Sorry, disagree. Comfort on long distance trains should be the priority. Seating capacity on the shorter Intercity services can be addressed by providing a higher frequency.
On the matter of the relative seating capacities of the Oscars, V-sets and NIF sets, we shouldn't get too hung up on the latter providing less seating, particularly compared with the Oscars. The Oscars after all have 3+2 seating, which is not ideal for longer distance Intercity travel, for which they were never intended. Without getting into the debate about specific numbers, a 10 car NIF set will have close to the same seating capacity as an 8 car V-set, which I suspect was the original design intent. Comfortable 2+2 seating is more appropriate for long distance travel and maximising the seating capacity should not be the priority.Having seen photos of the mockup, it is odd that the fixed seats are shown as all facing the centre of the car, the opposite of the Tangara arrangement where the seats face outward from the centre. This means the majority of passengers will be facing eachother which is likely to be unpopular.
As well as having two plus two seating, losing one seat per row, the revised steps reduce the number of rows in both decks of the double deck section by one.
I cannot imagine what the operator and designers were thinking. When the spin is removed, we are ending up with a train with fewer seats per car with unpopular fixed seating.
If these trains are to replace H sets on the peak hour Gosford and Wyong services, which stop at many stations on the North Shore line (I frequently catch these trains in both the morning and afternoon) there will be many more people standing. Ten car trains can't be used because of platform lengths.
I can predict now the reaction of North Shore passengers finding far fewer seats on their usual train….
Comfort on long distance trains should be priorities, but so should any train where people have to travel more than 1 1/2 hours at worst or better still over an hour. As for providing services at higher frequencies in cases such as the peak hours in Sydney that is the biggest problem that faces governments to provide more services owing to the squeeze from the old Illawarra Junction amalgamation of the various lines. Goodness knows how bad it would be if the trains from Cronulla & Waterfall were not diverted to the Eastern Suburbs and had to also mix with the Circle trains.
The I/U services often get blocked and therefore are late owing to early freight services break downs, also slow movements into the CBD areas, some of the CC services go via the North Shore which helps some commuters but means others have to change trains at Hornsby for other destinations. That makes what is maybe a 1 1/2 hour journey much longer, at least it allows for leg stretching at Hornsby, once the Macquarie park line closes that means months where commuters have to file out on to buses, meaning longer overall journey times.
To travel from the SC, Mountains and from Newcastle, CC each have issues with the level of comfort and the like. These new trains won't provide the comfort needed, and already the overall costs of them are blowing out with the work needed on the mountains, how many stations can take the 10carriages will determine how far they will go and at what stops, unless they introduce a means like many stations have and that is passengers must travel in set carriages if they want to alight, some stations if someone wants to get off have to notify the guard, no guard on these trains?
I can well imagine a large commuter backlash over these trains and could mean a lot of later costs in modifying them. Thing is that there is still the Country train contracts to come out, and I would not be surprised if they also are targeted once again to have fixed seats in them.
When I worked on the etr as a driver, the best normal suburban service we had for time travel was the old heron service from Emu plains to the City and then to Hornsby, it had an 8carDD set with limited stops Penrith, St Mary's, Mt Druitt, Blacktown, Parramatta, Redfern, Central - All to Hornsby. The time was 1hour Emu to Central the train was standing room only from Blacktown and congestion on/off at Parramatta, those two stations times could be extended meaning a fast run between them to maintain the tt.
While such trains were great for the tt and commuters to get good services, only those who could get seats had comfort, and standing room only from Blacktown was often uncomfortable, especially the need to have hand grips. Track may be a bit smoother these days and trains do not seem to run to the same speeds, and in the whole mix seating and comfort levels should be what commuters are wanting not what arrogant politicians force onto the general public and do so by saying they listen, but never seen, also the current toy features of usb and power points, how much extra money has that put onto the cost of the trains, and if they fail what cost to fix them or more likely another dream idea is dumped but the general tax payers have to foot the bill and often do not get what they need let alone want.