Time yes , distances questionable .
I don't get the these crossing loops won't alter the running times of any trains bit . If you are a section or two ahead of what the current infrastructure allows when you finally get the green how can you be no better off ?
In case you are wondering yes I have run trains through that part of the world . And yes I have sat at places like Tarana for an hour or so waiting for two trains to get across from Wang .
Yetties are ok , they devour non route qualified gunzels though ...
It takes a train X amount of time to travel over a specific distance,
Crossing loops have no affect on the speed of a train between 2 locations only it now allows 2 trains to travel where only one could before.
A Train of 1000 Tonnes can travel between Wallerawang to Tarana in 30 minutes but that same same train traveling between Tarana and Wallerawang will take between 40 minutes and one hour.
In past times the running was on the Down between Wallerawang, Rydal and Tarana was 10 to 15 minutes and 25 minutes.
In the UP direction, Tarana to Rydal 40 plus minutes and 10 minutes to Wallerawang.
I spent 3 years working Rydal (63-66) and 25 years at Wallerawang so I am fairly familiar with the grades and running times.
This is due to the gradiants involved,
From Wallerawang to midway to Rydal is a rising Grade in the Down Direction, from that point to Tarana, its all DOWNHILL.
If the trains only ran in the Down direction, there is no need for a Crossing Loop based on the volume of traffic on the western line.
Its in the UP direction where the delays occur.
Re 68 Rail motor mentioned in my previous comment, the 600 class Rail motor that covered the area ran under the following numbers.
86 Orange or Cowra to Lithgow Mon to Sat.
67 Lithgow to Mudgee Mon to Sat
68 Mudgee to Lithgow Mon to Sat
87 Lithgow to Orange/cowra Mon to Sat.
On Sunday the Orange to Lithgow service was provided by the Silver City Comet.
28 and 31 was the Central West Express Sydney to Orange, now its the XPT Sydney to Dubbo daily.