October 6th, 2017

Latest exhibition at “The Penny Salon” gallery

The Penny Salon micro-gallery at Ongar station is pleased to present it’s latest exhibition, a selection of long-time steam photographer, Geoff Silcock’s own personal favourite subjects that he has taken since 1961 entitled “Steam in the Frame – The Eastern Counties from 1961…” The exhibition opens on 7th October and runs until the end of October. The Gallery is open on all Epping Ongar Railway operating days.

Steam in the Frame exhibition

Steam in the Frame exhibition at the Penny Salon Gallery by Geoff Silcock

Bygone Essex success

The presentation was delayed by the runaway success of the previous presentation of “Bygone Essex – Reg Batten 1914 – 2014 …  An Appreciation”, which at the end of its extended tenure at The Penny Salon until 1st October, had been seen by in excess of 1400 visitors to the Epping Ongar Railway. It received several hundred appreciative comments in the visitors book there. As well as from Essex and the surrounding counties, the Panny Salon has welcomed visitors recently from as far afield as far as the U.S.A., Australia, New Zealand, Dubai, Korea, and several European countries.


The many visitors to the Penny Salon are assured that they can now also follow its progress on “The Penny Salon” website, and that they will be the first to hear of the further adventures of Reg and his brother Harry on their 1930s racing tandem to Essex and maybe further afield, in our next presentations into the future, as well  the bygone River Thames scene and Reg’s railway views from the 1930s/ 40s & 50s. along with the pre and post WWII farming scene.

October 2nd, 2017

Ivatt tank to work steam services on 7th and 8th October

Visiting Ivatt 2MT tank locomotive 41312, normally based at the Mid Hants Railway will be working our regular steam services this coming weekend, 7th and 8th October.

The loco will, however, be having a temporary identity change, carrying the number 41268. It was on that now bygone engine that Richard Goulding, the late father of the Epping Ongar Railway’s Chief Mechanical Engineer, Tony Goulding,  passed out as fireman at Leicester Midland shed, classified 15C in the late 1950s. It was regarded there as the shed pet and kept specially clean for its regular duties, which included acting as station pilot at Leicester Midland Station on the main line between London St. Pancras and Derby.

Our standard fares apply this weekend, and our usual heritage bus connections and diesel services will also be operating.

Additional Services

As well as our regular timetabled departures, additional steam hauled services will operate this weekend – 16.35 North Weald to Ongar (arrive 16.50), and 17.05 Ongar to North Weald (arrive 17.20).

Special Offer for Steam Gala Ticket Holders

Those who attended our Steam Gala on either 29th or 30th September 2017 and were unable to enjoy a ride behind this loco, are offered free travel this weekend. Simpy turn up and show your card ticket dated for either day to the bus conductor or ticket inspector on the train. Note that this offer is not available for holders of tickets dated 1st October.

October 2nd, 2017

Isabel returns to service

Epping Ongar Railway’s first steam locomotive, newly restored Hawthorn Leslie No. 3437 “Isabel” was back in service on September 29th 2017, for the first time since 2014 when it was decided to take her out of service for a complete overhaul. Now back with a new 10 year ticket we put her to good use hauling our brake van rides at our Autumn Steam Gala.

Isabel at North Weald

Isabel at North Weald during our Autumn Steam Gala, September 2017

The overhaul was led by Tony Goulding, our Rolling Stock Manager, along with much needed support from the Railway’s volunteers. This is the first time that the EOR has undertaken an overhaul ‘in-house’ and although Isabel was modest it certainly shows the much-needed skills that we’re developing as the Railway continues to grow.

It is expected that the little locomotive will work some of our low season services and at some special events.

October 2nd, 2017

Class 50 Photographic Charter – 20th October 2017

In association with the East Midlands Railway Photographic Society, we are pleased to present a night-time static photographic opportunity with visiting class 50 locomotive, 50026 “Indomitable”. The Network SouthEast liveried locomotive will be posed with our rake of blue and grey coaching stock, and also with our class 205 Diesel Electric Multiple Unit, “Thumper” 205205, which also carries Network SouthEast livery. This will give a distinct late 1980s feel to the event.

