c2c is to receive 6×4-car Class 387s from Porterbrook’s speculative order for 80 vehicles in a bid to address overcrowding on the route. As with the rest of the 387s, the vehicles will be built by Bombardier in Derby.
The operator says the carriages will begin to enter service in October, with all trains in service by the end of the year. The trains will be leased until 2019, at which point c2c is due to receive new trains as part of the deal agreed with the Department for Transport when it renewed the franchise. c2c says the formal procurement process for these trains started in April, with the manufacturer expected to be appointed in the summer.
c2c has been seeking to add extra carriages following complaints of overcrowding after it introduced a new timetable in December 2015. A proposed deal to lease two five-car Class 360/2 units from Heathrow Connect fell through, leading the operator to seek alternative solutions.
In addition, the operator is to make further amendments to its timetable from the change on Sunday 15 May, including changed stopping patterns and the combination of some evening services to provide longer trains and reduce the number of four-car services at peak times. It says these changes will be reviewed again in December once the additional carriages are in service.
Rail Minister Claire Perry MP said: ‘I have asked c2c to speed up the process of getting new trains for their customers and it is great to see this happening’.