RAIL company c2c says there is “a lot to be excited about” as it hopes to win the contract to run train services in south Essex for up to eight more years.

The contract for the Shoebury to London Fenchurch Street line, run by c2c, is coming to an end next year and the Department for Transport is preparing to welcome bids from rail operators interested in running the route.

Managing director Rob Mullen says it will rest on its record as the new franchise comes up.

He said: “We’re proud to support our communities with one of the most punctual and reliable rail services in the country.

“Looking to the future, we are keen to build on the progress made to date and bring further improvements to our customers and play our part in the local economy, ensuring we are collaborating with our key partners and communities.

“We look forward to demonstrating our continued commitment to operating the route as part of the upcoming process with our partners at the Department for Transport.”

Echo: c2c runs train services in south Essexc2c runs train services in south Essex (Image: c2c)

The rail operator has invested £100million in upgrading its fleet, with more spacious trains being introduced after years of anticipation.

Some of its new trains are already in service and the train company hopes to have another six new trains running across south Essex in the summer.

Its current contract was due to end last year but was extended until July next year.

The Department for Transport has now published a ‘prior information notice’ which says a new contract lasting for between three and eight years will be awarded when the current one ends next July.

'A lot to be excited about'

Mr Mullen said: “There’s a lot to be excited about, with contactless pay-as-you-go rolling out soon. We remain committed to continuing to deliver for customers, communities and stakeholders across our network.”

After being asked if the c2c contract should continue, Echo readers have backed the company. 

Iain Laskey said: “Probably one of the best run services in the country, so yes it should continue.” 

Richard Miller added: “Without question, it’s a very good service”. 

Suzanne Hammond praised the service for having “much cheaper tickets” compared to others while Anna Marianna added: “They have turned it around and are far better than many others out there.”