JAPAN: Line of Boiling Riders

Streaking at 125 miles an hour along the 420-mile scenic route between Tokyo and the central city of Okayama, Japan's gleaming, automated bullet trains have long been a keen source of pride to the country and the envy of railroad men the world over. Yet, beneath the bright image of the Shinkansen, or bullet express, most of the country's rail service, operated by the government-owned Japanese National Railways, is a tangled, money-losing mess of aged equipment, angry employees and boiling riders. So bad is the trouble that a few weeks ago, JNR...

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