I'm not embarrassed to ask this, but I couldn't find a more appropriate place than this thread.
If the NSW western line was cut because a mountain caved into one or more of the 10 tunnels east of Lithgow, landslide, whatever, and this was going to be for an extended period of time, could the zig zag railway be reconnected between Clarence and Newnes Junction (and bottom station and Lithgow) just for pax services? Of course it would have to run on standard gauge. Could a train as long as the XPT use the switchback or be supported by the viaducts? The XPL/endeavours would have no problem obviously being small.
Could this line be rebuilt regardless for such contingencies?
Sure, with enough time and cash, anything is possible. But it won’t happen. Why?
So Does Sydney trains(or whoever have the option to acquire ZZ right of way?)
But, there is no connection at Newnes or Bottom points to the mainline. Let’s not overlook the break of gauge. Plus clearances and load limits on viaducts built in the 1860s.
Should the worst occur and the line through the tunnels is impassable, Pax services would be operated by buses. Mt Vic and Lithgow. As has happened recently.
Freight services would go Via Parkes and Coota West. There may be a valid reason to reinstate the Mudgee line, under the circumstance you’ve described. Harden-Blaney, no hope.