Dear customer,

We are sorry for the delays that many of you faced to your commute on Thursday morning.

This was the result of a trespasser climbing on the roof of Southend Central station, who had to be removed by the British Transport Police. The overhead power lines in the area were turned off during the incident. This meant no trains could leave Shoeburyness depot or call at any stations from Shoeburyness to Chalkwell. As a result there were delays and cancellations across the c2c route all morning.

This article is intended to provide you with more information about what happened, what the impact was on our service, and how we managed the situation.

If you were delayed you may be eligible for compensation. Please see below for more details about how to claim for the money you are owed.

What happened?

At around 04.00 on Thursday morning, we received reports a trespasser had climbed onto the roof of Platforms 1 and 2 at Southend Central station. The British Transport Police sent specialist staff to the scene to manage the incident. For safety reasons Network Rail turned off the overhead power lines in the area during the incident.

At 06.05 it was safe to turn the overhead power lines back on, but trains were only able to use Platforms 3 and 4 at Southend Central. At 06.45 the route was fully reopened.

However the disruption this had already caused to the train service meant that the rest of the morning peak was severely disrupted. Some delays continued until around midday.

What was the impact, and what did we do about it?

While the overhead power lines were turned off, no trains could run between Chalkwell and Shoeburyness in either direction. This meant no trains were able to leave Shoeburyness depot, where the majority of c2c’s fleet is stabled overnight. Therefore at the start of the day, only services operated by trains based at East Ham depot could be run.

When the overhead power lines were first turned back on, Platforms 1 and 2 remained closed at Southend Central. This meant trains in the area had to take turns to travel the same section of the line. This approach works in the same way that cars are required to take turns at temporary traffic lights when a road is closed in one direction. This reduced the number of trains that we could start operating at first.

Once the power was fully restored, as many services as possible were reinstated and run as normal. However a number of services had to be cancelled, because the trains and drivers operating them were out of place given their earlier journeys had already been cancelled.

We also added additional calls at stations where possible to relieve crowding. In a few cases services missed some stops out so the trains could start their return journeys more quickly.

In total 76 trains were delayed, diverted or cancelled.

Compensation for delays

If you were delayed you will be eligible for compensation for each journey. Find out more about the different tiers of compensation we offer based on the length of your delay here.

  • c2c smartcard users: If you tapped your Smartcard at both the end of your journey, you will receive automatic compensation. However  we recommend you check your online account to ensure our automatic payments reflect the actual delay to your journey, especially if you delayed tapping your card in at the start of the journey. If you feel your delay is not fully reflected, you can use your online account to correct the automatic system. Alternatively you can submit a manual claim on this occasion.
  • Paper ticket holders, Oyster and contactless card users: Please fill out your details on this online delay repay form to claim your compensation.