Free ice cream and a warm welcome awaits visitors to Southend by rail this summer

Friday, 20 July 2018

Free ice creams will be handed out to rail passengers arriving in Southend, in a bid to attract more day trippers to the town this summer.

Southend Council’s Welcome Hosts have teamed up with Greater Anglia and the Wickford-Southend Community Rail Partnership to showcase the town’s delights at Southend Victoria rail station on Sunday 22 July.

As well as a free ice cream for everyone passing through the station between 10.30am and 2.30pm, people will be able to find out about the town’s attractions, try out Greater Anglia’s new trains using virtual reality headsets, or whizz up a fruit smoothie using pedal power on a Smoothie Bike.

They can also discover the many special offers and discounts that are valid with a rail ticket – such as £2 off an Adventure Island wristband and free fish and chips at Pebbles One when you buy fish and chips and two drinks.

Greater Anglia managers will be on hand to listen to feedback, advise on train travel and tickets, and let people know about the brand new trains which will be arriving on the network from 2019.

Greater Anglia’s Area Customer Service Manager, Michael O’Callaghan, said, “Southend On Sea is a fantastic destination, perfect for families looking for fun in the summer holidays. Everything is so easy to access from the station and with our great value fares and accompanying special offers you can get there faster for less.”

There is no engineering work between London and Southend on weekends during the summer – including the August Bank Holiday weekend – with the exception of Sunday 29 July, when a replacement bus service will run between Southend Victoria and Hockley just until 10am.

From 2019-2020 Greater Anglia is replacing every single train with 169 brand new trains, being built by Stadler and Bombardier, in Derby.

All of the new trains will be fitted with air conditioning, plug and USB sockets, fast free wifi and more seats.

They will also have accessible toilets, cycle spaces and large picture windows.