c2c is a United Kingdom train operating company. Formerly known as LTS Rail, it is owned by National Express Coaches, who also own Midland Mainline. c2c provides commuter services between Essex and London. The company operates over lines now owned by Railtrack, but originally laid down by the London, Tilbury and Southend railway in the pre-grouping days of Britain's original privately-owned rail network. The change from 'LTS', a name which, like 'First Great Western' and 'GNER', recalls those early days, to a meaningless, uncapitalised acronym is explained on the c2c website, www.c2c-online.co.uk :

Why the name change?

LTS originally stood for London, Tilbury and Southend - the principal areas served by the railway back in its early days in the 1800s. But that was in the days of steam, before places like Basildon or Chafford Hundred were even thought of.

The name harks back 150 years and in no way represents today's personality of the communities the line serves or the vibrant new railway that is being created for the 21st century through a multi-million pound investment programme.

The reference to Chafford Hundred 'not being thought of' is telling, since the name of Chafford Hundred indicates an ancient farming region. Chafford Hundred station is now advertised as giving access to the huge Lakeside shopping centre. The reaction of most passengers to the name change was one of absolute puzzlement, as it's not at all clear what 'c2c' means.

The company operates some 300 services a day using a fleet of 74 Electrostar multiple units. c2c is introducing zoned tickets, like the London Underground Travelcards - the first surface rail company to do so. Most services run to London's Fenchurch Street station, but some late night trains use Liverpool Street instead. At Tilbury Town station, there is a bus link to Tilbury Riverside, where a ferry can be taken to Gravesend in Kent. On the following map, east is at the top:

   Thorpe Bay
 Southend East
Southend Central
       | \
       |  \
       |   \
       |    \
       | Stanford-le-Hope
       |      \
    Basildon   \
       |      East Tilbury
       |         \
       |      Tilbury Town = = = = Tilbury Riverside
       |          |
    Laindon     Grays
       |         /|
      West      / |
    Horndon    /  |
       |      /   |
       | Chafford |
       | Hundred  |
       |   /     Purfleet
       | Ockendon |
       | /        |
       |/      Rainham
       |         /
   Upminster    /
       |       /
       |  Dagenham
       |    Dock
       |    /
       |   /
       |  /
       | /
       | \
       |  \
       | West Ham
       |    \
   Stratford \
       |      \
       |   Limehouse
       |        \
       |         \
       |          \
       |           \
Liverpool Street  Fenchurch Street

London Underground connections: Circle Line at Liverpool Street and Fenchurch Street; District Line at Fenchurch Street, Barking and Upminster; Jubilee Line at West Ham and Stratford; Central Line at Liverpool Street and Stratford; and Metropolitan and Hammersmith and City Lines at Liverpool Street. Docklands Light Railway connections at Limehouse and Stratford.