The agreement will see 60 carriages of the latest Aventra trains delivered to c2c by the end of 2021, three years earlier than previously planned.
Each of the new trains is expected to operate in a fixed set of 10 carriages providing a 15% increase in capacity compared to the current 12-carriage trains.
The Trenitalia-owned operator introduced 24 new carriages on a short-term contract last year, and will continue to use this stock until the new fleet is delivered.
Responding to the deal, c2c managing director Julian Drury said: “This is excellent news for c2c customers and we’re delighted to have secured such an important long-term deal for local passengers and the local economy.
“We have accelerated our original plans for new trains because of the scale of growth planned in the boom areas of south Essex and east London, and these British-built trains will help ensure c2c is playing its part in unlocking those benefits to the economy.”
Rail minister Paul Maynard added: “These British-built Bombardier trains, which are coming into service earlier than planned, will provide much needed extra capacity for thousands of passengers across London and Essex, and also come with facilities such as wi-fi, air-conditioning and plug sockets.”
Originally the new fleet was planned to have a phased delivery, with the complete stock given to c2c by 2024. But Trenitalia – which took over the operator earlier this year – decided to speed up plans.
Bombardier’s UK managing director, Richard Hunter, remarked: “Our modern Aventra trains are proving ever more popular and this order will help transform the travel experience for c2c passengers and deliver 25% more seats to c2c’s fleet.
c2c is also in discussions to lease additional carriages from December next year to fill the gap before new stock arrives – more details on this are expected next year.