You may have seen photos from the mock-up train design back in October.
It’s been part of a consultation process over about the past year, which has concluded.
As the Herald Sun reported on the weekend (paywall), the finishing touches are now being put on the design.
Yesterday on behalf of the PTUA, I got to see the revised version of the mock-up. Here are some pics.
As you can see, it’ll be a 7-car train, providing 510 seats (about the same number) as the current trains, but far more overall space.
The streamlined design is quite appealing, and is really a consequence of the coupler cover, to help prevent train surfing, as well as the front being designed to cushion any impact from a collision.
Emergency evacuation ladders will make it easier to get everybody out of the train if ever necessary.
There’s been extensive consultation with the drivers and union, and the entire console got a thorough re-design at one stage. There’s also lots of CCTV, accessible by the driver, and recording constantly. Naturally the cab is capable of being fitted with in-cab signalling equipment when that is rolled-out.
The seat fabrics have changed a bit. The orange design shown here on the left will be for priority seating (aligned with the standard colour being used throughout PTV services); the blue is for other seats. Not all the seats inside the mock-up have the new fabric at this stage.
The backs of the seats are treated to reduce vandalism.
Priority seats are marked more clearly, and passenger intercoms can be reached from them. There’s also more yellow highlighting of bars and straps.
The connecting section between carriages is wider than existing trains, making it easier to move between carriages. I’m also told there will be more hand straps added — 3 per section rather than 2 as shown in this photo.
They tried different designs for the internal displays, and settled on white on black — feedback from stakeholders showed it’s clearer than the colour options they tested. They’ve got agreement from disability groups for the poles in the middle of the carriage adjacent the doorways, with recognition that these could be removed later if they cause issues for wheelchair users.
Doors have yellow highlights to assist the vision-impaired. Sections of some carriages are marked as preferred bicycle and pram boarding points. You might also spot the gutter along the top of the carriage near the roof. This will have a kind of mesh design on the top to prevent train surfers grabbing it.
In the “bike zone” you’ll find velcro straps to secure bikes. Will these be used, and survive in the face of vandals? Hopefully. I guess time will tell.
Decals above the doorway make it look more like a real train!
Here’s an exclusive tip for you, from a senior person on the project team: because of the internal cavity for the doors, the seats away from the doors are just very slightly bigger. So if in coming years you’re catching one of these trains and you’d like a tad more space, pick one further into the carriage!
Overall I think it looks great, and the level of consultation has been far greater than on previous designs in the train fleet. Numerous groups, including PTUA, have been involved right through the process. A summary of the consultation is here.
The good news is you can see it yourself in February. From the 9th to 17th it’ll be on display at Birrarung Marr. Details here.
Thanks to the State Government and the project team for running the consultation.