V-Set replacement contract announced

 
  viaprojects Train Controller



They seems to have the mindsets that the V-sets are the most comfortable seating in the world and that travelling backwards causes death or something... I am guessing that very few people in the Blue Mountains have actually experienced long distance trains around the world (or even XPT/Xplorers), sitting in 'aircraft' style seating in comfort, going backwards and actually survived.
Jim K

one of the best trains in the world at the time...with no need to travel in the wrong direction...


really fixed seating and tables for the short NSW electric system is a joke. we don't like looking or sitting next to other people. it may be good for the rest of the world but in NSW we got a jump on the rest of the world and like to travel in the right direction as the train and have some bit of privacy on the trip...

the trains are going to be joke if there is less seating compared to a V set. more people standing during peek hours. not fun.

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  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

I was just looking at the local paper up in the Blue Mountains http://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au/
It seems the State MP (Labor) is making noise in Parliament on the whole replacement from being built overseas, the lack of wifi, and of course the seats. When you read their FB page, so many local-yocals are going off about the fixed seats.

They seems to have the mindsets that the V-sets are the most comfortable seating in the world and that travelling backwards causes death or something... I am guessing that very few people in the Blue Mountains have actually experienced long distance trains around the world (or even XPT/Xplorers), sitting in 'aircraft' style seating in comfort, going backwards and actually survived.
Jim K
The article regarding Blue Mountain residents whinging about the new trains has been replaced by an article regarding BM residents whinging about the Opal ticket selling facilities. At least the whinging about the Leura station upgrade has taken a back seat for a while.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner



They seems to have the mindsets that the V-sets are the most comfortable seating in the world and that travelling backwards causes death or something... I am guessing that very few people in the Blue Mountains have actually experienced long distance trains around the world (or even XPT/Xplorers), sitting in 'aircraft' style seating in comfort, going backwards and actually survived.
one of the best trains in the world at the time...with no need to travel in the wrong direction...


really fixed seating and tables for the short NSW electric system is a joke. we don't like looking or sitting next to other people. it may be good for the rest of the world but in NSW we got a jump on the rest of the world and like to travel in the right direction as the train and have some bit of privacy on the trip...

the trains are going to be joke if there is less seating compared to a V set. more people standing during peek hours. not fun.
viaprojects
Why should the people who travel outside peak hour have to suffer because peak commuters from the edge of sydney do not want to stand.  Those who travel outside peak are the majority of people who will use the trains anyway.
And your not going to be looking at more people.  Have you ever been on a train outside NSW, most of the seats do not face other people.
  johnboy Chief Commissioner

Location: Up the road from Gulgong
I was just looking at the local paper up in the Blue Mountains http://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au/
It seems the State MP (Labor) is making noise in Parliament on the whole replacement from being built overseas, the lack of wifi, and of course the seats. When you read their FB page, so many local-yocals are going off about the fixed seats.

They seems to have the mindsets that the V-sets are the most comfortable seating in the world and that travelling backwards causes death or something... I am guessing that very few people in the Blue Mountains have actually experienced long distance trains around the world (or even XPT/Xplorers), sitting in 'aircraft' style seating in comfort, going backwards and actually survived.
The article regarding Blue Mountain residents whinging about the new trains has been replaced by an article regarding BM residents whinging about the Opal ticket selling facilities. At least the whinging about the Leura station upgrade has taken a back seat for a while.
nswtrains
http://magresources.f2.com.au/bmg/
Front page, and page 3. Opal tickets is just another story on page 2
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

Because people put up so much of a stink about it, it was like the buttons to open the doors.
You were idiots in making sure every door opened at every station, making sure to lose all the cool air, when in reality the only time every door needs to be opened is during peak and at the very busy stations.
tazzer96
Don't lump me with people complaining about the doors.  I was talking about the fixed seating.  If there were so many complaints about the fixed seating in the Tangaras, then it is obviously a legitimate concern, otherwise it wouldn't have been changed for the subsequent design.  As I said, give the customer what they want or suffer the consequences.  I don't give a smeg about what is acceptable overseas.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

People just don't realise the benefit of having fixed seating but having it of a better quality than the reversibles.
There is a reason why reversible seating is so rare elsewhere in the world, Sydney isn't forward thinking, its stuck in the 1950's.  

