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Japanese Bullet Train Driver Takes Bathroom Break At 93 Miles Per Hour

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Japan's bullet trains run almost automatically. There is an engineer up front for minor adjustments or emergencies - or there should be. One engineer needed a bathroom break and walked away for three minutes, leaving an unqualified conductor at the controls at 93 mph. Nothing happened except Japan's trains are famously on time, and the train slowed while he was away. He was caught after reaching a station safely, but one minute late. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.