is a train operating company
that provides train services on the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway
line from Fenchurch Street station
in the City of London
to East London
along the entire length of the northern Thames Gateway
area including Basildon
, Chafford Hundred
(for Lakeside Shopping Centre
. This route is known as the Thameside franchise
. The main route from Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness via Basildon is 40 miles (64 km) long, and the fastest timetabled journey time from Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness is 58 minutes. The line currently has a maximum speed limit of 75mph
, although the Class 357 Electrostar
trains which run on it are capable of a maximum speed of 100mph. Before July 2002 it traded under the name LTS Rail
Management and branding
c2c is a National Express Group
company. The franchise, one of the first three in the UK, began in May 1996 for a term of 15 years at an average annual subsidy of £18
.4 million, and expires in 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 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.
The c2c website states:
The name c2c doesn’t mean anything specific. In a sense it can mean anything you want it to. It’s 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."
c2c had used the tagline 'way2go' but as part of National Express wider marketing, now uses the 'Making travel simpler' slogan matching the other Companies that form part of 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.
Since January 2
c2c have allowed Oyster cards
(including pay as you go
) to be purchased at and used between all stations which they serve in Greater London
, unlike most other rail operators in the London area. In addition to services between Fenchurch Street, Limehouse, West Ham, Barking, Dagenham Dock, Rainham and Upminster, Oyster card pay as you go can also be used on the limited number of late-night services which call at Liverpool Street and Stratford on the Great Eastern Main Line
The typical off peak service consists of eight trains per hour (tph) arriving and departing Fenchurch Street:
- 4tph to Shoeburyness via Basildon
- of which 2tph do not stop at Limehouse, West Horndon or Pitsea
- 2tph to Grays via Rainham
- 2tph to Southend Central via Ockendon
On Sundays the non-stopping service does not run and the Grays via Rainham service is reduced to a 1tph shuttle from Barking.
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, and the District Line the stopping, service. Cross-platform interchange is provided at Barking between the two services.
The number of peak services calling at West Ham are restricted by signalling system constraints. A new peak timetable introduced on December 11, 2006, with the stated intention of improving services for Thurrock and London Riverside sections of the Thames Gateway, was withdrawn on 8 January 2007 after a successful campaign by passengers.
In January 2005, it was announced that an on-train television service would be trialled on the fleet. In June 2006 the '360 On-Board Television' service ran in to financial difficulties when c2c's partners 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. 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.
In October 2007, c2c announced that the first carriage of each unit would be made into a "Quiet Zone", where loud talking and use of mobile phones and personal audio players is prohibited. The "Quiet Zone" was introduced in early 2008 and is indicated by magenta vinyl stickers on the doors of the carriage.
Liverpool Street station
is used as an alternative London terminus
when necessary due to engineering work, and regular late evening c2c services have previously operated from there. As of December 2007, a limited number of weekday services in the early morning and late evening operate between Barking and Liverpool Street, calling at Stratford
In 2005, c2c was named the most punctual rail service in Britain, with 95.3% punctuality. The latest performance figures from the ORR (Office for Rail Regulation) as of the fourth quarter of the financial year of 2007/8 were very slightly down on the same period last year, c2c achieved PPM of 93.6% and MAA 94.5%..
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 2 years running.
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. On June 3
, the eve of World Environment Day
, Class 357 Electrostar
unit 357010 was given an all-over green vinyl sticker livery with the tagline
"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 has given energy savings of up to 20%.
On October 2, 2007, c2c announced that they had switched to using renewably generated electricity sources in all of their stations, maintenance facilities and offices in a contract with E.ON UK, which was the largest of its kind in the transport sector.
April 2, 2007 Incident
c2c has received criticism from Transport for London
due to an incident on April 2
. A power failure, caused by a piece of plastic 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 track. As a safety precaution, London Underground
cut the power to the adjacent District Line
, causing serious delays to their service.
c2c's fleet is the first complete fleet of rolling stock
in the UK
to feature regenerative braking