Its like having a office desk chair vs a sofa.   While you may be able to swivel around in a desk chair, I would much rather sit in a sofa for 2 hours.
  tonyp Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
People just don't realise the benefit of having fixed seating but having it of a better quality than the reversibles.
There is a reason why reversible seating is so rare elsewhere in the world, Sydney isn't forward thinking, its stuck in the 1950's.  

Its like having a office desk chair vs a sofa.   While you may be able to swivel around in a desk chair, I would much rather sit in a sofa for 2 hours.
tazzer96
Consider a couple of points. First, you don't see a great demand for seats in cars, buses and planes to be facing backwards - in fact none at all, although buses have to have a few because of wheel arches etc, but in the minority. Second, even in those places around the world with trains and trams with seats facing both ways, I have invariably observed that when the train or tram fills at the terminus, people invariably go for the forward-facing seats first and only when these are filled do they occupy the rear-facing.

Rather than actively liking facing the rear, people tend to accept it philosophically when there's no alternative. It's human nature. There may be the odd person who actively likes travelling backwards in a moving vehicle as first choice, but they would probably be considered biological freaks.

So really, you get the seats to face forward if you possibly can but unfortunately in many vehicles, particularly double-ended ones, there's not much choice other than to face as many as half the seats backwards.

The traditional solution was the flip-over seat but their days are pretty much done because of the weight issue and that leaves the rotating seat, which is fine on long distance trains but possibly not so good on a commuter train because so many people are potentially affected by its arc when somebody swings it around.

Putting fold-down tables on the back of seats somewhat decides the issue for these Sydney trains, although that could be done still on rotating seats.

In short, expect a rush for the forward-facing seats at the terminus and a lot of complaints about having to face the rear. It's not just a Sydney thing by any means, I've seen the preference in many places around the world. Some cultures are simply more passive and defeatist about the inconvenience than others.

Just remember - you're trying to attract people out of using their private cars. In cars they face forward and the seats are comfortable. The V sets rose to this challenge admirably. Nothing since has so far on the interurban scene.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner



They seems to have the mindsets that the V-sets are the most comfortable seating in the world and that travelling backwards causes death or something... I am guessing that very few people in the Blue Mountains have actually experienced long distance trains around the world (or even XPT/Xplorers), sitting in 'aircraft' style seating in comfort, going backwards and actually survived.
one of the best trains in the world at the time...with no need to travel in the wrong direction...


really fixed seating and tables for the short NSW electric system is a joke. we don't like looking or sitting next to other people. it may be good for the rest of the world but in NSW we got a jump on the rest of the world and like to travel in the right direction as the train and have some bit of privacy on the trip...

the trains are going to be joke if there is less seating compared to a V set. more people standing during peek hours. not fun.Why should the people who travel outside peak hour have to suffer because peak commuters from the edge of sydney do not want to stand.  Those who travel outside peak are the majority of people who will use the trains anyway.
And your not going to be looking at more people.  Have you ever been on a train outside NSW, most of the seats do not face other people.
tazzer96

We laugh at other states for not having reversible seats. I have been on trains outside of NSW and I am so glad to have reversible seating on most of our trains although I do feel sorry for people stuck on the Illawarra with all of those Tangara's. As for the XPT's and Xplorers they are reversible seats as well. Staff reverse the seats at terminating points for the return journey.
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
The V sets have comfortable seats and reverseable seats. They are one of the best commuter trains in Australia.
  jgjnestor Station Staff

