Well, by the end of the trip, 80% of the toilets were dysfunctional. And the train was virtually full (methinks there is some sort of correlation between the two).
On the other hand, the seats were comfortable, my seatmate was silently plugged in the entire time (laptop, headset), the train was exactly and precisely on time (4 hours NY-Boston)--and we are alive, unlike at least 50 people in today's horrific and tragic train wreck in Japan.
In light of my discussion yesterday of European safety standards vs. US ones, I wonder how Japan safety regulations factor in. Excessive speed seems to be the leading theory for the cause of today's crash. A terrible, terrible thing.