How You Can Help
Like all heritage railways, the Epping Ongar Railway could not operate without our friendly team of volunteers and helpers as well as the local businesses and groups that kindly assist.
Volunteers undertake all the jobs that are essential for the safe and smooth operation of the railway, both the jobs that might first come to mind, as well as many that may go unnoticed, but are never the less essential to making the trains run, whether it is...
- Selling tickets
- Helping passengers onto the train
- Being part of our on-train teams - a guard, train driver, fireman or ticket inspector
- Safely signalling trains
- Helping out in the shops, refreshment facilities and museum display
- Keeping our stations and coaches clean and tidy
- Being a bus conductor on our vintage bus to Epping
- Caring for and restoring our heritage rolling stock
- Restoring and maintaining the stations and gardens
- Keeping the track in good order
- Managing the vegetation and environmental ecosystems along our beautiful line
- Maintaining drains, bridges and structures
- Working on keeping the steam and diesel locomotives running that haul the trains
With the huge variety of tasks, the railway can often be likened to a small town - and everyone is welcome and no matter how you choose to help, everyone plays an important part in ensuring the railway can operate trains and our visitors enjoy their visit. Please do not feel apprehensive - we all started from scratch!
We have teams that meet on both weekdays, and at weekends, and there is always a friendly welcome for new faces. It's an excellent way to meet new people, find a new life-goal, do something different, work towards achieving something rewarding, or passing on your experiences. You can come by yourself and find many new friends of all ages, or bring your partner / family and achieve something together.
You might find yourself working on an item that is over 100 years old, and getting it working / looking as it used to be can be very rewarding, especially when the public can then both enjoy seeing it operate and learn about our transport heritage by seeing it in action.
Perhaps you have always been interested in the branch, or live locally and would like to put something back into the local community? With our goal to once again run trains to Epping; the more people helping out (in any capacity) the sooner we will achieve this goal, both improving the local transport network and encouraging tourism.
Our volunteers are both male and female, and range from 18 to 85 - there really are jobs for all tastes, abilities and there is no minimum commitment, you come down when-ever you feel able. We intend to start a "Youth" section shortly so that the younger generation can share our rewarding hobby and participate in the exciting task of restoring and running a heritage railway.
No prior railway experience is necessary! We have people within the teams that can pass on their knowledge, and if you are able to come regularly (perhaps once a month), you can soon become an active part in operating our local heritage railway.
Our teams restoring heritage items can sometimes benefit from people with particular skills, such as brick-laying, plastering, plumbing, welding, carpentry, electrical, upholstery or painting, but just as important are those people who help with the marketing, fund raising or collating information in the historical archives.
Epping Ongar Railway prides itself in providing a safe and rewarding volunteering experience, and you can always raise any questions with your team leader. We also have Volunteer Coordinators who are there to ensure you enjoy every stage of your volunteering, and ensure that you can progress and learn new skills or roles.
Find out what our friendly teams of volunteers have been doing in the last few work parties on the Department Diary
How to find out more...
If you're volunteering instincts or perhaps a love of railways have been stirred and would like either some more information or a volunteer form, then please contact
or ring Bob on 07779 743465 for a no-obligation chat
Can You / Your Business or Group Help Us?
Epping Ongar Railway is keen to work closely with local businesses, service providers and groups. The re-opening of the railway brings the benefits of "green tourism" to the area, as well as reinstating the link in the public transport network, helping take cars off local roads such as A414.
There are many ways that you or your business / employer can assist EOR towards achieving its goals. This could be through sponsoring a project, providing materials / services at reduced prices, a donation of used materials or perhaps undertaking a rewarding day volunteering on a particular short project.
Teams from offices, local work places, scout, guide and youth groups have all got involved in their local heritage railway and completed a number of enjoyable work-party tasks, such as preparing rolling stock for repainting, helping manage our lineside vegetation and ecosystems, deep-cleaning the inside of coaches, helping on the track, or being part of the team working on getting our locomotives running again.
Its an excellent way to help a local community project, very rewarding and coverage of your project may well feature on this site, in the local media etc.