Interesting sideline about fixed seats:  When the XPT cars were being planned in late 1970s, I was told that the planned fixed seats allowed more seats per car; I got a copy of the SAR's AD/BD cars, showing that 70 rotating reclining seats fitted the same 75' body as the proposed XPT; the Director of Marketing & Pass Marketing Manager countered that fixed seats reduced the weight of the train; further enquiries from the Project team showed that this was half a ton per car!!   The fixed seats got plenty of criticism from passengers and were replaced; again Tangaras were fitted with fixed seats and these were replaced.   Fixed seats, like single deck suburban trains, are an ideological issue with certain sections of the NSW railways.
The proposed interurbans seem to have a number of issues apart from fixed seats (hopefully they will get turnover V set seats, the most comfortable short-distance seat in Australia):  The tables are of course a nonsense- they would be destroyed within months of the minister's introductory media event.   Unlike even Endeavours (which do shorter journeys than the proposed trains) they have no interior doors- so passengers get the full benefit of freezing winds when the doors open in Winter- passenger-operated doors do not really solve this issue; the need for the proposed arrangement is that given the way the NSW administration operates interurban trains (no set-down/pick up restrictions)  the majority of journeys on these trains will actually be suburban (eg: Sydney to parra, Blacktown, Penrith etc) hence the need for easy mass entry and exit at the same stations.  Again an ideological issue.
A point no one has raised, is the need for underfloor heating- some country trains had it generations ago; it reduces the stuffy feeling on say Explorers and Endeavours, where in Winter the heat is turned up to stuffy because everyone's' feet are freezing; humans feel comfortable, especially when seated for considerable periods, with warmer feet and cooler heads.  But in-floor heating in Winter also cuts the a/c load (floors loose heat slower than air when the doors open) and helps keep entry-ways dry when it is raining.
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

Reversible seats? They are a must. Like other posters here, I could care less what they do in Europe or elsewhere.

All that you need is some kind of misfit to be facing you for much of the journey and you quickly find yourself looking for a seat in the next carriage.

As for the V-set itself, nothing running anywhere for the same distances come close in comfort. Not even its touted successors that are now running suburban routes. There is a reason that the V set is still around.
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
The lack of interior doors make me see the new trains as being more suburban like.
  johnboy Chief Commissioner

Location: Up the road from Gulgong
My guess is that fixed seats and no Wifi is just a pure Liberal cost cutting exercise.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

...  no Wifi ...
johnboy

There are technical reasons why on-board WiFi in NSW/Australia is both very difficult and all but pointless.

Unless you can suggest a way of running fibre optic cable to a moving train?
  C4 Junior Train Controller

Non reversible seating is not the end of the world. Give me the choice of an existing OSCar seat facing forward or a comfortable seat in the opposite direction and I'd definitely choose the latter. The people who get on at Hamilton, Lithgow, Kiama and the stations close thereafter, being the ones with the longest distance to travel, they will have the run of the train and almost definitely have the option of a seat facing the direction of travel. Departing Central, well the train will empty out along the way, probably allowing the option of moving to a seat facing the direction of travel. Most people wouldn't bother, simply because it's a silly thing to be bothered about. There will be the inevitable seats where one will have sit facing someone else but that's at most 8 seats per deck, and it's a problem now, with current reversible seating anyway. Shouldn't have to worry about some feral eyeing you off as you travel. You shouldn't have to worry about any feral while catching a train to be honest but it's the sad reality of public transport in the greater Sydney area. A different topic altogether mind you. The trays really have no use, I have never felt the urge to pull out a 3 course meal and start eating it on an intercity commuter train, laptops are made for exactly that, sitting on ones lap. All aside they will not last very long and can possibly be used as a weapon by some of the less than civil commuters that frequent intercity trains. USB charging is an excellent and useful idea but once again the less than civil folk will almost definitely ruin these sooner rather than later. They should not fit one thing on this or any type of train that they don't intend to maintain for the lifetime of the vehicle. This brings me to the orange and grey seating, make it orange or make it grey or make it a nice colour, but make it one colour throughout. It may look good ??? when new but give it a few years Freddy the feral will have ruined more grey seats than orange ones and stockpiles of grey are low, we start using any old colour and the whole thing looks like rubbish. As for the lack of a vestibule door, good, they just get in the way, the endeavor ones hardly work well and just cause issues for the handicapped and people with luggage and hinder the boarding/alighting process. The the disturbance of the carriage temperature can be limited by releasing the doors rather than opening them unnecessarily at every stop, it seems like there will be a massive shake up in the operation of these trains, as in drivers controlling the doors, so there's a good chance that they will require the passengers to press the little green lit button to open the doors. Really just give us some comfy seats and hopefully a few more toilets than the OSCar and we should have a decent trip into the city.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Modern trains with unobstructed walk through access from car to car are quieter than the days of old and hence the need for a door to stop the noise and draft is eliminated. No door, one less thing to break and easier for DAA.

