I restarted for the eleventh time, en now I’m getting the grasp on it. I’m playing hard mode, hilly and large terrain, 1851 and only use the 1.2M, no extra loans.
It’s now 1885 and I’m still hanging in there, keeping a marginal profit, just enough to replace all outdated vehicles, and to slowly invest in expansion. KEY to keep having that profit (although very small) is to always and with priority replace outdated vehicles. If you don’t, you’re doomed.
I enjoy this game a alot, even with all the particularities, but I would really like to see the vehicle replacement issue taken care of by the developers (eg a semi-automated replacement system, running costs rebalanced,…). That would make this game even more enjoyable!