November 6th, 2015

Christmas Shopping At Ongar

We might not be running trains for the most part this month, but our well-stocked gift shop at Ongar will be open every Saturday throughout November, so pop along and get a head start on your Christmas shopping.


We have a wide range of products, covering brands such as Thomas The Tank Engine, Peppa Pig and Paddington Bear, with an array of DVDs, books and/or toys to suit the young (or young at heart.) Plus, we have a library of railway-related publications, Christmas cards, badges, prints and more, with some products also supporting the Holden F5 build project.


New this year is a growing selection of OO Model Railway products – start a lifelong hobby with one of our competitively-priced train sets, or add to a growing collection with our individual locomotive and rolling stock offerings. There’s even a ‘Tysley Connection’ set, which contains a model of our own ‘Pitchford Hall’.

Model Railway Stock

Our Buffet will also be open, serving hot and cold beverages and nibbles, helping to keep you fuelled through these colder days.

The station doors at Ongar will be open on Saturdays 7, 14, 21 and 28, between 10am and 4pm, so be sure to pop in and say hello.


October 5th, 2015

Jennifer Comes To Ongar

Jennifer, and tank engine, at Ongar

Jennifer has been hired until January to cover the current steam shortage. (Picture: Tony Goulding)

The Epping Ongar Railway has agreed a hire, courtesy of the Llangollen Railway Trust, for the Hunsley & Clarke built 0-6-0 tank engine, Jennifer.  The locomotive will be with us until next year, and will feature in the New Year Gala on 1 & 2 January 2016.

Built by Hudswell Clarke & Co in 1942, she spent her working life as Samuel Fox & Co Ltd’s No. 20. Jennifer was donated to Llangollen Railway Trust Ltd. in 2001.

September 23rd, 2015

Diesel Running Days – 26 & 27 September

We will be running a diesel-only service this weekend, using visiting loco 33202 on Saturday 26, and our own class 37 (D6729) on Sunday 27.

33202 will also operate Saturday’s evening dining train.

A recent boiler inspection highlighted that our large Prairie, 4141, needs some unexpected maintenance, before it can be put to work again. We don’t yet have a clear timescale for when this work will be completed. In the meantime, we are in communication with our contacts in the heritage railway industry for a short-term hire, that will allow us to continue to run steam until either 4141 is back in traffic, or our smaller saddle-tank engine, Isabel, completes her overhaul.

August 16th, 2015

Runaway Success For 3rd Real Ale Fesitval!

After having to organise additional beer deliveries, the 3rd Epping Ongar Railway Beer Festival, held at North Weald station, has been declared a runaway success. Over the first weekend of August, visitors sampled their way through 74 casks of ale, and 20 boxes of cider – nearly double the amount of last year’s festival.

Suiting ale-related attire

Volunteers behind the on-board bar; note Alex’s suiting attire.

Each day this this year, the crowds were entertained with music, with bands appearing on the train both Friday and Saturday evenings.

On board entertainment

‘Stumble Fingers’ and ‘The Dog Jammers’ entertained passengers throughout the weekend.

As is tradition, drinkers had the chance to pick their favourite tipple – this time going to One Mile End brewery for their ale Hospital Porter. Attendees also donated over £350 to the Friends of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice, our nominated charity for the weekend.

Busy Bar, Busy marquee

The marquee was packed on Saturday – extra casks had to be ordered to meet demand.

If you missed out, don’t worry – our on train bar, The Flag and Whistle, is open for all special events, dining trains and even some Saturdays. Please use the enquires email for more information.

August 13th, 2015

Building Bridges

Many of our recent visitors will have noticed the changes at the Eastern end of North Weald station. With donations nearing our target – including one very generous and substantial amount, for which we are extremely grateful – work has begun on the footbridge, and is progressing at a rapid pace.

After much “behind-the-scenes” planning, the stretcher plates have been fitted, and coated with protective red-oxide, before the final green top coats applied. The platform 2 side of the bridge has also had the top rail installed.