Underfloor heating is not required, the trains will be A/C'ed and sound insulated which also help with thermal as well.

Fixed seating takes up less space, less engineering and is alot lighter, that's why planes, buses and cars use it, not because they are afraid to have people sitting backwards.  (Also the airline Hostie cannot do the safety brief if you are facing the wrong way) The XPT staff have to flip the seats, QR turns the whole train, which one is faster for the railway and easier on the staff? However the XPT termini are devoid of whole train turning facilities as the trains were fitted with rotating seats long ago and now limits the design going forward.

Fixed seating doesn't mean some drongo looking at you. As the usually only the centre seats are facing or similar location which happens in a number of seats on the V-sets anyway. Typically you have have facing one way towards the centre and the other half facing back towards the centre. With high head rests most people cannot see past their seat in the seated position.

While non-fixed seating has obvious benefits including the social groups playing cards etc, it comes at a cost and including comfort. Having done commuting on both types of train, I really don't see it as a big issue for most people who are usually asleep anyway.  

Fold down tables, yes i agree on the vandal side of things, but I guess how they are built that matters.

Wi-Fi, with time I think the demand for WI-Fi will fade as now data packages are both huge and cheap and only becoming larger and cheaper with time. I have 6GB/mth, started with 3GB/Mth contract 12mths ago (min available on 2yr plan) but provider increases every so often despite my contract not expired, meanwhile I have still to exceed 2.5GB in any month and I use my phone for work emails, social media and traffic (WAZE) and the odd Youtube videos. If people use that much data, then a public access WIFI which is usually slow is probably not going to cut it. Regardless 60min on a train disconnected from the world won't kill most of us and probably do some good.
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
There are technical reasons why on-board WiFi in NSW/Australia is both very difficult
djf01
What are they? I've happily used onboard wifi on trains o/s and Brisbane.
  johnboy Chief Commissioner

Location: Up the road from Gulgong
...  no Wifi ...

There are technical reasons why on-board WiFi in NSW/Australia is both very difficult and all but pointless.

Unless you can suggest a way of running fibre optic cable to a moving train?
djf01
It has nothing to do with coverage. The system is already in place, just not accessible for public use.

The wireless network that follows Sydney Train Network is high speed and covers the network well,  even into (or partway in) like the 10 Zig Zag tunnels (as experienced and shown to us on a recent emergency management exercise there)(yes, I work in communications). They have better coverage than Telstra... then again that isn't saying much.

But it isnt wireless from the ground straight to your device, it is ground to the enhanced receiver on your train which has a hub in each car, then to your device. The coverage is actually seamless, even through most tunnel
  tonyp Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
Fixed seating takes up less space, less engineering and is a lot lighter, that's why planes, buses and cars use it, not because they are afraid to have people sitting backwards.
RTT_Rules
Have you noticed that planes, buses and cars (add to that unidirectional trams) are not double-ended and travel in one direction only? That's why they don't have a problem fixing their seats to face forward.

The points in your argument relate to double-ended vehicles.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

There are technical reasons why on-board WiFi in NSW/Australia is both very difficult
What are they? I've happily used onboard wifi on trains o/s and Brisbane.
apw5910
Because trains generally run through cuttings, tunnels and generally in the middle of nowhere. (95% of the brisbane to sydney line is out of regular cellular service)  The speed is also very slow because it runs off a 4G cellular signal.  4G might be fast for one user, but not for 10.  

