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Franchise(s):Essex Thameside[1]
26 May 1996 – November 2011[2]
Main Route(s):Fenchurch Street
to Shoeburyness via Basildon
Other Route(s):to Grays via Rainham
to Pitsea via Ockendon
Fleet size:74 Class 357 Electrostar sets
Stations called at:26
Stations operated:24
Passenger km 2007/8:916.8 million
Route km operated:128.7
National Rail abbreviation:CC
Parent company:National Express Group

c2c is a British train operating company that is part of the National Express Group. It provides passenger rail services on the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway line from Fenchurch Street railway station in the City of London to east London and the entire length of the northern Thames Gateway area of southern Essex including Basildon, Chafford Hundred (for Lakeside Shopping Centre), Tilbury and Southend-on-Sea. This route is now to be known as the Essex Thameside franchise.[1] The main route from Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness via Basildon is Template:Convert/mi long, and the fastest timetabled journey time from Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness is 58 minutes. The line currently has a maximum speed limit of 75 mph (Template:Convert/outsep), although the Class 357 Electrostar electric multiple unit trains which run on it are capable of a maximum speed of 100 mph (Template:Convert/outsep). Before July 2002, it traded under the name LTS Rail.

Management and branding[]

c2c's franchise was one of the first three in the UK to be awarded, beginning on 26 May 1996 for a term of 15 years at an average annual subsidy of £18.4 million, and will expire on 31 May 2011. It was initially awarded to Prism Rail in December 1995 and was marketed as LTS Rail. It was due to begin operation in February 1996 but "the LTS Rail franchise was not completed because of allegations of ticketing and settlement irregularities. It was re-tendered in March 1996 and awarded in May 1996 to Prism Rail."[3] Prism Rail was purchased by National Express in September 2000 and the franchise was rebranded as c2c in 2002. The name could be conceived to represent city to coast or "capital to coast", reflecting the nature of the route, or "commitment to customers".[4]

The c2c website states: Template:Quote

c2c used the slogan "way2go", but now uses the "Making travel simpler" slogan also used by the other companies in the National Express Group. All stations on the route are managed by c2c except Fenchurch Street, which is managed by Network Rail, and West Ham, which is managed by London Underground. The current managing director is Julian Drury.


File:Fenchurch street station.jpg

Most c2c services operate from Fenchurch Street railway station

Template:C2C RDT The typical off-peak service consists of eight trains per hour (tph) arriving and departing Fenchurch Street:

  • 4 tph to Shoeburyness via Basildon
    • of which 2 tph do not stop at Limehouse, West Horndon or Pitsea
  • 2 tph to Grays via Rainham
  • 2 tph to Southend Central via Ockendon

On Sundays, the non-stopping service does not run and the Grays via Rainham service is reduced to a 1 tph shuttle from Barking.

As c2c is mainly a London commuter railway and the average c2c journey is between 40 to 70 minutes, c2c does not offer first-class seating: all its Class 357s are fitted with standard high-density seating to meet demand at peak times when the line is very busy.

The London Underground District Line also serves Upminster station, Barking station, West Ham station and Tower Hill (for Fenchurch Street). Tickets are fully interchangeable between the two operators. The District Line runs alongside the c2c tracks from Bow to Upminster, with c2c services providing the fast service and the District Line providing the stopping service. Cross-platform interchange is provided at Barking between the two.

The number of peak services calling at West Ham is restricted by signalling system constraints.[5] A new peak timetable introduced on 11 December 2006, with the stated aim of improving services for the Thurrock and London Riverside sections of the Thames Gateway,[5] was withdrawn on 8 January 2007 after a successful campaign by passengers as a result of delays and cancellations that affected other lines on the network.[6][7]

In January 2005, it was announced that an on-train television service would be tried out on the fleet. 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 has indicated it will recommence the roll-out should a suitable partner be found for the scheme.[8] Although only one unit had the television service installed and subsequently decommissioned, Wi-Fi has now been installed and tested and will soon be available for public use.

In June 2006, it was announced that portable X-ray machines and metal detectors would be randomly placed at c2c 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.[9]

In October 2007, c2c announced that the first coach of each unit would be made a "Quiet Zone", where loud talking and use of mobile phones and personal audio players is prohibited.[10] The "Quiet Zone" was introduced in early 2008 and is indicated by magenta vinyl stickers on the doors of the coach.[11]

London terminus[]

Liverpool Street station is used as an alternative London terminus when necessary engineering work restricts access to Fenchurch Street. Regular late evening c2c services have previously operated from there. Template:As of, a limited number of weekday services in the early morning and late evening operate between Grays, Barking and Liverpool Street, calling at Stratford.[12]


For August 2005, c2c was named the most punctual rail service in Britain, with 95.3% punctuality for that month.[13] At the end of the 2008-09 financial year, c2c was once again named the most punctual railway service, with 95.3% annual average of services running on time.[14] In the four weeks ended 21 August 2010, 98.8% of all c2c services arrived within 4 minutes 59 seconds. The previous UK record was 98.0%, incidentally also set by c2c.

