face legal charges for disrupting services, possibly losing all of its net worth.

Source: Yomiuri Online (Japanese)
Shinkansen Image: Wikipedia – Mitsuki2368