March 15th, 2017

Steam Gala Cancelled

It is with regret that we announce that, owing to a lack of suitable and available locomotives, our May Bank Holiday Steam Gala has had to be cancelled. As mentioned on our social media channels, it has also been reported that it will not be possible for our flagship steam locomotive, 4953 “Pitchford Hall”, to return to the Railway in time for this event also.

This was a difficult decision to take, as the event is not only one of our most popular annual fixtures, but was also scheduled to mark the fifth anniversary of the EOR operating steam-hauled heritage services; we share our disappointment with all our visitors and followers.

However, we are looking at alternative dates to host a Steam Gala this year, most likely some time during October, as well as our 2018 dates and will post more details as soon as they become available. We thank you for your understanding and support, and hope we will still welcome many of you aboard our railway this year, which is packed full of numerous other special events.

February 1st, 2017

2017 Spring Diesel Gala – First Guest Confirmed

D8001 (Class 20 Loco Society)With preparations well in-hand for for the first of our enthusiast events of 2017, we are delighted to announce that Class 20 D8001 will be appearing at the Spring Diesel Gala on the weekend of 22 & 23 April.

Appearing courtesy of The Class 20 Locomotive Society, D8001 has recently been through a thorough overhaul; you may recall that the same loco was announced as visiting our September 2016 Gala, but had to be withdrawn owing to a fault with the braking system. Yet to be fully confirmed, but we are expecting to see D8001 stay with us beyond this Spring Gala for the best part of 2017.

The volunteers – Diesel Department especially – are looking forward to welcoming the prototype locomotive of the Class 20 to our line for what will no doubt be another great Gala. We’ll have full details in due course, but we expect to see our usual offerings which include driver-for-a-fiver and on-board bars (subject to availability.)

December 12th, 2016

Response to Epping Forest District Council Local Plan Consultation

The Epping Ongar Railway submitted its response to the Epping Forest District Council (EFDC) consultation on the draft local development plan.

The Railway’s response stressed the importance of the Epping Ongar Railway as part of the tourism and visitor economy within the EFDC area and in particular the work previously undertaken by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Heritage Railways which provided evidence that on average each pound spent at a Heritage Railway resulted in £2.71 spent in the wider economy.

The Railway also requested that the EFDC consider how it can support our ambitions for a safe and viable rail-to-rail interchange at Epping and to ensure that the town plan for Epping Town Centre includes suitable references to this support.

December 5th, 2016

Footbridge proves to be a real success at our Santa Specials

The Epping Ongar Railway ran its first ‘Santa Specials’ services this weekend making full use of its new footbridge. The new footbridge provided a dazzling backdrop for the record number of passengers using it for the first time who took in the great views over North Weald station, the surrounding area and of course the ‘Santa Special Steam Train’.

                                                       Passengers using new footbridge at Santa Specials

The bridge officially opened in September this year and has transformed the way passengers can get around the station. This has allowed the Railway to run longer trains meaning more seats and more passengers can now travel on the Santa Specials.

Dean Walton, Business Development Manager said.

“The work of the volunteers underpins everything that we do at the Epping Ongar Railway. This bridge has allowed us to put more tickets on sale than ever before meaning we have more opportunities to generate cash to invest in maintaining this important heritage railway. However it’s not just about getting in the cash, we’ve also worked on improving the experience for our passengers and it’s working. We’ve had some moving and amazing 5-star reviews and it’s really uplifting to see what the Railway means to our passengers.

First train of season
                                         First train of the 2016 Santa Special Season as seen from the footbridge

Within hours of the passengers leaving the Railway we started to receive excellent five-star reviews on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Trip Advisor and some people even resorted to a more traditional approach and called the Railway to let them know what a great time they had had.

Follow the link here for more information about our Santa Specials.

