|Franchise(s)||London, Tilbury & Southend:|
26 May 1996 – 8 November 2014
9 November 2014 – 10 November 2029
|Main route(s)||Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness|
|Other route(s)||to Grays via Rainham |
to Pitsea via Ockendon
to Liverpool Street via Stratford
|Fleet size||74 Class 357 Electrostar sets|
6 Class 387 Electrostar sets
|Stations called at||28|
|Parent company||Prism Rail (1996–2000)|
National Express (2000–2017)
Trenitalia c2c Limited, trading as c2c, is an English train operating company owned by Trenitalia that operates the Essex Thameside railway franchise. It manages 25 stations and its trains call at 28. c2c provides commuter services from its London terminus Fenchurch Street and from Liverpool Street to east London and parts of Essex along the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway.
The company began operating as LTS Rail in May 1996 under the ownership of Prism Rail, which had been awarded the London, Tilbury & Southend railway franchise as part of the privatisation of British Rail. LTS Rail rebranded as c2c in May 2000 and Prism Rail was bought by National Express in July that year. National Express sold c2c to the Italian operator Trenitalia in February 2017.
The London, Tilbury & Southend franchise was due to start in February 1996, but after the discovery of ticketing and settlement irregularities within hours of the scheduled handover with the preferred bidder, Enterprise Rail, it was re-tendered.
In May 1996, the franchise was awarded to Prism Rail by the Director of Passenger Rail Franchising for 15 years. It began operating as LTS Rail on 26 May 1996. In May 2000, the business was rebranded as c2c.
The franchise was originally due to conclude on 26 May 2011. In December 2010, the Department for Transport (DfT) granted National Express an extension until 26 May 2013 to allow DfT time to conduct a review of the franchising process. In March 2013 the Secretary of State for Transport announced the franchise would again be extended until 13 September 2014. A further delay saw this extended until 8 November 2014.
On 9 November 2014, National Express was awarded a new 15-year franchise, having successfully tendered against Abellio, FirstGroup and MTR Corporation. The new franchise retains the c2c brand, albeit operated through a new legal entity, NXET Trains Limited in lieu of c2c Limited.
Branding and marketing
The c2c name could be conceived to represent city to coast or capital to coast, reflecting the nature of the route, or commitment to customers.
The c2c website stated:
The name c2c doesn't mean anything specific. In a sense it can mean anything you want it to. Its uniqueness reflects the young, vibrant character of the people we serve. c2c could stand for coast to capital, or capital to coast. From our point of view, one of the most important things it stands for is commitment to customers.
National Express also referred to the c2c route as City to Coast. c2c used the slogan way2go, but later used the Making travel simpler slogan also used by other National Express companies.
c2c operates services on the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway line from London Fenchurch Street to the northern Thames Gateway area of southern Essex, including Grays, Leigh-on-Sea and Southend-on-Sea. The main route from Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness is 39 miles 40 chains (63.57 km), with a fastest timetabled journey time of 58 minutes giving an average speed of 40.7 mph, although the route can be done in 47 minutes, an average speed of 50 mph. The line has a speed limit of 75 mph (121 km/h), although the Class 357 Electrostar trains are capable of 100 mph (160 km/h).
The typical off-peak service per hour consists of 8 trains arriving and departing Fenchurch Street:
|London, Tilbury & Southend Railway|
|Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness via Basildon||4||Limehouse (2tph), West Ham, Barking, Upminster, West Horndon (2tph), Laindon, Basildon, Pitsea (2tph), Benfleet, Leigh-on-Sea, Chalkwell, Westcliff, Southend Central, Southend East, Thorpe Bay|
West Horndon and Pitsea are served by the same trains.
|Fenchurch Street to Southend Central via Ockendon||2||Limehouse, West Ham, Barking, Upminster, Ockendon, Chafford Hundred Lakeside, Grays, Tilbury Town, East Tilbury, Stanford-le-Hope, Pitsea, Benfleet, Leigh-on-Sea, Chalkwell, Westcliff|
|Fenchurch Street to Grays via Rainham||2||Limehouse, West Ham, Barking, Dagenham Dock, Rainham, Purfleet|
In the rush hour there are additional services, with a few services to/from London starting/terminating at Laindon, Pitsea and Leigh-on-Sea. In the morning, one peak-time service does not call at West Ham and Limehouse and one calls at West Ham, missing Limehouse. Other than this, all trains call at West Ham and Limehouse. In the evening, all trains call at Limehouse and very few miss out West Ham. This was changed in the new December 2015 timetable.
