April 1st, 2017

Ambitious Extension Plans towards Chelmsford Announced

The Epping Ongar Railway is proud to announce plans to extend its services from Ongar to Dunmow as part of an ambitious plan to complete the line to Chelmsford, a feat that defeated the Great Eastern Counties Railway in the 1860s.

Year on year increases in passenger numbers and plans for the building of large numbers of homes in the local area mean that demand for the Railway’s unique range of steam and diesel heritage services are forecast to soar. To celebrate this the soon to be renamed Epping and Chelmsford Railway has installed a commemorative sign at the existing terminus to signify the birth of this line. The plaque itself was unveiled at a special ceremony earlier in the week.

The Railway remains committed to securing an extension towards Epping but progress on that has been slower than hoped. However civil engineers from an international firm with strong local links discovered the original surveys in an archive. Miraculously most of the proposed track bed is still free meaning that the costs of the scheme are genuinely affordable. The ambitious plans also include an innovative scheme for avoiding any disruption to the Ongar Churchyard and cemetery which thwarted expansion plans in the 19th century and a proposal to relocate the white scorpion colony at Ongar to a specially prepared site closer to their natural habitat in Harlow.

The local councils have given their blessing to the plans as it is felt that this will assist in overcoming local opposition to large house building programmes in the area by demonstrating that these will not inevitably lead to gridlock along the A414 and surrounding areas.

More information about the plans are here .