top of page

Epping Ongar Railway


RCD’s Overview

The Epping Ongar Railway runs through attractive countryside on a line formerly built by the Great Eastern Railway, which later became part of the London Underground system, before its closure in 1994. A comparative new-comer to the heritage scene, the railway is well worth a visit. It is very conveniently located at the end of the Central Line of the London Underground (just a bus ride away). Its trains comprise both ex-main line steam and diesel locomotives.

An interesting feature is the heritage buses that it runs (for example, Epping station to North Weald station) as part of the overall heritage experience. Train services often comprise two elements, being steam services between North Weald station and Ongar station, and a diesel service between Ongar and North Weald stations to the end of the line at Epping Forest, which is just a short distance from Epping Underground Station, although without a station itself.

The support group is the 'Epping Ongar Railway Volunteer Society' (see 'Information on the Support Group' below).


Happening This Month on the Railway

  • Go to 'Homepage' and click into 'Railway Club Calendar'

Key Facts (where and when)

Extent of Railway (where to where):

Ongar to North Weald (and Epping Forest)

Principal Visitor Centre:

North Weald station (CM16 6BW)

Period of Operation*

-Half Term February services

-Easter to October: Mostly weekends and bank holidays

-August: Also Wednesdays

-November, December, early January: Special event trains

 [* This is a summary. Please go to the railway’s website for definitive operating days] 


Key Facts (what you’ll see)

Services usually steam or diesel?

On most days, mix of both steam and diesel

Type of Steam / Diesel Locomotives Used:

Steam (tender and tank locomotives)

Diesel (former BR main line locomotives and DMUs)               

Length of Line:

6 miles (9.5 to Epping Forest)

Time taken for a round trip:

If full length taken, 1 and half hours

Number of trains per day:

Typically 7 in each direction

Number of Stations:

2 stations

Time to allow for Visit: 

2 to 3 hours


Adult Rover: £18. Concession Rover: £17. Child: £1





Picnic/Play areas:


Preservation Established:


Car Park Facilities:

Limited free parking at North Weald station


Key Facts (Galas/Events/Dining)

Dining Trains:

- The Epping Fryer

- Real Ale Trains

 Event Trains:

- Light Fantastic: Mid Nov to early-January

- Santa Specials: December

 Principal Galas:

- Spring Diesel Gala: April

- Steam Gala: June

- Autumn Diesel Gala: September


- Driver Experience

- Signal Box Experience

- Steam Train and Guided Tours



Telephone:                                                           01277 365200


Social Media:                                              

                                                                                Also on Instagram and YouTube


Brief History of the Railway and its Preservation  

The Great Eastern Railway built the railway to Ongar in 1865 by an extension to its line from Stratford to Loughton opened in 1856. The extension was single-track, although Loughton to Epping was doubled in the 1890s.  The Epping to Ongar section always remained single. In 1949 the electrified Central Line was extended to Epping and the whole line, including that to Ongar, became part of London Underground. The Ongar section was not electrified at the time and so a shuttle service operated between Epping and Ongar. It was finally electrified in 1958 however to low grade standards, and accordingly the shuttle service arrangement continued. In 1994 the line was closed as a consequence of low usage. The line was reopened by the Epping Ongar Railway Volunteer Society in 2004, and it has rapidly grown in terms of its collection and operations, and popularity, since that time. Its initial operations were between Ongar and North Weald stations, however its line has been extended to a point close to Epping Underground station, and although it has no station there, it does operate trains along that extension.


Principal Aspiration

To complete the extension of the line from North Weald to Epping, by creating a station at Epping to faciltate connections with London Underground services


Steam Operational Locomotives:

(1) GWR ‘Hall’ Class 4900 (Collett) - No. 4953 ‘Pitchford Hall’

(2) GWR Class 4500 (Churchward) - No. 5521

(3) Hawthorn Leslie 'Isabel' - No. 3437


Diesel Operational Locomotives/DMU:

(1) BR Class 03 shunter - D2170 (03170)

(2) BR Class 08 shunter - 08 114 (on loan to railway)

(3) BR Class 20 - D8001 (20 001)

(4) BR Class 31 - 31438

(5) BR Class 37 - D6729 (37029)

(6) BR Class 47 - 47635

(7) Heritage DMU Class 117

(8) Heritage DMU Class 121 DTS - W56287


Steam Locomotives Under Overhaul:

GWR Class 5101 Large Prairie (Collett) - No. 4141


Diesel Locomotives/DEMU Under Overhaul:

(1) BR Class 03 - 03119 (D2119)

(2) BR Class 25 - D7523 (25173)

(3) BR Class 45 - 45132 (D22)

(5) DEMU ‘Hampshire’ Class 205 unit (formerly 1111) (serviceable: waiting body repair work)


Stored/ Waiting or Under Restoration/ Out of Service:

- RSH 7667

- RSH 7761

- London Underground Driving Motor 1031



Name of Support Group:

Epping Ongar Railway Volunteer Society

Annual membership fee:

Adult: £20. Junior: £12. Family: £36


Benefits of membership:                                  

-          Discounted travel fares.

-          Member’s Social Evenings.

-          Discounts on purchases from the refreshment outlets

-          Quarterly Magazine, ‘Mixed Traffic’


How to Join:                                                


What They Say About Volunteering:

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.


How to Volunteer:                                               Go to


How to Donate:                                                    Go to


WHY JOIN:                  Help the railway achieve its ambition of extending to Epping.




Those interested in this railway may also be interested in the following railway societies also listed on this



Traditional Railway Societies:

- Great Eastern Railway Society

- London Underground Railway Society

-The Enfield Transport Circle

Model Railway Clubs:

- Epping Railway Circle

bottom of page