JR commuter train mistakenly travels on freight train tracks

A Japan Railway train with about 2,000 passengers on board mistakenly traveled about 30 kilometers on tracks meant for freight trains, skipping stations along the way.

East Japan Railway says a Tokyo-bound train on the Tokaido Line entered the wrong tracks at Ofuna Station in Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture, at around 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

The train continued on those tracks until it reached Musashikosugi Station in Kawasaki City, also in the prefecture.

About 600 passengers were supposed to get off at four stations that were skipped, including hubs Yokohama and Kawasaki. They had to change trains at Musashikosugi instead.

East Japan Railway says an entry signal for the freight tracks was switched on at a site about one kilometer before Ofuna Station.

But the train driver apparently mistook the signal as a green light for the commuter train tracks.

The driver is said to have realized about 50 meters past the signal that the train was on the wrong tracks.

The railway operating firm is questioning the driver.

Operations on the Tokaido Line and some other lines were delayed for up to half an hour, affecting about 15,000 passengers.