All very good, but how do you get a disabled cab at Linden on a weekend? As far as it being OK at staffed stations, do you have any idea, for instance, what stations on any of the interurban lines are staffed after 10am in Sydney? Just a little hint-not many, and that is during the week, on a weekend you could probably count them without taking off both shoes. Maybe in other states, but in NSW drivers do not have the ability to ring stations for any reason. As for guards roaming trains for revenue protection, one of our previous governments removed the ability for anyone other than transits/police and the current revenue protection staff to check tickets or collect unpaid fares, that is why staff at station barriers had no interest in you showing them a ticket.
I typed that post up twice this morning but neither went through and there was a few bits left out in the third version.
I don't believe its going to be practical for removing the guards from the IU's because the high number of small and low use stations probably means the guard is better left in place and they can add value with revenue protection as they do in Italy.
The question is however is a guard needed from Central to Penrith/Hornsby if the trains have the suitable technology in place as mentioned before. Trains are only stopping a few places which are typically manned major stations, easily monitored by wireless technology etc?
Just because the govt made those decisions in the past, doesn't mean it cannot be reversed. If I can watch a 50+ year old woman walk a 8-10 car DD train in Italy, checking and selling tickets as she goes, helping disabled passengers by checking out the door at every station and clearing the train with a bell at that station, then they can do it in Australia. You don't need to be a cop or TP to check for tickets, if the passenger gives cheek, just call it through and let the cops deal with it. They will have video evidence. Maybe in other states, but in NSW drivers do not have the ability to ring stations for any reason.
Not sure what this means, but I suspect you mean clear a train. It obviously happens in Mel, Adelaide and Perth so it can be done. Again, lets look at technology of today and tomorrow, not hang ups from the past. Aside from that, there are numerous and potentially very costly hurdles to over come in Sydney and I don't think some lines in Brisbane will see the loss of guards for a long long time. GC line to airport should be fairly straight forward as most stations are new. There is where line segregation comes in handy as its possible to make changes one line at a time. Carlingford shorely could be converted now very easily.
The critical part in all this if you don't buy the DOO capable rolling stock, things will always be hard/costly to change.