How could the journey time to Bathurst be reduced?

 
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
Instead of the recently proposed idea of electrifying the railway to Bathurst (during the election campaign) what could be done to reduce the rail journey time to Bathurst by at least twenty minutes to make it competitive with the road coach service?

For instance could part of the line be rerouted along the original 1860s alignment between Lithgow and Bathurst? (I've read that John Whitton's alignments would be more suitable for modern trains than their replacement alignments)

Or could something else be done to take at least twenty minutes off the trip?

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  apw5910 Chief Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
Or could something else be done to take at least twenty minutes off the trip?
GeoffreyHansen
Bore a hole under the Blue Mountains?
  tom9876543 Chief Train Controller

How many passengers per year take public transport between Bathurst and Lithgow / Sydney?

Improvements of the line would cost big $$$$ and I think the bean counters would never approve the expenditure.
  WimbledonW Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney

For instance could part of the line be rerouted along the original 1860s alignment between Lithgow and Bathurst? (I've read that John Whitton's alignments would be more suitable for modern trains than their replacement alignments)
GeoffreyHansen
The original line had 1 in 40 gradients facing towards Sydney, converted to 1 in 75 when the line was regraded and duplicated. The line was also lengthened which also takes more time.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
That gets said a lot but I don't always agree .
You have to take into account how much faster you can go on less steeply graded alignments and calculate the point to point times .
The original idea with the current alignments was for trains to be able to pull heavier loads over the reduced grades .
It works for heavy trains but works against lightly loaded ones .
A good example is when the Bethungra Spiral up road was closed after a derailment for a week or so .
Light trains (for the motive power such as the steelie) flew up the 1:40s pretty much at the track speed .
Tends to work like that when you have 13000 Hp for 1200 tonnes , 400T an engine .
Bit different when you have 2000T an engine and the grades are 1:66 rather than 1:40 .
The down road Coota to Junee is the original single line . The later up road deviated away from the down to reduce the grades at Frampton and Bethungra . Pity the down road was never made Bi Directional  , could have best of both .

Lithgow to Bathurst could be more direct as the Western Hwy is but the grades would be much steeper . No problem for Bendy Bus pass trains but those long grades would go forever on freighters .
An example of this is the long climb from Molong up though Borenore almost to Orange East Fork . The track speed is reasonably high but it's not an economic reality to run freighters powered to fly up there .

The majority users Lithgow to Bathurst isn't the Bendy Busses , and road is a cheaper faster option .

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