Case for the only profitable route in Japan
[[[Economists May 21.. The sole reason why Shinkansen plying the Tokaido route make money is the sheer density—and affluence—of the customers they serve. Tokaido route is around 550km that connects the 35m people in greater Tokyo to the 20m residents of the Kansai cluster of cities comprising Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto and Nara. All the other Shinkansen routes in Japan lose cart-loads of cash, as high-speed trains do elsewhere in the world. Only indirect subsidies, creative accounting, political patronage and national chest-thumping keep them rolling.]]]
I cannot quote too much the article. But Economists does cast doubt if any HSR will ever be viable without huge subsidy from taxpayers. Things do not look good at all in the mainland where the formerly high-flyer head of HSR has been incarcerated.