c2c and our train maintenance supplier Bombardier have agreed a new joint programme of investment to improve the reliability and comfort of our trains and to reduce the impact of delays or disruption affecting customers. The vast majority of c2c’s train fleet are Class 357 Electrostar trains, which were introduced between 2000 and 2003 and so have been in service for nearly 20 years. Together we will be making a series of improvements to how we maintain these trains at our depot at East Ham, including:

  • People improvements: a 40% increase in the number of technical staff to maintain the c2c fleet and a new senior management team at East Ham Depot
  • Process improvements: a new approach to our maintenance regime to increase the amount of work done in the daytime between peak hours, when most trains are available to be worked on
  • System improvements: developing a series of new technical solutions for some of the most common faults which had been likely to result in trains being taken out of service

We are also pleased to announce this programme includes a long-term investment to upgrade the air-conditioning systems for our entire fleet of Class 357 trains. This will ensure they operate better in the increasingly hot weather at the height of summer, following extensive feedback from our customers. This comprehensive upgrade programme will see nearly half of the fleet upgraded by next summer, with priority given to fixing the worst-performing trains first, and the entire programme completed in time for the following summer. To deliver this programme of investment, Bombardier will need increased access to our train fleet to carry out the additional work. This means each evening one additional 4-carriage train will be undergoing maintenance instead of running passenger services. As a result, the following train alterations will continue until this project has completed:

  • 17.43 Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness service will call additionally at Laindon
  • 17.46 Fenchurch Street to Leigh-on-Sea service will be formed of 8 carriages

However in the morning peak the 07.37 Leigh-on-Sea-Fenchurch Street service, which has been reduced to 8 carriages in recent months, is expected to resume running as a 12-carriage service from next month. Together c2c and Bombardier are increasing our focus and investment to ensure you continue to have the most reliable journeys in the country on some of the UK’s most comfortable trains.