The NSW government has previewed its new $2 billion intercity trains but it is no closer to confirming when they will enter service.
The trains were due to enter service in late 2019 but have been set back mainly due to an ongoing dispute between the train workers' union and the government about how they will operate.
"We hope to work through those concerns over the coming weeks and months," NSW TrainLink chief operating officer Dale Merrick said at Wickham on Wednesday.
"What I would say though is, for our customers, the trains are ready to go.
"The last piece of the puzzle, for us, is to work through the concerns of the unions, and currently we don't have that support from the RTBU [Rail, Tram and Bus Union]."
The RTBU's main concern has centred on a new operating model which involves drivers being responsible for opening and closing the train doors. They will monitor passengers alighting via CCTV cameras, a role currently carried out by a guard.
The government wants guards' work to be more customer oriented. They will still be able to monitor platforms, but not as they currently do from a door at the train's rear.
The operating model is used in other countries, but the RTBU maintains it is a risk to public safety. Both the union and government have had conflicting safety reports published in recent years.
RTBU secretary Alex Claassens on Wednesday accused the government of wasting "millions on consultants and lawsuits" to "force" the trains onto the network.
"If they are allowed to operate, commuters will be put at risk," he said.
Mr Merrick said the National Rail Safety Regulator had "credited" NSW TrainLink to operate the fleet.
"To get accreditation, we've had to provide evidence of not only the train's safety but ... the way we operate it," he said. "The union has formed a position around the safety of the train, we don't agree with that."
The Fair Work Commission ruled in March that the role of guards can not not be abolished until an agreement with the union is struck.
When the Mariyung fleet, which replaces the 40-year-old V-set trains, finally enters service customers can expect a "completely different" level of amenity, Mr Merrick said
The trains will be the first in NSW to feature USB and AC points. They have a more upright style of seating, tray tables and reconfigured wheelchair, bike and luggage spaces. Help points throughout can be used in the event of an emergency or to obtain information as simple as the time of a connecting train.
Each carriage seats fewer people than the V-sets, but the Mariyung fleet can run as a maximum 10-car train rather than eight-cars the V-sets run as, meaning the total capacity is about the same.
When the Herald toured a Mariyung, they felt spacious, were exposed to plenty of natural light and the seats were comfortable. Half of the seats will always face backwards, they do not flip.
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