Train operator c2c has reached an agreement with the Department for Transport (DfT) to secure a short-term lease on six four-car Class 387s.
The operator has already begun the tendering process for a fleet of new trains but said it needed new units immediately to meet the “unprecedented growth” experienced over the past six months.
Porterbrook Leasing will supply 24 new Bombardier-built Class 387 carriages on a three-year lease. In November 2015, Porterbrook announced it would be ordering 80 additional Class 387 EMUs to meet the increasing demand for electric rolling stock.
C2c said the new trains will start to enter service from October, with all the new units expected to be on the network by the end of the year.
C2c managing director Julian Drury said: “Extra carriages are absolutely vital for c2c to meet the surge in demand from passengers who want to travel. This agreement is hugely important, as we will now get new carriages on c2c within six months when they normally take years to be delivered.
“Combined with the other changes we are making in both the short- and long-term, this is the most significant increase in capacity for c2c passengers for over a decade.”
C2c began the procurement process for the first batch of the 68 new carriages it plans to order earlier this month. The operator said it hopes to award the contract sometime this summer.