On Sundays, the non-stopping service to Shoeburyness does not run. Additionally some early-morning and late-evening weekday services to/from Shoeburyness and Grays terminate at Barking via Rainham.
As c2c is mainly a London commuter railway and the typical c2c journey is between 40 and 80 minutes, c2c does not offer first-class seating. Its Class 357s have standard high-density 3+2 seating to meet high demand at peak times; however, 17 trains were converted into a "metro" style with 2+2 seating and grab handles.
London Underground's District line connects with c2c indirectly at Tower Hill (for Fenchurch Street) and directly at West Ham, Barking and Upminster. Tickets are fully interchangeable between the two operators. There are also interchanges at Limehouse and West Ham with Docklands Light Railway and at Barking and Upminster with London Overground.
Some peak services do not call at West Ham due to signalling limitations. A peak timetable introduced on 11 December 2006, with the aim of improving services for the Thurrock and London Riverside sections of the Thames Gateway, was withdrawn on 8 January 2007 after a campaign by passengers as a result of delays and cancellations that affected other lines on the network.
In January 2005 it was announced that an on-train television service would be tried out, and one unit had television installed. In June 2006 the 360 On-Board Television service ran into financial difficulties when c2c's partner in the project, TNCI (UK), ceased trading, and the service was withdrawn. c2c indicated it would restart the roll-out should a suitable partner be found.
In June 2006 it was announced that portable X-ray machines and metal detectors would be randomly placed at stations and carried by officers on trains during summer 2006 to catch people carrying weapons, in a joint operation with Essex Police and British Transport Police, following trials at London Underground stations.
In October 2007 c2c announced that the first coach of each unit would be made a Quiet Zone, where passengers are asked not to use their mobile phones or play music out loud. The Quiet Zone was introduced in early 2008 and is indicated by magenta vinyl stickers on the doors of the coach.
On 1 April 2017, c2c introduced a new on-board WiFi service free to all customers. Also, it has an on-board entertainment service called Vista. c2c has partnered with Now TV to provide free television shows available to stream for c2c passengers.
As of December 2015 c2c runs two services an hour at weekends that have been diverted into London Liverpool Street instead of Fenchurch Street to/from Shoeburyness, primarily to serve Westfield Stratford City. These call at Stratford, Barking, then all stations to Shoeburyness via Basildon; additional early-morning and late-evening weekend services terminate at Southend Central and Grays. Also, when engineering work blocks access to Fenchurch Street, all services are diverted into Liverpool Street. This route runs over part of the London Overground Gospel Oak to Barking line; however, trains pass through Woodgrange Park station without stopping.
Tickets for trains between Fenchurch Street and Upminster are inter-available with London Underground services between Tower Hill and Upminster, at Transport for London fares. All other journeys are priced by c2c. Oyster card pay-as-you-go has been available since 2004 at stations between Fenchurch Street/Liverpool Street and Upminster. It was extended to Rainham in 2008 and beyond Travelcard Zone 6 to Grays in January 2010. Oyster cards may be purchased or topped up at some c2c stations that are not also London Underground stations, including Chafford Hundred, Grays, and Purfleet.
On 23 September 2019, c2c announced that it would be removing the First to Last staffing at some stations and running reduced ticket-office opening hours.
c2c ticket machines in the Oyster PAYG area have been upgraded so they can read Oyster cards. On 23 September 2019 it was also announced that c2c had invested more than £10 million into a new self service ticketing system with a user-friendly self-service interface developed with Voodoo Park. The interface is completely web-based and can be remotely repaired.
