The New South Wales government announced on 17 August 2016 that it had ordered 512 new intercity carriages to be built in South Korea.
Sending so much work (AU$2.3 billion) overseas attracted adverse comments however few people have considered passenger comfort.
The seats in the upper and lower decks of the carriages will not be reversible. At any time half of them will face away from the direction of travel. It is well-known that passengers on long trips have a strong preference for facing forwards and don't like knocking strangers' knees.
The authorities are well aware of this passenger preference but favour fixed seats because they:
We suspect that anyone complaining about the fixed seats, before or after the trains enter service, will be told that selecting fixed seats made the seating more comfortable.
The seats will be equipped with power outlets for passengers with smartphones/iPads etc and, for all we know, with wifi. This raises a further excuse - complaints about fixed seats might be met by the authorities saying it was impracticable to have reversing seats with power connections.
Help us tell the authorities that the seats should be re-specified to be reversible.