I traveled the Spirit of Queensland economy class with high expectations considering its a modern train. However I wasn't very impressed with the uncomfortable seats that don't even recline. A six hour trip wasn't comfortable and doing an overnighter would be out of the question. Any sleep at all would be difficult and this is coming from someone who has slept on trains and buses overnight on several occasions. The seats seem to resemble economy airline seats. Its a bit like they're trying to run a train like an airline by making economy a cattle class and expect people to pay a lot for something reasonable. Land based travel doesn't work that way because of the many hours required to travel and trains have a reputation of being comfortable which is why people often use them. People expect even economy class to be comfortable on train and so are prepared to travel long distance on them, even if it takes a bit longer. They seem to have forgotten this and the TV screens on each seats dose not compensate for that.
I can't speak for the rail beds because I haven't been on one, but I find the lack on sleeper rooms a bit concerning. Some people like privacy. While the rail beds have a place on the train, I don't think they should totally replace private rooms and be considered first class. They should be a cheaper option than the high price for a private room.
The Sunlander is 10 times better than the Spirit of Queensland and so I think this new train is a big mistake unless corrective active is taken. if your planning to travel any more than a few hours on this train, I seriously suggest you avoid economy class like the plague or use alternative means of travel.
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