The ticket machines installed in 2019 are from the Italian company Sigma Spa.
c2c inherited a fleet of Class 302, Class 310 and Class 312s from Network SouthEast. To replace the Class 302s, seventeen Class 317s were hired from West Anglia Great Northern from 1996 until 1999 as Class 357s entered service.
In 2003, c2c became the first train operating company to replace its entire fleet with new trains. In March 2007, after extensive trials, c2c began fitting regenerative braking to its fleet, becoming the first UK train operator to do so. On 3 June 2007, the eve of World Environment Day, 357010 was given an all-over green vinyl sticker livery with the slogan "All c2c trains are greener now – find out more at – www.c2c-online.co.uk – c2c – the greener way to go" to highlight the completion of the scheme, which the company says has enabled energy savings of up to 20%. In October 2007, c2c announced that it had switched to renewably-generated electricity in all its stations, maintenance facilities and offices in a contract with E.ON UK, said to be the largest of its kind in the transport sector. 357010 lost its green livery in March 2011 as part of the relivery project.
With a few Class 357s being out of service at the same time, from late 2006 two Class 321s were hired from Silverlink for three months for weekday peak-hour use between Fenchurch Street and Laindon, and Pitsea via Rainham, to cover for the unavailable units. The Class 321s were used with guards as they were incompatible with the positioning of c2c's Driver Only Operation mirrors.
In June 2009, Bombardier began repainting the Class 357 units. The vinyl wraps carrying the original purplish blue and magenta c2c livery were removed and the units reliveried in white with dark blue doors.
In late 2015 c2c adapted 20% of carriages into a "metro" style. These carriages have 2 seats either side of the aisle (2+2) compared to 3+2 seating. This increased the passenger capacity of these carriages, at the expense of seating capacity, by converting the space of the aisle seat on the "3" side into (more efficient) standing space.
This addressed the issue of the high volumes of passengers using c2c to travel to/from West Ham and Barking, which, with Upminster, are served by the parallel London Underground service. In the evening peak, these passengers can displace those eastbound passengers who use more easterly and less well-served stations.
In early 2016, c2c announced that it would lease additional trains to relieve overcrowding. This led to its leasing six Class 387s for three years from Porterbrook to increase capacity on the busiest services. The first entered service in November 2016.
As part of its new franchise, c2c has committed to leasing new trains to cope with rising passenger numbers, which were boosted especially by the opening of the Docklands Light Railway station at West Ham in 2011 and the rise of Canary Wharf as a financial centre.
In late 2019, the thermostats in carriages became unreliable making heating run when it was warm outside and vice versa. To fix this problem, c2c sent 1 train a week to Ilford Depot for a full HVAC overhaul. The programme is expected to end in early 2020, taking about 80 weeks.
|Family||Class||Image||Type||Top speed||Number||Cars||Routes operated||Built|
|Fenchurch Street/Liverpool Street ↔ Grays/Southend Central/Shoeburyness||1999–02|
In December 2017, c2c announced an order with Porterbrook for six ten-car Class 720/6 Aventra electric multiple units. The new units are scheduled for delivery between mid and late 2021, meaning they will all be in service three years earlier than the initial planned phased introduction period.
These new units will replace the current allocation of six four-car Class 387 units, which c2c is currently operating on a short-term lease. c2c also announced that the lease on these trains would be extended until the new trains arrived, and it would also seek further leases from December 2019.
A ten-car Class 720 train will have the same length as a 3-unit or twelve-car Class 357 or 387 train.
|Family||Class||Image||Type||Top speed||Number||Cars||Routes operated||Built||In Service|
|Bombardier Aventra||720/6||EMU||100||161||6||10||Fenchurch Street/Liverpool Street ↔ Grays/Southend Central/Shoeburyness||2020-21||2021|
In late 2015, c2c introduced a new timetable to reflect long-term changes in passenger numbers at stations on the line. c2c was criticised for putting the interests of "one-stop hoppers" (passengers travelling between Barking and West Ham) above those who travel further on the line.
