June 3rd, 2017

EORVS PHOTOGRAPHIC CHARTER A GREAT SUCCESS

On Saturday 20 May, the Epping Ongar Railway Volunteer Society ran their second Photographic Charter, raising funds for the ongoing restoration projects being carried out by the dedicated Volunteers.

6430 bursts through Stonnard's Hill road bridge.

6430 bursts through Stonnard’s Hill road bridge.

The first for this evening was the Society’s use of a Steam Locomotive; the first charter – which ran back in 2014 – had been exclusively Diesel traction. This time, visiting Pannier No. 6430 took the starring role, coupled to a small freight train which included the recently-refurbished Fruit D wagon. The attending guests were formed of members from the EORVS and local photography groups, who were treated to access to some lineside areas for live run-pasts, finished off with a shoot around the station at North Weald.

“It was great evening and seemed to be enjoyed by all,” noted Owen Hayward, the EORVS Publicity Officer and organiser for the event. “I’ve seen some great stills from our guests, and despite a rather gloomy outlook in the morning, the weather held off and the sun even made an appearance!

“I’m indebted to the assistance provided by Robert Good (Society Vice-Chairman) and Geoff Silcock (of Sentimental Journeys charters) in making the evening run smoothly, and of course to the volunteer crews who worked hard on the day. The money raised by the evening will go towards restoring more of the EOR rolling stock, such as Shark Brake Van DB993760 and Mark 1 BCK 21059.”

A second photographic evening has already been arranged for August, and will provide an opportunity to picture Metropolitan 1 on our former London Underground line. Places are available at a cost of £40 per person (£35 to EORVS members) and anyone interested is advised to email Owen Hayward for details.

Photographs by Owen Hayward. Not for reproduction without permission.

May 27th, 2017

EOR Guide Book – Updated And Released

The Epping Ongar Railway is proud to relaunch its Guide Book publication in time for the 5th Anniversary of the branch opening as a major heritage attraction. Initially published in 2012, the update (carried out by one of our own volunteers) includes new cover art, archive photography and updated stock lists.

Copies are available now from our Gift Shops, Ticket Offices and via Mail Order – be sure to pick up your copy during your next visit!


May 24th, 2017

‘Micro-Gallery’ to open at Ongar Station

The Epping Ongar Railway will be opening a new ‘micro-gallery’ at Ongar Station on Saturday 27 May. The gallery is in the Ladies Waiting Room at Ongar. A volunteer and professional photographer who specialises in steam photography, Geoff Silcock, has worked alongside the Epping Ongar Railway Volunteer Society members to transform the room into a place to display photographs and pictures. Mr Silcock has worked with local photographic and historical societies to bring a programme of interesting and relevant exhibitions to the Railway. The Gallery has been named The Penny Salon and will be open whenever trains are running to provide interest for the passengers.

Geoff Silcock, who has organised the gallery, said “The latter- day Epping Ongar Railway has recognised a need for entertaining its visitors arriving at Ongar Station from its steam and diesel trains, plus its heritage buses, and the free bijou exhibition area is now expected to operate for its visitors from Saturday 27 May at peak times throughout the year.

The inaugural month from the Saturday 27 May through to 18 June will be presented by The Essex Monochrome Society with Black and White images mainly from in and around Essex, including steam trains. The second month’s presentation starts with the Railway’s Victorian Weekend on 24/25 June, and will feature “The Railway comes to Ongar” presented by the Ongar Historical Millenium Society from its extensive archive. Future items will include presentations of unseen work from the the 1930s onwards in local Essex and surrounding counties, plus the work of top transport photographers and painters around the Southern Counties


April 10th, 2017

A 5 Mile Easter Egg Hunt on the Edge of London – Possibly the longest in Essex!

Between the 14th and 17th of April, Epping Ongar Railway’s beloved Bertie Bunny will be leading what could be the longest Easter Egg Hunt in Essex! The egg hunt will run the length of the railway track from Ongar through to Coopersale, which is the length of 131,579 eggs placed end to end! Children will be asked to find the eggs which have been hidden by Bertie around the Railway. They will have some clues to help them and any child who completes their egg sheet is entitled to a special Easter prize.

Bertie Bunny, the Head of Eggs and Easter, has said:

“I was concerned when I learnt that some mischievous people said at the beginning of April that the Railway was extending to Dunmow but now relieved that for now we’re just going to Coopersale with the egg hunt. It always takes me ages to hide them, running along over 5 miles of track, but I do my best to think of the best places to put them all. The egg in one of the places is a lot easier to place this year – can you tell which one it might be?”

All participants will need to buy tickets, family tickets are available for £34 in advance online, and includes all the activities. Tickets can also be purchased on the day, either on the buses or from the ticket office at the station. The 339 heritage buses will be running from directly outside Epping station to North Weald station regularly to pick up passengers.

Rodger Green, Bertie’s Keeper, has said:
“Children will be able to have their faces painted, colour in their egg sheets and even dance with Bertie Bunny at our children’s disco, ‘The Bunny Hop and watch a special magic show.”


April 7th, 2017

Spring 2017 Diesel Gala Lineup

Firstly, apologies for not getting the locomotive lineup out sooner, but its been a challenge to say the least in getting final confirmation of loco availability. However, we are pleased to confirm that the lineup for the weekend of April 22 & 23 will now be:

20001 (Courtesy of Class 20 Locomotive Society)
33002 (Courtesy of South Devon Diesel Traction Ltd.)
31438
37029
03170
03119
117/121 DMU hybrid

Unfortunately due to RSS’s commercial commitments we were unable to secure a suitable Class 08 however we have been promised a ‘winning’ 08 for our September Gala. Class 45 Peak 45132 will be on display and, although not operational, the the loco will be available for cab and engine room visits.

Hopefully, to make up for the loss of the 08, we will have managed to resurrect 03119 and have this shunter be involved in a Gala for the first time in several years; if available, 03119 will do several runs from North Weald to Epping Forest hauling our DMU hybrid.

As usual, we will be running an intensive 3-train-service throughout the weekend, with late running Beerex services on Saturday. All trains will be running in conjunction with our fleet of Heritage buses, which will be operating between Ongar, North Weald, Epping Underground and Shenfield Main Line stations.

Our on train bars will be serving a selection of local draught beers and ciders as well as a range of wines, lagers and soft drinks.

And for those who would like to see the line from the unique vantage point of a loco cab, we will be offering our unique and popular cab rides for a fiver. These can’t be pre-booked, so just approach the driver on the train you wish to travel on. Driver-for-a-Fiver will also be available using 03170 at North Weald.

Gala tickets are on sale now, and any tickets purchased in advance are discounted.

If anyone wishes to attend with a sales stand, then please email Marco via marcoc@eorailway.co.uk

Train and bus timetables, along with locomotive allocations, will soon be available – so watch this space.


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 .


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.