It doesn't seem all that long ago when you could easily have 4-5 trains just between Junee & Albury, let along the rest of the route.They just combined half of them together into a bigger train.
Certainly, longer trains equals fewer trains, and I wish that was the only reason for the now fewer trains.
It was odd if there wasn't at least 2 trains in the sector. Sometimes at night, it would be nearly all bases loaded. I'm talking early 80s when Junee CTC was new.
JNE - ALB was always a location of fast running, with a hundred miles in a hundred minutes being normal for the express passes (not XPT), even with a lengthy stop at Wagga. With so many trains on the track it was common for both the Area Controller and the Train Controller to be scanning the main board with eyes peeled, sweating on trains clearing various location points on the board, waiting to determine which train would take the loop (a case of first past the post, even if the post was figurative).
My father was one of the original Junee CTC Area Controllers. He took delight in running trains as expeditiously as possible. After a crossing he would clear the road as quickly as he could (faster than the telemetry system could allow), and count the seconds until he could see that the train was moving, knowing that as the crew pulled out onto the Main they could glance in their mirror and see the tail lights of the train they had just crossed.