Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) Government is set to place an order for the construction of a new fleet of next-generation intercity trains worth $2.8bn.

Announced by NSW Premier Mike Baird and minister for transport Gladys Berejiklian, the order consists of 65 new air-conditioned trains, including about 520 brand new carriages. The new trains intend to provide a more comfortable ride to the passengers travelling to Central Coast, Newcastle, Blue Mountains and Illawarra.

Baird said: "This is a major investment in a brand new train fleet for NSW and shows how hard we are working to improve services for the tens of thousands of customers commuting daily between Sydney and the South Coast, Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Hunter."

Expected to conduct industry briefings in the next few weeks, the government will now work on the new intercity train procurement process to ensure the fleet is in service within four to five years.

Berejiklian said: "These new trains will provide unprecedented levels of comfort and convenience for customers, and we will now begin industry briefings and community engagement to achieve the best outcome from the new fleet.

"This engagement will be carried out to get feedback on more specific on-board features such as seat configuration, luggage compartments and premium carriages."

Funding for the new trains will be provided by the government, while the first train is expected to enter passenger service by 2019, according to Berejiklian.