At 12:42 on August 12 2015, our first shipment of wood arrived. Whilst this is a short while off being installed, it just goes to show how your donations have helped bring this project closer to completion.

Footbridge wood is delivered

Special Delivery – the wooden planking arrives for the footbridge.

The wood will be stored, and treated prior to being fitted.

The wood will be stored, and treated prior to being fitted.

Stretcher Plates affixed

Meanwhile, the stretcher plates have been fitted to both sides of the bridge.

Platform 2 side nearing completion

Platform 2 has also had the top railing attached. The lattice panels will been installed presently.

We’re all excited to see the completed bridge, and will keep you updated with developments.

(Photographs courtesy of Gregory Kiteos)

June 14th, 2015

Diesel Days

Fantastic news for fans of our diesel fleet – our classes 31 and 37 are now poised to work services on the last two Saturdays of June (20 and 27), then every weekend* in July, alongside the regular timetabled steam service.

Class 37 in the woods

The class 37 is coming out to play!

Thanks to the success and fantastic support that has been shown at our Diesel Galas, the Diesel Department has been given the opportunity to get their big toys out again, across 6 weekends in June and July 2015.

BOTH engines will be working on Saturdays during this period, top and tailing all services to Epping Forest, whilst alternating on the diesel diagram trips to Ongar. In addition, Sundays in July* will see ONE of the two locos operating the diagram’s round trips from North Weald, with resident Thumper 205205 remaining on Epping Forest shuttles throughout.

31438 will take charge of Sundays July 5 and 26, with 37029 operating on Sunday July 19.

Class 31 loco at North Weald

31438 will also be in service across the next six weekends.

Our rover tickets are – as always – valid all day on all of these dates, so with a steam service alongside, and vintage buses running to Epping and Shenfield stations, they are excellent value for money.

We look forward to welcoming you aboard some heritage diesel traction.

June 11th, 2015

Richard Goulding

Richard Black 5

Richard Goulding on the Black 5

One of the Railway’s volunteers, Richard Goulding, died suddenly on the evening of 21 May at home. Richard will be remembered in part for the restoration alongside his son, Anthony, of not one, but two Andrew Barclay tank engines.

The first was No. 8 Andrew Barclay 2157 built in 1943. The restoration took place at Mangapps Railway Museum over 5 years from August 1999. No. 8 remains the mainstay of steam operations at Mangapps.

Subsequently the father and son team turned their attention to another Andrew Barclay engine, ‘Victory’. This is an ex-dockyard locomotive built in 1945 – an Andrew Barclay build 0-4-0ST built to the standard 12” class pattern. In preservation it worked at the Epping Ongar Railway, made a fitting appearance at the Chatham Dockyard and presently resides at the Whitwell and Reepham Railway.

In addition to his work in restoration, Richard was a lifelong volunteer in the heritage railway movement having spent time at a number of railways including Mangapps, East Anglian Railway Museum (Chapel and Wakes Colne), Colne Valley Railway, Havering Model Railway club and latterly the Epping Ongar Railway.

Richard joined the Epping Ongar Railway in late 2011 and was pivotal in providing technical advice on the purchase of the Railway’s Hall class locomotive, Pitchford Hall, and repairing Isabel ensuring she was fit for service with the EOR. He was one of the Railway’s first drivers and the Railway was privileged that he drove the first passenger
services, hauled by 6430 on 25 May 2012.

Roger Wright, Managing Director of the EOR, said,

“Richard first came to the EOR in 2011 along with the engine he shared with his son Tony. It is fair to say that without Richard the EOR would not be where it is now and for that I am forever grateful. I will miss him and his expertise and I know that the volunteers of the Railway were very sad to hear of his passing.”

Richard will be cremated at Southend Crematorium tomorrow and a large number of the Railway’s volunteers will be attending.