Railway company plans to close station – then it discovers who only customer is

Anybody who has to commute on a regular basis will know the pain of cancelled services and unreliable timetables all too well.

Wouldn’t it be great if the services would revolve around our lives and turn up exactly when we need them to?

So you can just imagine the groans and despairs from commuters when the Hokkaido Railway Company announced it was going to close down a rural station in the north of Japan.

Well, not quite. It turned out the remote station was being used by only one person each day.

Every school day at 7.04am, a girl would hop on the train at Kami-Shirataki station, then at 5.08pm she would return again, the Telegraph reported.

After the railway company discovered the identity of the station’s only customer, it did something amazing.

Rather than press ahead with the closure, Hokkaido decided it would keep the station open until the girl graduates from high school.

When the story of the train company’s incredible gesture surfaced on Reddit this week, users were quick to point out the difference between Japan and other countries.

One person said: "That’s a society that values education."

Another added: "Providing access to rail is considered to be a social responsibility, so much so that large portions of the network (into rural Japan) are entirely unprofitable and rely on subsidisation by the rest.

"The average citizen holds the same belief, however, and so is happy to pay the ‘inflated’ ticket prices."

It certainly had a huge impact to the girl who was still able to make it to class each day.

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