Train operators are starting to get more sophisticated in their train design, with some of the latest trains designed to accommodate passengers and crew on board.
The trains are being designed for the future, as well as being environmentally friendly, says John Stoll, head of rail design for the Irish Railways.
“It is something we have been looking at for a long time and we have a couple of examples already,” he said.
“There are a lot of different options that could be considered and we are looking at a couple.”
The main difference with the new trains is that instead of having to load and unload passengers in an open space, there are seats to be placed under the seat cushions.
“The new design has seats underneath that would be ideal for passengers and there is space under the seats for crew to rest their feet and get a good night’s sleep,” Mr Stoll said.
The new designs are being made by a group of design firms based in Dublin, including the award-winning Avanti design team.
Mr Stoll says the designs are designed to fit a wide range of customer requirements, from light trains for commuters to big trains for freight and business travellers.
The Avantis team is working with a range of rail operators in Ireland, with many of them looking to modernise their trains to make them easier to use.
“This new train design is a great example of what we are trying to achieve,” Mr Soll said of the new designs.
“We are using the latest technology to make the trains more eco-friendly, comfortable and efficient.”
The Irish Rail Services has seen a huge increase in passenger numbers over the past decade.
There are now more than 2.4 million passengers using the network each year, according to figures from the Irish Transport Authority (ITA).
“There has been an explosion in demand for train services and we believe this is an area where we can see a real increase in demand over the coming years,” Mr Dickson said.
This will require the establishment of new routes that will run through the country.
He said the new design will help improve safety, particularly for passengers, by reducing the risk of trains colliding with cars.
“If you look at the existing tracks that were built before the introduction of the [modernisation] programme, they have had some significant impacts on the safety of the network,” he added.
“A number of new lines will also have the benefit of reducing the number of train accidents.”
The Aryan Railways is also working on a number of routes that could offer more flexibility for passengers.
“For us, we are very focused on safety, we have an engineering strategy and we also have a design strategy,” Mr Kavanagh said.