October 7th, 2016

Footbridge Dedication to the Volunteers and Unveiling of Bridge Plate

Bridge numberplate, North Weald Station

Bridge numberplate, North Weald Station

The hard work of the volunteers of the EORVS was recognised today at a special dedication ceremony with John Glover, Chairman of the Ongar Railway Preservation Society and Bill Dale, Chairman of the Epping Ongar Railway Volunteer Society. The two chairmen unveiled an information board telling the story from its original home in Woodford to its new and permanent location at North Weald Station. In addition the bridge plate from its Great Eastern Railway days was unveiled.

Mr John Glover (left) and Mr Bill Dale unveil the new information board at the North Weald Footbridge

Mr John Glover (left) and Mr Bill Dale unveil the new   information board at the North Weald Footbridge

During the ceremony, Mr Glover commented that had the bridge been installed by a commercial contractor it may have cost upwards of £500,000, a fraction of the cost of installing it here and a clear demonstration of the dedication shown by the volunteers in restoring the bridge.

Mr Dale explained that the bridge had been donated to the EORVS many years and he was proud to have seen their hard work over the years to repair and install the bridge.

Pieces of the original bridge have been kept and turned into a quirky piece of artwork – surely worthy of display in Tate Modern!

John Glover admires the 'artwork' made from pieces cut out of the bridge

John Glover admires the ‘artwork’ made from pieces                         cut out of the bridge

September 16th, 2016

Great Eastern Railway Footbridge Opened at North Weald

People on bridge steps

              First people to use new bridge

The footbridge at Epping Ongar Railway’s North Weald Station was officially opened today by Mr Frank Messenger. The bridge, which links platforms 1 and 2 had been under going restoration for over 5 years and today marked a proud moment for the Railway’s volunteers. The bridge was preserved due to the foresight of the Ongar Railway Preservation Society over 20 years who rescued it from Churchfields in E18 where it spanned the Central Line.

Frank Messenger, local resident and donor to the bridge fund said,

”Having called the village home for 45 years we agreed as a family to boost progress in the bridge project by offering to match the donations previously made. At the time I suggested that it motivated by a desire to see the completion of the bridge in our lifetimes!”

The original features of the bridge have been kept with clever use of modern materials where needed. It replaces a demolished concrete bridge built at North Weald Station.

Doug Pinkney, Project Leader for the project said,

“The project started in May 2015 and at the time it was lots of rust and little else, as the original bridge had been in very poor condition. For many months it seems that my team was taking more away of the bridge than replacing. However that changed earlier this year and in July 2016 our structural engineer gave us the go ahead, we finished the steps, painting and handrails and I am very proud that the bridge was opened today.”

Prior to the installation of the bridge passengers had to cross the platforms the long way via the foot crossing. The bridge makes that journey quicker and also gives fantastic views over the whole of the North Weald Station site.

Roger Wright, Managing Director of Epping Ongar Railway said:

“As the passenger numbers for the Railway increase we need to make our stations ready for them. The footbridge is very much a part of this and demonstrates that the Railway is going from strength to strength.”

There will be a further ceremony of dedication for the volunteers and others involved in bringing this bridge to its present state on 7 October 2016.

September 9th, 2016

20142 to visit Epping Ongar Railway for First Time



Class 20 loco, 20142, has been confirmed as the final visitor for the Epping Ongar Railway Autumn Diesel Gala. The loco has recently been repainted in a striking LT livery and the visit to the EOR will be the first chance to see it hauling passenger trains. The loco visits the EOR courtesy of Michael Owen.

The loco will be replacing all previous duties booked for D8001 which despite much hard work by the Class 20 Locomotive Society to get it ready for the gala simply ran out of time.

03170 will operate “Driver For A Fiver” on Saturday and Sunday from North Weald, but our other shunter, 03119 is not in traffic unfortunately and will not be taking part in the Gala.

Cab rides will be available throughout the day see the driver on the day and get your name down. Standard cab-ride fares ise £5 (£10 for Deltic) and all subject to availability.

Current line up will be;

03170 Driver for a Fiver (Sat and Sun)
2050205 will be used as loco hauled stock for air only 08683

Visit the diesel gala webpage Autumn Diesel Gala Webpage for tickets and full details.