c2c has accepted more Alstom Class 720 EMUs, with the operator hoping to introduce the first of its new trains into passenger service in September.
The operator has 12x5-car Class 720/6s on order, financed by Porterbrook. By early June it had accepted eight of the units, with acceptance due to proceed at a rate of two units every two weeks. c2c showcased the new trains to stakeholders and the media during a trip from Fenchurch Street to Southend Central on 2 June.
Driver training was due to start the following week, starting with c2c’s 44 shunter drivers over a period of seven weeks. This will be followed by the 191 main line drivers, beginning with the 30 part-time drivers based at both East Ham and Shoeburyness who only work early and late turns on weekdays (providing additional resource for peak periods). This approach will allow the new trains to be introduced more quickly. A new training centre has recently opened, and the Southend Training Academy has a Class 720 full cabin simulator as well as one Class 357 desktop simulator.