c2c (legal name Trenitalia c2c Limited) - A
c2c - A
c2c (legal name Trenitalia c2c Limited) is a British train operating company owned by Trenitalia that operates the Essex Thameside railway contract. It manages 25 stations and its trains call at 28. c2c provides commuter services from its London Fenchurch Street terminus to parts of East London and south Essex along the London, Tilbury and Southend line. At weekends it also operates from London Liverpool Street.
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 2000 and Prism Rail was bought by National Express later that year. National Express was awarded a second franchise in 2014. It sold c2c to the Italian operator Trenitalia in February 2017. The service has been run as a rail contract since 19 July 2021.
c2c First Franchise (1996–2014)
The London, Tilbury and Southend franchise was created as part of the privatisation of British Rail. In December 1995 the franchise was awarded to a management buyout and handover was due to happen on 4 February 1996. However, on 1 February 1996 ticketing and settlement irregularities were discovered and the other shortlisted bidders were invited to tender again.
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. The franchise period could be reduced to seven years if the operator did not fulfil bid commitments to replace rolling stock with new trains.
Passenger numbers increased above forecasts which caused overcrowding as trains reached capacity at peak times. In 1998 the franchise was renegotiated to provide for the elimination of slam-door rolling stock and increased fleet by March 2002, increased staffing of stations, real-time passenger information system, improved security measures, improved station facilities for disabled people, increased cycle storage and pedestrian access from Chafford Hundred railway station to Lakeside Shopping Centre.
LTS Rail started serving West Ham station from 14 May 1999 to coincide with the opening of the Jubilee line extension. Peak services were restricted at West Ham, because of limitations of the signalling system. These were eliminated in time for the December 2011 timetable change ahead of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
The business was rebranded as c2c on 2 July 2000. To coincide with the rebranding, the company website was launched on 16 June 2000. The company name was changed from LTS Rail Limited to c2c Rail Limited.
c2c & National Express
In July 2000, c2c was included in the sale of Prism Rail to National Express. The merger of the companies was completed on 19 September 2000. National Express combined the management and support functions of c2c, Silverlink, WAGN and Stansted Express in a single organisation called London Lines in March 2001.
Fenchurch Street station management transferred from c2c to Network Rail in March 2002.
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.
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. c2c agreed in 2006 to work with Passenger Focus to establish a passenger panel.
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.
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.
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.
c2c Second Franchise (2014–2021)
On 9 November 2014, National Express was awarded the new 15-year Essex Thameside franchise, having successfully tendered against Abellio, FirstGroup and MTR Corporation. The c2c brand was retained for the new operator, NXET Trains Limited, which replaced c2c Rail Limited. Management of Fenchurch Street station transferred from Network Rail to c2c.
In December 2015, c2c introduced a new timetable to reflect long-term changes in passenger numbers at stations on the line. Consultation responses to the draft timetable published in October 2014 indicated dissatisfaction with many of the proposed changes. 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.
c2c & Trenitalia
In February 2017 National Express sold c2c to Trenitalia. c2c was the only remaining National Express operated UK rail franchise, down from a peak of nine in 2003. The company name was changed to Trenitalia c2c Limited.
On 1 April 2017, c2c introduced a new on-board Wi-Fi 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.
During the summer of 2019 c2c ran an hourly weekend limited stop service between Fenchurch Street and Shoeburyess. The new service coincided with the weekend extension of Fenchurch Street to Southend Central via Ockendon trains to Shoeburyness, providing a seven trains per hour service between Shoeburyness and Benfleet on Saturdays and a five trains per hour service on Sundays.
In September 2019 it was 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.
On 23 September 2019, c2c announced that it would be removing the first-to-last staffing at some stations and reducing ticket-office opening hours.
On 31 March 2020 Trenitalia and the Department for Transport entered into an emergency measures agreement to vary the terms of the franchise agreement during the COVID-19 pandemic. This took effect on 1 April 2020 and lasted until 20 September 2020. On 19 September 2020 Trenitalia and the Department for Transport entered into an emergency recovery measures agreement. This was a precursor to the replacement of the franchise agreement with a rail contract.
c2c Rail contract (2021–present)
On 19 July 2021 the franchise agreement was replaced with a rail contract, which expired on 23 July 2023.
The timetable was amended in May 2022 to accommodate the London Overground extension to Barking Riverside, the extension having started running in July 2022 as a spur from the Tilbury loop line east of Barking, sharing infrastructure with c2c services.
c2c is one of several train operators impacted by the 2022–2023 United Kingdom railway strikes, which was the first national rail strike in the UK for three decades. Its workers are amongst those who are participating in industrial action owing to a dispute over pay and working conditions. In February 2023, Department for Transport announced c2c's contract had been extended to 20 July 2025.
London, Tilbury & Southend: 26 May 1996 – 8 November 2014
Essex Thameside: 9 November 2014 – 18 July 2021
c2c Contract(s): Essex Thameside: 19 July 2021 – 20 July 2025
Main Route(s): Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness
c2c Other Route(s):
Fenchurch Street to Grays via Rainham
Fenchurch Street to Pitsea via Ockendon
Liverpool Street to Shoeburyness
c2c Fleet Size:
74 Class 357 Electrostar sets
c2c Stations Called At: 28
c2c Stations Operated: 25
c2c Parent Company:
Prism Rail (1996–2000)
National Express (2000–2017)
c2c Headquarters: Cutlers Court, 115 Houndsditch, London
c2c Reporting Mark: CC
c2c Dates of Operation: 26 May 1996–
c2c Predecessor: Network SouthEast
c2c Technical Length: 125.5 kilometres (78.0 mi)
c2c Route Map Legend
Fenchurch Street Liverpool Street
East Ham Depot
Dagenham Dock Upminster
Purfleet Chafford Hundred
Grays West Horndon
East Tilbury Laindon