Brand-new carriages in production in Derby
We know how interested many of you have been in the 24-brand new carriages that we will be receiving on c2c later this year. I’m very pleased now to be able to let you know more about the specification for these new trains, and show you some visuals illustrating how they will look, both inside and outside.
The new trains are the latest version of the existing c2c fleet. They are called Class 387 Electrostars and are to be built this summer by Bombardier Transportation in Derby. They provide the most up to date specification for this class of train. With 235 seats in each 4-carriage train, the new rolling stock will provide 1,400 extra seats during both the morning and evening peak, and 14,000 extra peak seats a week. Each 4-carriage train is fully through-connected, including the driving cab ends; so whether in a 4-, 8- or 12-carriage service customers will be able to walk right through the whole train and find all the seats, wherever they are.
These carriages have been designed specifically for longer journeys. The seats are around 10% wider than on our current trains and come with reading lights and armrests. Full-width tables are provided in some areas, and there are also plug sockets for smartphones and laptops. All carriages are fully air conditioned. There are also two toilets and two dedicated wheelchair areas on board each 4-carriage train – double the number on our existing trains.
We have signed the contract for these 24 carriages with Porterbrook Leasing, owner of the trains, with Bombardier who will maintain them at East Ham Depot, and with the Department for Transport.
The first of these new carriages should be delivered at end of October and enter passenger service in November. This is an almost unprecedented short timeframe in the rail industry. They will increase the size of our fleet to 320 carriages, and will help us meet the big growth we have seen in passenger numbers.
Once the new carriages have arrived, we will be amending the timetable again in December 2016 to take full advantage of the extra capacity they provide us with. Work has already started on this, and we are meeting all the passenger groups representing Southend area, Basildon and Laindon, and Thurrock this week to agree what changes could be made. We want to make sure the benefits are felt by passengers across all parts of the network, and we will be using their input, and all the information you have given us over the past six months, to make these decisions.
We will keep you fully updated on further latest news as these trains are built and tested.
Managing Director, c2c