Having 2 sets of bogies and changing the whole train every now and again had to be a massive expenditure, something that no other train had to absorb into costs.The two sets of bogies was a cost, but it enabled the use of a expensive train with limited market in multiple areas. I believe it cost $3k or something like that to change each time and took about a day. If I recall correctly when first introduced, GPSE was promoted as being the only train that will provide nation wide coverage, however it never ventured past Sth-SW NSW, maybe it got to Melbourne and/or Broken Hill, don't know. I think the realised they are now competing with GSR on a limited route network west of the Eastern states and their narrow rolling stock with their nosiey bogies are not suitable for long haul higher speed runs compared to what GSR could offer. Just my thoughts.
I don't think the repetitiveness of the scenery will matter to travellers in the market segment , I doubt they will travel more than once even if they found excellent value for money. agreed that WA, Tassie are all even more limited distances. NZ, , , , ???? , , thats somewhere near Austria isn't it ?
I agree, not too many people would be doing the GPSE run more than once, but if the route options were completely different, there maybe a small market who whish to experience the train and service with a different background. But in Qld the variation is very limited.
New Zealand I think is the best option,
- Auckland to Wellington, maybe a branch line trip on something viable with sight seeing trips off train along the route, 2-3 days, perhaps via the SW loop if still open rather than Cross country if it offers more.
- Across to Woodville and to Wellington via the east coast (again if open)
- Across the Strait, then down to Christchurch for O/N, 1 day.
- Across the Southern Highlands and perhaps explore some of the freight only lines and return in evening/overnight, 1 day
- Down the main to Dunedin and stop for day excusions, including the Tapieni Gorge line trip, 1 day
- 1 day to Invercargil and perhaps short return to either Bluff (southern most tip of NZ rail and world railways and also a good view) and/or off to Ohai branch.
Might be about a 7-10 days trip, depending on time allowed for excusions off train. I'd consider also feeding people at local restraunts/motels along the way than using the dinning car apart from Breakfast or when time is not favourable, in which case it would simple meals, its probably alot cheaper and enables people to enjoy the country side more rather than being locked up in a train watching it go by.