I never suggested express trains from Traralgon, Drouin-Pakenham is the low patronage sector getting over serviced. The passenger usage on the line is heavy concentrations at Traralgon-Morwell-Moe and Warragul-Drouin, whose passenger numbers dwarf the minor stations. If you look at comparable routes like Ballarat and Bendigo, all the minor stops are long gone. And don't forget that Gippsland has to co exist with 70km of metro running unlike the others. Smart timetabling can deliver a better solution for all travellers - the real issue is that the eastern corridor is complex and needs something better than just run interurban to Traralgon and back. That is 1950s thinking.
BUT you could as suggested by Gippslander, just by-pass the "hamlets" of Morwell, Moe, Warragul, Drouin and run half empty - good luck with the angry mob.
Some short-starters from Warragul sounds good, BUT are there enough pax to fill it? Dubious. I don't even get how you would do an SAS in front of an EX. Wait for 2nd train to run up the backside of the front-runner ?
@gippslander I did stretch you advocacy of express services way beyond your own words. For that I apologize.
Minor stops is something we differ on. Ballarat is a case in point where "minor" morphed into such places as Cobblebank, Rockbank, Ballan with urban sprawl.
Bunyip & Nar Nar Goon themselves are a similar size to Ballan. Their turn will come, so I don't see justification to wipe the "minor" stations off the map yet.
Having said that, half the morning peak services already by-pass the minors.
I suspect Garfield will also lose it's reason to stop for EX once the track duplication is done.
Afternoon peak is a whole different question, and you do have a case for half of them to be EX. Makes no sense at present
The rest of this thread has morphed into a discussion on the merits of V/Line sharing with Metro, which can't help your concerns beyond Pakenham one way or other.