Cracked bullet train windows

Mainichi: Bullet train passenger notices cracks in windows

At around 6:45 a.m., a passenger on the Hikari No. 342 superexpress bound for Shin-Osaka from Hakata found two windows on one of its eight coaches were cracked and alerted a conductor, West Japan Railway Co. (JR West) officials said.

That’s disconcerting, but I don’t really know why. The article doesn’t go into what might happen if the windows of a shinkansen happened to fully break. I’m imagining a vacuum effect from the high speeds that could send passengers flying out of the car, or even destabilize the entire train and wrench it off the tracks…but I don’t really know.

(Random fact: “Hakata” is the train station in Fukuoka. I’ve been there; my school group stayed over during our last night in Japan in 2001, and it was there that my “Indian food in Japan” tradition began. I have not, however, been to Osaka.)