Passengers using the c2c line between Shoeburyness and London have been warned to expect WIDESPREAD CANCELLATIONS this morning – ‘low train availability’ has been named as the cause of the problems. According to a source within c2c, a number of trains were loaned to rival operator Greater Anglia over the weekend, and as of 4am on Monday morning they hadn’t been returned to the pre-agreed drop-off point at Shoeburyness depot.
Our source said: ‘Due to an expected weekend spike in demand between Southend Victoria and Liverpool Street, c2c agreed to lend 12 full-length trains to Greater Anglia under the condition that they were returned in time for the Monday morning service. However, at 4am on Monday morning, our Shoeburyness depot supervisor opened up the shed and noticed that they weren’t there. We are constantly calling our contact at Greater Anglia to chase them up, but every time they answer a guy at the other end just pretends that they are a Chinese takeaway – the number is definitely correct so we don’t know what they are playing at.’
He added: ‘This isn’t the first time that they have done this. They borrowed some trains a while back, and when they didn’t return them on time we broke into their paint shop and found some guys hastily mixing together some colours to try and rebrand them – they honestly thought that we wouldn’t notice. They even recorded over the preset ‘Welcome to c2c’ audio message with ‘Welcome to Greater Anglia’ and it took us hours to track the voiceover artist down and sort it out. If you are travelling between Southend Victoria and Liverpool Street this morning and you notice that you are not roasting to death and have a nice big toilet, please Tweet us immediately as you are probably travelling on a stolen train.’
Southend News Network managed to make contact with a Greater Anglia representative who wasn’t prepared to give his full name – he wishes to be known as ‘Bob.’ He said: ‘We have been forced to take this drastic action as it sends out a clear message. We are fed up with c2c trains sneaking into Liverpool Street station every time the passengers can’t be bothered to walk to the Circle Line at Tower Hill – Stratford is difficult enough to manage as it is without their fancy little modern rolling stock trying to barge in. Every diverted train leaves hundreds of people stranded at Limehouse wondering what has happened, and so c2c need to think hard about what they have done. We are prepared to meet them face-to-face under the Bow Triangle arches to negotiate the return of their trains, but they need to make contact first.