20 to 24 hours in longer than the longest long haul airline flight. Stupid to have removed them in the first place. Must have been designed to remove the sleepers to run the service down in usually Australian 1950's management style.
No Joppa, removed because they were removed from service due to end of life and the same cars were removed from SOTO as well as was the cancellation of the Sunlander.
There was no identified plan to continue the services post these cars being removed by the former ALP govt and it was expected by most the trains would cease with the Sunlander as had been rumored for years and a number of people have posted in this and other forums that supposedly have inside info have said same. Former LNP govt announced the continued running as seater only services, which if I recall was a bit of a surprise but really not expected to see the trains continue longterm, especially the Westie which (taxing gunzel hat off) is probably verging on taxpayer waste.
Based on the former passenger numbers and longterm trends and at a cost of $1-2m per car if bought new, I don't think too many would see this as a good investment for taxpayers.
The Westie could be re-timetabled to make a day train and negate the need to buy sleepers, especially if truncated at Miles or Dalby and may actually do better in numbers and could operate on 3 days a week in and out. I and others have previously raised the option of DMU which should save some time, but where to get a suitable DMU as new is prohibitive? The Australind would probably make an excellent choice if it fits, however I don't think WA is ready to retire it any time soon!
Inlander is a tough case and the journey length is nearly 24hr, however I don't think it has the tight clearance issues of the Westie route and other options for cheaper 2nd hand sleeper stock maybe an option. If you wanted to make a longterm commitment I'd say buy half a CTT to be compatible with other stock used in Qld, but again expensive.
The ICE sets maybe a ideal solution (assuming no clearance issues, currently there are spares and basically and oddball unloved in the south. Remove their self traction components to make them all trailers. 150kW Gen-sets could be placed under the floor to supply auxilary power, redo do the seats and modify one car to a dinner car. Gut the drivers cab and remove the internal walls to the drivers cab to provide the riders with along track views. Only need two spare power pairs, plus maybe one trailer spare, one car will need to be modified to DAA standards, but that's not super huge.
No, I don't think QR hate running the landers, afterall they have buggerall left to worry about and less trains equals less work. ts not a financial issue as they back charge all costs to the Govt.