In 2005, c2c was awarded the Golden Spanner Award at the Annual National Rail Awards. This was presented to its East Ham Depot team for its work in maintaining the fleet of Electrostar trains. In 2006, c2c held on to this award, making it the winner for two years running.

c2c previously received criticism from Transport for London due to an incident on 2 April 2007. A power failure, caused by a piece of rubbish wrapped around the overhead power cables, caused trains in the West Ham area to become stranded. Some passengers forced open the doors on a c2c train and walked along the line. As a safety precaution, London Underground cut the power to the adjacent District Line, causing serious delays to their service.[15]

2011 refranchising[]

Following problems with the East Coast franchise,[16] the Department for Transport indicated that it would be "unacceptable" for National Express to continue to operate the c2c franchise.[17] Instead of terminating the contract immediately, it would be allowed to run until 31 May 2011 and would be put out to tender,[18][19] with National Express not allowed to rebid.[20] National Express Group indicated it would like to continue operating the franchise.[21] In 2010, after a change in government, the policy was reversed, and an extension to the current franchise is under consideration.[22]


File:357036 at Southend Central.jpg

A c2c train entering Southend Central, painted in the original purple livery.

Tickets for trains between Fenchurch Street and Upminster are inter-available with London Underground services between Tower Hill and Upminster; and are sold at standard Transport for London rates. All other journeys are priced by c2c. Under this arrangement Oyster card pay-as-you-go has been available since 2004 from Fenchurch Street/Liverpool Street and Upminster. It was extended to Rainham in 2008[23] and was extended beyond Travelcard Zone 6 to Grays in January 2010.[24] Oyster cards may be purchased or topped up at certain c2c stations which are not also London Underground stations, including Chafford Hundred, Grays, and Purfleet. c2c ticket machines in the Oyster PAYG area have been upgraded to read Oyster cards.

Rolling stock[]

Class Image Type Top speed Number Routes operated Built
mph km/h
Class 357 Electrostar 100px electric multiple unit 100 160 74 London, Tilbury and Southend Railway 1999–2002

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 systems to all of its Class 357 fleet, becoming the first UK train operator to do so.[25] On 3 June 2007, the eve of World Environment Day, Class 357 Electrostar unit 357010 was given an all-over green vinyl sticker livery with the slogan "All c2c trains are greener now - find out more at - - c2c - the greener way to go" to highlight the completion of the scheme, which has enabled energy savings of up to 20%.[26] On 2 October 2007, c2c announced that it had switched to using renewably generated electricity sources in all of its stations, maintenance facilities and offices in a contract with E.ON UK, which was the largest of its kind in the transport sector.[27]

In June 2009, c2c announced that its trains would change livery, with the addition of the National Express logo.[28]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Template:Cite press release
  2. New stateman: National Express gets extension on rail franchises Published: 15 September 2010, Accessed 18 September 2010
  3. Office of Passenger Rail Franchising (OPRAF): The award of the first three passenger rail franchises. National Audit Office (2 January 2008). Retrieved on 19 July 2008.
  4. Track Off. Track Off - Railways Today. Archived from the original on 19 June 2008. Retrieved on 19 July 2008.
  5. 5.0 5.1 New timetable for c2c begins 11 December. c2c (9 October 2006). Retrieved on 19 July 2008.[dead link]
  6. Morning and evening weekday peak schedules to return to previous patterns as c2c restores old timetable. c2c (3 January 2007). Retrieved on 19 July 2008.[dead link]
  7. Template:Cite news
  8. Template:Cite press release
  9. Template:Cite news
  10. Consumer Deals (29 October 2007). Consumer Deals - The Unofficial c2c Rail Info Site. Retrieved on 19 July 2008.
  11. Quiet Zone. c2c (2008). Retrieved on 19 July 2008.
  12. c2c online: 13 December 2009 timetable.
  13. Template:Cite news
  14. Template:Cite press release
  15. Template:Cite news[dead link]
  16. Template:Cite news
  17. Template:Cite news
  18. Template:Cite news
  19. Template:Cite news
  20. Template:Cite news
  21. Template:Cite news
  22. Template:Cite news
  23. Using Oyster PAYG on c2c. c2c (2 January 2008). Retrieved on 30 July 2009.[dead link]
  24. January 2010 Fare Changes. Greater London Authority (2009).
  25. Template:Cite press release
  26. Green Credentials. c2c (4 June 2007). Retrieved on 19 July 2008.
  27. c2c switches to renewable energy sources. c2c (2 October 2007). Retrieved on 19 July 2008.[dead link]
  28. c2c Commuter News - June 2009. c2c (June 2009). Retrieved on 14 August 2009.

External links[]

Template:Commons category

Preceded by
Network SouthEast
As part of British Rail
Operator of Essex Thameside franchise
1996 — November 2011

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