are these trains designed to replace the xpt fleet? from the images on the network they look great.
No. Read some of the newspaper reports or the press release. They are to replace and supplement the existing interurban fleet. They will use overhead electric traction.
A staff update from Rob Mason came around today and there was mention of the new trains having 50% more capacity due to more cars per train. That makes me suspect that the contract will be for single deck trains but if NSW Trains intends to increase the number of cars in a set then they better get cracking on lengthening platforms up the Blue Mountains.
When people talk about single deck trains having more capacity, that's because:
- they allow more carriage floor area for people to stand relative to the carriage floor area occupied by seats; and
- they expect to run more trains because they expect slower dwell times at stations because there is more door space relative to carriage floor area.
Neither of these are attractive or particularly pertinent to interurban operations - it isn't acceptable to expect people to stand for an hour or more, there aren't that many stops to incur dwell time and beyond the periphery of the Sydney Trains network you aren't even remotely dwell time constrained.
None of the images released in conjunction with the announcement show single deck trains. They are all clearly double deck commuter trains.
I frankly don't care whether the train have one, two or twenty decks, but I don't understand where this "suspicion" of single deck trains comes from.