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.


April 27th, 2015

150 Years for the Epping Ongar Railway

Plaque unveiling at Ongar

Left to Right, Mr David Campbell Bannerman MP, Cllr Tony Boyce, Mr Eric Pickles, Mr Roger Wright & Ms Wendy Fisher

On 24 April 2015, the Epping Ongar Railway celebrated 150 years to the day since the Great Eastern Railway opened the line from Loughton to Ongar.

The Railway welcomed guests from the Epping Ongar Railway Volunteer Society, children from the Chipping Ongar Primary School, Mr Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Cllr Tony Boyce, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, and David Campbell Bannerman MEP amongst others.

At 10:40 a packed train arrived at Ongar from North Weald to brass music, children waving flags and cheers from the crowd. This was followed by speeches by Mr Pickles, Cllr Boyce, Mr Campbell Bannerman MEP and Mr Roger Wright, Managing Director of the Epping Ongar Railway. This was followed by the unveiling of a commerative plaque at Ongar Station.

Roger Wright, Managing Director said,

“Everyone has worked very hard to restore the line to its present condition over the past few years. However today, when I see the tremendous support there is for the Railway, especially after we have nudged that much closer to Epping Station, I look forward to the next 150 years with pride and to the day when we have a connection with the Underground at Epping.”

The official ceremony was followed by a three day special ‘Eastern Steam Gala’ celebrating the steam locomotives that would have run over the lines operated by the Great Eastern Railway and its successors. This event was a great success and attendance at the event was very high.

Dean Walton, Business Development Manager said,

“We knew it was important to mark this event and hoped that it would be a fantastic three days and it has been. We are delighted by the support from enthusiasts and local people. The Railway is holding a second 150th Anniversary-themed event at the end August which will be a Victorian Bank Holiday Weekend.

Dave Horsley, Chief Mechanical Engineer, said:

“The steam crews have worked hard over the past three days to an intensive timetable. We have all enjoyed working the visiting locomotives, the J72, Y7 and N2. The N2 will stay with us until late August.”

“My attention is now turning to our ‘Western’ – themed gala on 5-7 June. We have already confirmed 7820 ‘Dinmore Manor’, the GWR Pannier Tank 6430. I am in discussions with the owners of a third locomotive but can’t confirm which loco that is yet.”


April 23rd, 2015

Residents’ Railcard Now on Sale

Our new Residents’ Railcard is launched on 24 April 2015. Offering half price tickets to people who live in Epping, North Weald and Ongar (defined as people living in CM5 & CM16 postcodes) at an introductory price of £1.50 to tie in with our 150 Anniversary Celebrations it will be valid until the end of 2016. Use the code 150EOR until 1 May to claim your discounted card.

The card will entitle the holder and upto 3 people 50% off the ‘on-the-day’ price for All Day Rover – Adult and Child Tickets and is valid on all our operating days (except Halloween, Santa Specials, Dining Trains or Murder Mystery Events).

When you buy your tickets your card will be scanned to record that you have used it and to check it is still valid – you will then be issued with your tickets.

To buy yours visit our ‘Residents’ Railcard Page http://eorailway.co.uk/eor-shop/railcard/


April 22nd, 2015

Epping Ongar Railway to Celebrate 150 Years

EOR-Facebook-150thLineUpOn 24 April 2015, the Epping Ongar Railway will be celebrating 150 years to the day since the Great Eastern Railway opened the line from Loughton to Ongar.

The Railway will be welcoming guests from the Epping Ongar Railway Volunteer Society, local school children, Mr Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government , Cllr Tony Boyce, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council amongst others.

A formal event will take place at Ongar Station on 24 April 2015 where a ceremonial plaque will be unveiled and a cold buffet will be served to our guests accompanied by brass music as a train arrives from North Weald.

The official ceremony takes place at the start of a three day special ‘Eastern Steam Gala’ celebrating the steam locomotives that would have run over the lines operated by the Great Eastern Railway and its successors.


April 18th, 2015

First Passenger Train Reaches Epping Forest

 

First train to reach Epping Forest at stop board at 9.4km.

First train to reach Epping Forest at stop board at 9.4km.

The Epping Ongar Railway successfully extended its running line to within 100 metres of its boundary with London Underground at Epping.

The first train arrived just after 09:58 and is pictured here.

Well done to all.


April 13th, 2015

Epping Ongar Railway to extend towards Epping on 18 April 2015

DSCN0620On 18 April 2015, the Epping Ongar Railway will extend its running line by 800m from its present western stopping point. This will take the Railway to within 100m of its boundary with London Underground at Epping. The extension will therefore be in good time for the for the Railway’s Spring Diesel Gala and its 150th Anniversary Celebrations which take place on 24, 25 and 26 April(2).In preparation for this year the Railway changed the name of its present stopping point to ‘Epping Forest’ in its 2015 timetable.

This section of the line was the subject of a substantial amount of engineering work last year in preparation for the Railway’s ‘End of Tube’ event which saw the restored tube train that had operated on the line until the withdrawal of Central Line services on the branch brought in by rail from Epping. Since the start of 2015 much work has been done, including sleeper renewal, cutting back vegetation and dropping ballast.

The Railway remains keen to have a viable and attractive interchange at Epping Underground station both for visitors and local people to use its services.