The event will take place on 20th October 2017 at North Weald station. Additional lighting will be provided to enhance the several different scenes planned, and participants will gain trackside access for those unique angles and viewpoints. Tickets cost £25 per person and are available as noted on the event poster: Class 50 photoshoot (pdf file)

Class 50 Photoshoot

October 2nd, 2017

Class 50 – 50th Anniversary, 50 mile running days

We are pleased to present a further special event in October. During the weekends of 14/15 and 21/22 October.  This October is the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the BR Class 50s.  Co-incidentally, class 50 locomotive, 50026 “Indomitable” is visiting the Epping Ongar Railway at this significant time.

50026 departing North Weald

50026 departs North Weald during our September Diesel Gala

50026 will be working the diesel duties on these days in place of the Diesel Multiple Unit. For fans of Diesel haulage, either the 31 or 37 will play a supporting role as banking engine to the Forest, and covering one round trip to Ongar for operational reasons. The class 50 locomotive will be covering 50 miles up and down the line on these days.

The usual steam services will also be running and standard fares apply.


We also have driver experience days with the locomotive still available on various dates in October. Further details can be found here.

August 3rd, 2017

New exhibition in the Penny Salon Gallery

The lastest exhibition at the Penny Salon “micro-gallery” at Ongar station opened it’s doors this week. “Bygone Essex – Reg Batten An Appreciation 1914 – 2014″ is a celebration of Reg’s classical style of photography by his son Malcolm Batten.  It features just a small collection of his father’s work over the decades, including several front pages and illustrated articles from contemporary magazines. Reg spent many Sundays in the 1930s and 40s on a quest to photograph the village’s of Essex. Initially he used his trusty racing tandem bicycle with his brother, and later on, public transport. Reg celebrated his 100th birthday in 2014, and he passed away soon afterwards.

Due to the interest already shown by visitors and people inside the Epping Ongar Railway itself, this presentation will now run through to the Sunday 17th September. The summer “Hot- spots” of Clacton and Southend On Sea weren’t neglected by Reg in his travels either.  His early 1950s picture of the main street in Colchester on a Sunday, which is completely devoid of traffic except for a motor-bus in the far distance, caused great interest on the opening day of viewing.

Fry’s Chocolate Cabinet

Frys Chocolate cabinetReg Battens “travelling kit” of camera, light meter and supporting items that he took with him on his journeys of discovery are now displayed in the exhibition’s c.1890s “Frys Chocolate” glass cabinet. This was gifted to the Epping Ongar Railway and, now refurbished by Malcolm, forms an important part of The Penny Salon’s presentation of artefacts allied to the main displays.


July 24th, 2017

Roll out the barrel again for the steam and diesel trains

Real Ale Festival with Steam Trains

Real Ale Festival with added steam trains!

The Epping Ongar Railway presents over 70 beers at its summer festival this weekend to celebrate 60 years since the tube train first trundled through the Essex countryside.

What could be a better setting for a good ale than a panoramic view of the rolling hills and unique woodlands of Epping Forest?  From the 28th to 30th of July, North Weald station and the heritage trains of the Epping Ongar Railway will again ring out to the sound of clinking glasses.  The 5th beer festival is planned to be the biggest and the best yet.  What’s more, with regular and direct vintage bus services from Epping Underground and Shenfield National Rail, the festival is one of the most accessible rail ale festivals near London.

Live music

Live music onboard the train

A year in the planning

The team started planning once the 83 casks from their 2016 festival had all been collected. Taking inspiration from the 60th anniversary of the first tube train arriving in Ongar, beers with connections to Essex and London will feature heavily, including some brewed especially for the event. Once again in the evenings, the hills will come alive with the sound of music, including at least one dedicated music train each night. A full list of all the beer, cider, food and soft drinks on offer will be published on the railway’s website in advance.

Tutored Tasting

New for this year we will be offering tutored tasting sessions on the Friday of the event. A tutored beer tasting in the company of an expert is a great way of enhancing your appreciation of beer, discovering more about the astonishing range of beer styles, flavours and aromas; how brewers conjure such diversity from simple ingredients and how to match beer with food. Each participant will get to sample and learn about six different beers, especially selected from those available at the festival, whilst travelling through the glorious Essex countryside.

As usual, the funds raised will be ploughed into supporting the operation and maintenance of the classic trains, some of which are now approaching 100 years old. Additionally, the festival will be supporting locally based charity Canalability, which organises broadbeam canal boat experiences for disabled and disadvantaged people.


For further information and to book tickets, take a look at www.eorailway.co.uk