- These units are on a short-term lease until 2021, when they will be replaced by six 720s
- Companies House extract company no 7897267 Trenitalia c2c Limited formerly NXET Trains Limited
- "Acquisition of c2c by Trenitalia - National Express Group PLC". www.nationalexpressgroup.com. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
- "Office of Passenger Rail Franchising:The award of the first three passenger rail franchises". National Audit Office. 2 January 2008. Retrieved 19 July 2008.
- Routledge, Paul (4 February 1996). "Inquiry into ticket fraud stalls rail sell-off". The Independent. London.
- Wolmar, Christian (5 February 1996). "Government orders rail fraud inquiry". The Independent. London.
- Grimond, Magnus (30 May 1996). "Soaring Prism renews rail sale attack". The Independent. London.
- "LTS Rail relaunches as c2c" Rail issue 386 28 June 2000 page 4
- Osborne, Alistair (19 July 2000). "National Express buys Prism for £166m". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- Harper, Keith (19 July 2000). "National Express buys Prism for £166m". The Guardian. London.
- "c2c extension awarded to National Express". Railnews. Stevenage. 23 December 2010.
- "Railway plan puts new focus on passengers" Secretary of State for Transport statement 26 March 2013
- "Bidders to oversee improvements on rail franchises announced" (Press release). Department for Transport. 29 March 2012.
- "C2c awarded 15-year Essex Thameside rail franchise". BBC News. 27 June 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- Companies House extract company no 2938993 c2c Rail Limited
- "Annual Report 2002" (PDF). National Express. 13 March 2003.
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- Rail Performance: C2C.
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- "ORR passenger numbers by train operating company". ORR.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 November 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Class 317s for LTS" Rail issue 296 15 January 1997 page 9
- "No more sliding-door trains for LTS as WAGN keeps last Class 317s" Rail issue 345 2 December 1998 page 13
- "Adtranz wins £200 million order for new trains on 'Misery Line'" Rail issue 307 18 June 1997 page 6
- "First LTS Electrostar Class 357 delivered: Rail issue 358 2 June 1999 page 45
- "c2c takes the lead in energy saving train travel" (Press release). c2c. 3 June 2007. Archived from the original on 11 May 2008. Retrieved 19 July 2008.
- "Green Credentials". c2c. 4 June 2007. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 19 July 2008.
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- "c2c Commuter News – June 2009" (PDF). c2c. June 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 December 2010. Retrieved 14 August 2009.
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- "c2c New trains". Archived from the original on 15 March 2016. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
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- "Brand-new carriages in production in Derby - Trains to/from London, Southend & Essex with c2c Rail". www.c2c-online.co.uk. Archived from the original on 21 October 2018. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
- c2c Electrostar EMUs under construction Railway Gazette International 5 July 2016
- Essex Thameside EMU tender launched as Class 387s enter service International Railway Journal 16 November 2016
- "c2c: The Timetables, They Are A-Changin'".
- Briginshaw, David (14 December 2017). "Britain's c2c franchise orders Aventra EMUs". International Rail Journal. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
- Sexton, Christine (15 December 2017). "c2c 'just playing catch-up' with £100million investment in new trains". Echo. Basildon. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
- 720s for c2c Modern Railways issue 857 February 2020 page 84
- "Your Questions on the New Timetable Answered". c2c. Archived from the original on 28 November 2018. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
- Jones, Philip (17 December 2015). "Commuter outrage shocks c2c boss". Echo. Basildon. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to C2c.|
- Official website
- Google. "Stations, route and alternative diversion to Liverpool Street & Stratford" (Map). Google Maps. Google.
As part of British Rail
| Operator of London, Tilbury & Southend franchise
Essex Thameside franchise
London, Tilbury & Southend franchise
| Operator of Essex Thameside franchise
2014 – 2029