THE NSW Government is aware of the benefits of straightening the train track between Bathurst and Lithgow, according to Rail Action Bathurst chairman John Hollis.
Mr Hollis says the group has been involved in general discussions with the government about changes to the track and his feeling is that the idea is being looked at "positively".
His comments come after a plan to cut Sydney to Orange rail travel times by 25 minutes with a realigned track was presented to a national railway conference.
The proposal, by independent railway experts, associate professor Philip Laird of the University of Wollongong and Max Michell, was made to the Ausrail conference in Sydney.
The plan proposes replacing curves with straighter track at three major sites, between Rydal and Tarana, Locksley-Brewongle and Newbridge-Blayney, along with smaller changes at other sites.
Mr Hollis said straightening the track between Bathurst and Lithgow had been on Rail Action Bathurst's agenda for some time.
"When you look at the Tarana Valley, out through Brewongle, there are definitely areas where the original line used to run and it was a lot shorter and a lot straighter," he said.
It was a lot shorter and a lot straighter.
In the early days of the development of the western area, he said, the goods trains got bigger and had difficulty climbing the gradients, so curves were added.
Modern trains, however, would be able to handle the original gradients, he said.
"It's something that is definitely in the conversation [with the NSW Government]," he said.
As the NSW Government works on a strategy for the development of fast rail in the state, Mr Hollis said he understands an entirely new western line, separate to the current line, remains in the mix of options.
"The idea would be to provide an hour's journey into Sydney for people in this area, so people can work in Sydney," he said. "It would not be an option for intercity trains, as such."
Mr Hollis said the benefit in providing a dedicated fast rail western line with limited stops to Sydney would be this area's ability to absorb a population increase.
"That's where the population growth will have to be to relieve the pressure on the Sydney basin," he said.
"The north and south [of Sydney] are pretty much populated now, but the west has great flexibility for putting more people in here."
Mr Hollis said a fast rail line from the west would not necessarily be delivering commuters to the Sydney CBD.
"That's not the only focus for employment these days," he said. "Parramatta is becoming a focus and the Badgerys Creek Airport will change the focus, too.
"We are keeping up to date with fast rail and seeing what's evolving, but at the moment, it's very much in the embryonic stage."