The first of 65 “next generation” intercity trains worth $2.8 billion will start replacing ageing carriages on services including the Blue Mountains line from 2018, NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced last week.
The new intercity train fleet will be purchased “off the shelf” to enable it to be operational sooner and the NSW government would work with train manufacturers to fit out the interiors to better suit intercity passengers’ needs.
Member for Blue Mountains Roza Sage welcomed the decision, which she said would offer Blue Mountains commuters a comfortable ride on up to 520 new carriages offering more space, toilets, modern facilities and possibly — according to Ms Berejiklian — ‘premium class’ where food and drink could be purchased.
“We must take the positive aspects of the existing and much-loved V-set carriages and combine it with modern comforts that will make a customer’s experience more enjoyable,” Mrs Sage said.
“The Blue Mountains community will be consulted as part of the project to ensure the trains are equipped with all the modern comforts that customers want when they travel long distances.
“Features such as the kind of seating configuration customers want, extra luggage storage, power points to charge mobile devices and premium carriages will also be considered.
“We hope that a continually improving service will encourage others out of their cars, off the M4 and onto our trains.
“In the meantime NSW TrainLink is refreshing all 200 intercity V-set carriages.”
Once replaced, the Oscar and V-set trains will be reassigned to Sydney-only passenger rail services.