Rumours are not always true and in the case of making a TBM to a wider profile I have even less faith in rumours.
In 10 yrs time when the city and sourthen side is open I suspect the public opinion will towards more and not less.
As mentioned many times its not DD vs SD its current Sydney trains cost model versus what is available on market now off the shelf.
Regardless of whether the rumours are true or not, the extra cost of boring tunnels to the wider profile (if any) would be miniscule in comparison to the overall project cost. What is the problem in making a TBM to a wider profile? I don't get your point. It certainly wasn't a problem with the Epping to Chatswood Rail Link. It just demonstrates how small minded the current bunch of transport planners are, without any vision for the future. In the past, stretching back to Bradfield's era, there was an appreciation of making provision for future contingencies. We wouldn't otherwise have a maze of unused underground tunnels in the CBD or provision for future amplification of the suburban rail network.
It remains to be seen whether the Rail Safety Regulator will approve the emergency evacuation procedure in the narrower tunnels, particularly in the long 6km stretch between Epping and Cherrybrook. It's certainly not world's best practice (unlike the ECRL). Whichever way you look at it, boring the tunnels to the narrower profile, is still an act of bastardry.
Putting aside the DD v SD debate, I understand your contention that an off the shelf automatic rapid transit option is more cost effective than the current Sydney Trains cost model. But you are comparing chalk and cheese. What I, and I'm sure many other critics of the rapid transit proposal object to, is transposing a high density inner urban transport model to a low density outer suburban rail line, such as the North West Rail Link. It's entirely inappropriate. If the Rapid Transit went only as far as Epping, then it might have had more widespread support. But out into The Hills and the North West is a different scenario. That's suburban rail territory, which demands faster express services to the CBD, which can't be provided by an all stations Rapid Transit link. The other major objection is trying to convert parts of the existing Sydney Trains network to rapid transit and in the process compromising the overall network efficiency. I'm sure a new separate inner urban rapid transit system would be supported.
Name me any major city legacy suburban rail system that has successfully, let alone attempted, to convert it to a pseudo automatic rapid transit system. I don't think there are many, if any.
You can look no further than London's Crossrail project, which is a mirror image of Sydney's existing network as well as the Paris RER, to see how an outer suburban rail system can provide a high frequency service through the city centre. It is not fully automatic, but it does have enhanced signalling such as European Train Control System (ETCS) and Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) which allows for higher frequency of services of 24tph with the potential for up to 32tph. It's not pretending to be a rapid transit service, and is complementary to the London Underground.