PRESSURE is growing for c2c to reinstate fast Southend to London trains to tackle the current “tedious slow journey” into the capital.

The rail firm ditched its super-fast trains off-peak trains amid the onset of the coronavirus pandemic which saw trains calling at all stations from Shoebury to Benfleet, then running non-stop to West Ham and on to Fenchurch Street.

Rail bosses say there are no plans to bring back the service, despite growing calls from residents and politicians. 


Currently it takes about one-hour and 20 minutes to travel from Shoebury to London Fenchurch Street with 15 stops along the route.

“It feels like you are on the tube. Every few minutes you are stopping,” Richard Delahoy, a Thorpe Bay resident, said.

The 67-year-old, who is also a former chairman of the rail travellers’ association for the line, added: “It’s a tediously slow journey. And it’s not just the amount of time it takes to get to London, but the perception travellers get with the train stopping every few minutes.

“I’m not saying the intermediate stations don’t deserve stations, they do, but the Southend area is so big and deserves a fast service into the capital.”

Rochford and Southend East MP James Duddridge met with c2c managing director Rob Mullen earlier this month to lobby for a one-hour journey to London.

He said: “I entirely support speeding up rail journeys for local passengers. At a recent meeting with the Rob Mullen I once again made the case for reducing the time it takes to get from Shoeburyness into London to under 59 minutes - you can do it in 36 minutes with no stops at night!

“It is something I have long campaigned for and I am hopeful we can make it happen.”

A c2c spokesman said: “We understand how important fast journeys are for many of our passengers but at the present time there are no plans to introduce off-peak trains with fewer stops between South Essex and London.

“We closely monitor feedback from our customers as it helps shape our future timetables, however, as part of any timetable changes, we need to ensure we are providing sufficient services for passengers at stations across our route, such as Benfleet and Basildon.”