May 26th, 2016

Peppa Pig Weekend Timetable

peppa pig timetable copy

Following the need for some last minute adjustments, the timetable for the trains this Saturday, Sunday & Monday is now available. We expect services by 205205 to be very busy, particularly departing Ongar, but this service must be run so as to allow the steam locomotive enough time to refill with water at North Weald. Because of this, we will be running steam services into the Forest.

There are no platforms at Epping Forest; the timings show are merely for reference to show expected journey time.

May 18th, 2016

Isabel In Print

Isabel Finds A Home Book CoverWe are delighted to announce the release of a new publication, which focuses on the life of our little Hawthorne Leslie “Isabel”.

“Isabel Finds A Home” was written by one of our own volunteers, Robert Gillman, and features beautiful watercolour illustrations by artist Alan Ward.

“Based on the life history of an industrial steam locomotive, this book has been written for children, as an introduction about the importance of saving our railway heritage.” Says Robert. “It is hoped they – and perhaps grown-ups, too – will develop a passion for preservation at a young age, and be encouraged to join the thousands of volunteers who spend their spare time lovingly restoring engines and railway infrastructure for us all to enjoy.”

Priced at £6.99, this new book is available in our gift shops now, along with other merchandise featuring some of the illustrations. It – along with fine-art prints, and a selection of other titles by Robert and his relations – can also be ordered through the Railway Cat Creations website.

Robert occasionally works on the steam locomotives and in the signalboxes; he will be in attendance on Sunday, 12 June to sign personalised copies for visitors to the Steam Gala.

May 7th, 2016

Standard Timetable Changes

As some may be aware, due to a set of defective points at Ongar, we are currently operating our standard timetable with 2 locomotives in service. We have made a slight alteration to the way this is operated – namely that the 14:00 (North Weald) and 14:35 (Ongar) departures are no longer operated by a multiple unit, and are instead hauled by a diesel and steam locomotive respectively.

amended timetable, with extra loco hauled trip.

This version of the timetable will operate on all Purple operating days until further notice, unless otherwise advertised.

April 25th, 2016

Post-Spring Diesel Gala

  • Class 20 picture: andrew whiteheadOur Spring Diesel Gala was a great weekend. The weather held out, despite some wind chill and the odd shower. We extend our thanks to all who visited for the event, volunteered and to loco owners.
  • Andrew Whitehead’s photo (right) shows the Class 20 D8059 awaiting its next turn of duty at Ongar on Saturday.
  • ‘Oh How Brilliant’ shares their blog of their visit on Saturday, with a great selection of pictures taken during the day.
  • During the weekend, we trialled a new ‘Gala Event Guide’ that included locomotive history and the beer list. The retail manager reports EOR Diesel picture: George M Howardthat 244 of these were sold, and received favourable comments. The way this is offered will be reviewed for future events, but we’d certainly appreciate any further feedback.
  • George M Howard shares one of his photographs (right) capturing our current 3 main diesel locomotives at North Weald at the end of Sunday’s services.
  • The other star of the weekend was Class 08 13236, seen at one of our foot crossings in Owen Hayward’s photo below.
    Class 08 13236 picture Owen Hayward
  • As previously reported, our Autumn Diesel Gala (September 17 & 18) will see Class 55 Deltic 55019 appear – mark your calendars now!

April 22nd, 2016

More Diesel Delights Arrive

08 and TEA

More arrivals at North Weald today, with the first being our last visitor for this weekend’s Gala – Class 08 No.13236, courtesy of Nemesis Rail. The shunter has travelled from their Burton Depot, and will be working at the head of our coaching stock during the event, being vacuum-braked only.

The more observant may also have spotted something else, namely the TEA Tanker (No.87867). Built in 1972, the wagon served its life admirably moving Crude Oil across the national network, before finally ending up as a Bitumen slurry tank. This is the first 102-ton registered Bogie Tank wagon to enter preservation, and was bought in December by the National Wagon Preservation Group.

The Group plans to restore the Tanker to full BP Green, as well as purge the interior to allow it to become a water carrier.

April 21st, 2016

D8059 Arrives

Class 20 D8059 Arrives at North WealdOur first visitor for the Spring Diesel Gala has arrived, in the guise of Class 20 D8059. The loco has travelled from the Severn Valley Railway, and we are grateful to both them and the Somerset and Dorset Locomotive Company for the loan of the loco.

The lorry carrying the loco arrived at North Weald around 17:30 this evening, and unloading commenced shortly afterwards. The loco has been unloaded with the cab at the Ongar end.

Our second visitor, 13236, is set to arrive tomorrow, before the Gala kicks off Saturday morning. Our Gala Event Guide contains some history on this loco, along with all the other engines appearing, and can be bought from the ticket offices for just £1!

March 24th, 2016

Spring 2016 Diesel Gala – Full Lineup Confirmed

We are proud to announce the full line-up for our Spring Diesel Gala, which is being held on April 23 and 24, and also announce another visitor to the Epping Ongar Railway for the weekend event.

Class 08 13236

Picture: Rob Reedman

Continuing our love affair with Class 08s, we are delighted to announce we have been able to secure Nemesis Rails’ Class 08 13236 (08168) from their Burton Depot.

We are also pleased to put both our Class 03s back into the line up – especially 03119, which will be coming out of traffic for some much needed TLC after the Gala. Something new for EOR will be Driver for Fiver using 03170 all weekend.

Class 20 D8059 - Geoff Tibble

Picture: Geoff Tibble

The full line up for the Gala will be;

Class 03 03119
Class 03 03170 (Driver for a Fiver Loco)
Class 08 13236
Class 20 D8059
Class 31 31438
Class 37 37029
Thumper 205205

Unfortunately, 47635 will not be available due unfinished repairs to its roof.

As per previous years we will be running an intensive 3 train service. We have also listened to comments from last year’s Autumn Gala, and the timetable will be tweaked to ensure as little down time as possible.

All going well, we will – for the first – time be running both hauled sets with on-board bars, and our Real Ale Team are out scouring Essex breweries (a tough job!) to ensure you have an excellent selection of ales and ciders to sample from locally sourced breweries.

We will also have a good selection of stands, including model railway sales, NSE Railway Society and the Class 45132 Group confirmed so far (email to bring a stand.)

With 6 miles of challenging gradients all the locos are sure to be working hard and sounding great. Don’t forget that if you book in advance, you can get your Gala ticket for the price of our normal Rover Ticket, whilst tickets bought on the door have just a £2 uplift.

Class 31 loco at North Weald

Picture: Owen Hayward

Included in the price will be free travel on our Heritage Buses, connecting you to the EOR from Epping LU Station and Shenfield Mainline Station.

Timetable and loco allocations will follow shortly.