Local train operator c2c is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the introduction of electric trains on its route, providing a timely reminder of rail’s green credentials during the COP26 conference.

British Rail operated the first electric train on the c2c route on Tuesday 7th November 1961. The last steam trains were phased out on the c2c line by June 1962, while the diesel trains that ran services on the Ockendon line from 1958 were also quickly phased out in favour of the new electric trains.

c2c’s current fleet of 80 electric trains are more environmentally friendly than both their diesel and steam train predecessors, and also significantly better for the planet than driving. They offer local residents in Essex and east London a greener way to travel; for example one person travelling between Southend and Fenchurch Street cuts their CO2 emissions by 74% if they take the train rather than drive in a diesel car.

c2c Engineering Director Jeff Baker said: “My predecessors from 60 years ago were ahead of their time when they invested in an electric fleet of trains for the rail line we now call c2c. World leaders are currently discussing environmental issues at the COP26 conference on a global level, but simple steps like taking an electric train instead of driving can help us all make a real difference to our own personal environmental footprint.”

c2c is running a special offer during the COP26 conference to encourage more people to take the train, with 1,000 half-price off-peak tickets available until Friday. More details of this offer and c2c’s wider green story are available here.