Regarding the story “JR Tokai will travel on a different track, bucking trend of luxury sleeper trains” in the Sept. 12 edition, many people may have been surprised by the very conservative management strategy of Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai), not only in making sleeper trains but in all train operations, including shinkansen.
I believe there is a clear reason for this. JR Tokai has been enjoying a lot of profits since the privatization of Japan National Railways thanks to its lucrative bullet-train line, to be sure, but its shinkansen infrastructure is aging, and it will be impossible to shore up without a complete overhaul that involves halting its operations for a long time.
This factor is the very reason they are hastily building a maglev line to replace the shinkansen. JR Tokai is famous for its sensitivity about profitability, so the company knows it can spare no money in constructing the maglev.
I think JR Tokai is one of the shrewdest railway companies, and will operate its trains with sound business sense and without the nostalgia that a lot of Japanese have for trains.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.