RAIL operator c2c has failed in initial discussions to lease extra carriages and ease overcrowding.

Passengers have complained of cramped commuting conditions ever since the new c2c timetable was introduced in December.

Commuters in south Essex have complained of overcrowding, increased journey times, shorter trains and more stops in east London.

c2c claim the overcrowding is caused by an unexpected 5,000 increase in passenger numbers using London Fenchurch Street in the evening rush hour.

As a result they entered into negotiations with an unnamed train operator to lease extra carriages, however these negotiations have fallen through.

A spokesman for c2c said: “Disappointingly the other train operator has had to withdraw from our agreement in principle to supply some additional carriages.

“We are in active discussions with industry partners including the Department for Transport on other options for providing extra carriages to reflect the increased demand on the c2c route.”

The carriages were planned to be coming into service in late spring but it is now not yet known when, if ever, any additional carriages will be obtained.

The company is then contracted to deliver brand new trains in 2019.