I'm surprised you think the QR wifi is any good.  Its frankly awful unless you are the only one using it. (and very low data allowance)
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

It has nothing to do with coverage. The system is already in place, just not accessible for public use.

The wireless network that follows Sydney Train Network is high speed and covers the network well,  even into (or partway in) like the 10 Zig Zag tunnels (as experienced and shown to us on a recent emergency management exercise there)(yes, I work in communications). They have better coverage than Telstra... then again that isn't saying much.

But it isnt wireless from the ground straight to your device, it is ground to the enhanced receiver on your train which has a hub in each car, then to your device. The coverage is actually seamless, even through most tunnel
johnboy

Cool.  I'll have to look into this,as I was unaware of NSW having any such comms system.  If you've got any links or other reference material/info it'd be appreciated (like who holds the ACMA licences and on what frequencies).
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

Modern trains with unobstructed walk through access from car to car are quieter than the days of old and hence the need for a door to stop the noise and draft is eliminated. No door, one less thing to break and easier for DAA.
RTT_Rules
While trains are far quieter now, having a door will always make it quieter.  Mainly because it stops the noise produced from other passengers in neighbouring carriages.   Even the electric tilt train has vestibule doors.

Is it going to be completely walkthrough like the NGR and the current imu160's/smu260's/B-series.  Or will it have doors between the carriages like all of the current NSW trains.
  johnboy Chief Commissioner

Location: Up the road from Gulgong
It has nothing to do with coverage. The system is already in place, just not accessible for public use.

The wireless network that follows Sydney Train Network is high speed and covers the network well,  even into (or partway in) like the 10 Zig Zag tunnels (as experienced and shown to us on a recent emergency management exercise there)(yes, I work in communications). They have better coverage than Telstra... then again that isn't saying much.

But it isnt wireless from the ground straight to your device, it is ground to the enhanced receiver on your train which has a hub in each car, then to your device. The coverage is actually seamless, even through most tunnel

Cool.  I'll have to look into this,as I was unaware of NSW having any such comms system.  If you've got any links or other reference material/info it'd be appreciated (like who holds the ACMA licences and on what frequencies).
djf01
"Railscan" would be able to answer this better, but I don't know if he watches Railpage much these days.

Sydney trains uses protocol using 1800MHz frequencies. It is a replacement service for the 400 MHz Metronet Train Radio System and to allow extensive data information from trains including CCTV footage for security from each car back to RIC.. The DTRS system's coverage of the rail corridor is quoted as "99 percent".

They use GSMR, which uses cellphone technology to provide that coverage. You should note towers right along the network? Towers are located closer to each other than with the Metronet system, this is to avoid any black or grey spots that may have been identified. In deep cuttings or tunnels leaky feeder is / will be employed.

However before it becomes available to allow Wifi on trains, it will have to be re-enforced dramatically as at the moment it is designed for internal use of Sydney Trains for safety and security reasons. Hence, throwing wireless hubs on each car is only a small part of the costs. The network wide capacity upgrade is why it would not be going ahead at this time.

One of many of their licence details are available.
http://web.acma.gov.au/pls/radcom/licence_image.extract_pdf?pLICENCE_NO=9460463
http://web.acma.gov.au/pls/radcom/licence_area.map_body?pLICENCE_NO=9460463&pAREA_CODE=AP_9460463_2684
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Modern trains with unobstructed walk through access from car to car are quieter than the days of old and hence the need for a door to stop the noise and draft is eliminated. No door, one less thing to break and easier for DAA.
While trains are far quieter now, having a door will always make it quieter.  Mainly because it stops the noise produced from other passengers in neighbouring carriages.   Even the electric tilt train has vestibule doors.

Is it going to be completely walkthrough like the NGR and the current imu160's/smu260's/B-series.  Or will it have doors between the carriages like all of the current NSW trains.
tazzer96
The RTT is mid 90's technology and a train designed for booked seating only, Metro's and numerous other more modern trains I have used are open walk through.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The V-set replacements are due in 3-5 years, by the time the trains are fully rolled out the need for free WIFI will be mostly behind us as data packages will be too cheap to bother.

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