Millions of wartime commuters have longed to do it; last week a few hundred Brazilians did it.

Clanking and wheezing, a spavined suburban train crept out of Rio de Janeiro. Late as usual, packed to the gills with the sweating homeward-bound, it broke down outside the city. For a while the passengers endured with true commuter calm. Then, like an oilfield fire, wild revolt swept through the train. The long-suffering customers tore out the seats by the roots, dragged down light fixtures and luggage racks, turned the train into a shambles.


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