Many people on here seem to be confirming exactly what I am saying RTT. No trains involved and people drive or know some people or pay a towing service to get it delivered. I know my cousin bought a car from an auction house in Sydney and then asked his mother and step father to drive it up to macksville. The train is not worth anything to regional communities other then to say that we have something that the city has as well. In regional NSW they are just token political statements that do nothing other then provide an extremely expensive pensioner excursion service.
So how about leaving the rail lines in regional parts of the country to the trains that make money and not cost money.
No they are not.
As stated before, what is the difference between Mildura, Kalgoorlie, NW NSW, Broken Hill, Rockhampton, Dubbo and Griffith services? Time and Distance is all within similar ball park and they all have airline options, some probably far more than Mildura.
You are mixing your arguments. You are trying to justify your position there should be no train because rural people don't need it and won't use it, which is a pile of crap and doesn't explain the above service usage to other locations that have good correlations to Mildura demographics and distance.
You have to remember why the Mildura service was cut in the first place! So was a number of other services in Vic, many of which have since returned on half decent track with modern rolling-stock and surprise, people actually use it!
As for costs. Its highly questionable if most of the lines mentioned above actually make money. In the case of Mildura, the govt obviously feels strongly enough the line and actually more than that, the entire NW will benefit by converting to SG, so there is obviously a rate of return that is acceptable to the govt.
The real issue that most are arguing is if the required upgrades for the passenger service to nearly 400km of track is worth the passenger numbers it will get? As I stated above, the comparison with Kal and others would seem to indicate a 6 day a week 3 car service would likely be patronised with a few cavets.
The existing train takes 2h 15min to travel 182 km to Maryborough. To travel a further 380km at an average speed of 80km/h would become a 7h journey or 8h at an average speed of 66km/h. Considering the travel times of the Rocky, NW NSW, Kal and Dubbo for the distances they travel, this should not be an issue, even if not desirable by our standards.