There are 15 stops between Broadmeadow and Brisbane, most are no closer than 45min apart. Maybe 1 or 2 could be deleted, but if people are using it then the train is providing a service. Stops for a few people should last more than 2-3min off the timetable. If they are rarely used then don't factor them into the timetable.
Its very questionable if Motorrail services and 1st class sleepers ever paid for themselves. Qld kept the motorrails until recently, but the cost is fairly high. Usage has died along with pax numbers.
One of advantages of having checked racks and baggage racks in the car door area. Still people getting on/off the train will always cause some disruption to people next to them. People tend to stir at stations anyway, well I do as the lack of movement and station lights with talking on the platform tends to wake me up some of the time. My most solid sleep was however in india, 7hr and didn't stir. But they have very large beds.
I think while we won't see sleepers we will see the rail bed, similar to BC on planes. I used Emirates older B777 BC to/from India recently and felt this would be fine for long haul in a train. Cheaper seating on the train could be more akin to EC, but with more leg room and wider seats.
The stations that I have referred to, & are for me primarilly aimed at the longer Interstate trains rather than others, also the other train from Casino which is a long haul for those that have hacked themselves on buses from the Gold Coast & other destinations between there & Casino, the time at Casino is not enhanced either with having to sit for over an hour before the Down service arrives without any sort of real facilities other than sometimes working drink, & snack vending machines.
The primary stations in this list, & I am in many ways reluctant to reduce stops for passengers but the way many operators work these days, along with the aspect that suitable close stations are available within reasonable driving distances needs to be considered especially when these stops are not patronised that much. Figures for those stations for these trains only would assist in evaluating them.
Wingham is under 10 minutes drive from Taree. Stations such as Macksville & Urunga are likewise quite close to Nambucca, Repton is also relatively close to Nambucca also, although Sawtell which surprisingly tends to have more passengers than Coffs Harbour has, is closer still. Both Urunga & Repton are short platforms & passengers to & from there only have access through one door on the train these days, which is sensible but, means they lug their belongings through the train to their seats.
I would see these stations being served by other trains at their respective stations but not on the longer overnight trains.
The motorail services cost $110.00 per vehicle IIRC between destinations, that is from Melbourne - Sydney - Brisbane/Murwillimbah. On top of that was the sleeping ticket which had the 1st class & sleeper components added to them. In NSWGR/PTC annual reports, the Motorail services were deemed cost neutral, owing to the higher prices paid for the sleeper accomodation which usually was for two passengers. They also were more heavilly used for Victorians who were travelled to North Qld for the winter & returned for the summer, likewise school holidays as well. The cost for the Sunlander I understand was much more & not as popular as the other services owing to the costs.
I would also think that the way things are today, that with more & more 4x4 vehicles on the road their larger size would make them unsuitable for other than standard flat single deck wagons, making the cost a fair degree more.
The issue with the doors & end luggage racks is the air release noises of both the foot treddle operation as well as the air release of the door for it to close, when passengers are getting their luggage out & then new ones put theirs in, along with them standing on & off the floor treddle its an almost constant on off sound lasting for some time. I do not see why these are really part of the need of services in this day & age, especially the noise component.
The EC type seats I think would also be an issue with our trains, & would they actually save more & provide more for the service users? As it stands now, there is often an arguement between passengers when the backrest is dropped back without notice to the person behind, lack of courtessy in letting them know, but then again there are some & they are frequent travellers who complain about the backrest restricting them. They also have theirs back but thats of no consequence either, if they don't get their way, then they ensure they kick the back rest at timely intervals.
These bogon types will never be dissuaded from their attitudes & are frequent travellers son any chance of catering for them will not work either. In saying that, I do believe that a form of reasonable cost economy day night cars could be included in the long distance services of over 10 hours duration at night, even if it meant dedicated carriages for them