c2c reveals 2017 timetable as new Class 387 enters service
Operator c2c has now published its timetable for next year, on the same day that the first of its six brand-new Class 387 EMU trains entered passenger service.
The company, which is known for consistently topping performance tables, has promised that the timetable will bring faster journey times between stations in Southend and London, longer trains between Thurrock and London and more seats available at stations in mid-Essex – addressing the top priorities of passengers.
The new timetable, which comes into effect on 9 January and was developed in co-operation with local passenger groups, is designed to take advantage of the possibilities offered by the six new four-carriage Class 387 trains.
Announcing the publication of the timetable, c2c’s managing director Julian Drury said: “Today is a really significant step in our efforts to address the top priorities of our customers in different areas. It’s little over six months since we signed the contract for these new trains, and in that time they have been built and now they have started running in passenger service.
“There will be more changes over the coming weeks as we embed the new trains, so I’d like to thank our passengers for bearing with us during this time. Once this project finishes and January’s timetable change is introduced I hope that most passengers will notice an improvement in their commute.”
The TOC signed a short-term lease agreement for the trains back in April in response to a sharp rise in passenger demand. The operator is currently tendering for a new fleet.
The first eight of c2c’s new carriages went into service from Thorpe Bay earlier this week. This enabled c2c to extend three other busy peak trains with extra carriages, adding over 280 more seats to each service.
The remaining 16 new carriages will also start running passenger services over the next few weeks, with further increased capacity expected from next January’s timetable change.
James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East, joined other VIP guests on the final test run of the first new train, where he said: “The existing trains have always been very good but these new trains are a fabulous improvement.
“The forthcoming faster journey times are very important for local residents and it is excellent news there will now be four trains to London from Shoeburyness in an hour or less.”
c2c is the most punctual train operator in London and was named as London’s best commuter operator by Which? magazine in their most recent survey of rail companies.