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“Fun day out by tube, vintage bus, and steam train” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Epping Ongar Railway

Epping Ongar Railway
Station Approach | Ongar, Chipping Ongar, Ongar CM5 9BN, England
+44 1277 365200
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Epping Ongar Railway is a volunteer run heritage railway which operates steam and diesel hauled trains through 5.5 miles of picturesque rolling countryside and through Epping Forest, along the former London Underground Central Line. We run a variety of special events through the year, including Peppa Pig, 1940's, Halloween Ghost Trains, Santa and Mince Pie Specials. Please check our website for opening times and fares information. over 6 miles of the former London Underground Central Line.
St. Albans, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Fun day out by tube, vintage bus, and steam train”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

Having left the car at home, I went on a scenic tube ride to the end of the Central Line at Epping on a sunny autumn Sunday. As the railway to Ongar doesn't quite reach Epping yet, you then get on a beautifully restored green double decker bus dating from the 1950s which takes you to North Weald Station. The steam-hauled train to Ongar was just leaving, so I got on the diesel-hauled shuttle train which takes you slowly through part of Epping Forest towards Epping, then reverses back to North Weald where there is a buffet in an old railway coach. Unfortunately, the queue was too long to get a much-needed hot drink before catching the train to Ongar. This train, with diesel engine at the front and steam at the back, was absolutely packed by the time it set off, which made me wonder why they had fewer coaches on this train than on the shuttle which was much more roomy. However, the scenery we passed is beautifully rural and it seems incredible that until a few years ago this was part of the London Underground network. I had a pleasant walk into Ongar town, through a park to the site of Ongar Castle, and a very muddy walk to Greensted wooden church before taking the steam train back to North Weald in time for the last bus to Epping, which was absolutely full.
Considering they have only been running trains since May 2012 I think the society have done a wonderful job of restoration, but the refreshment facilities are far from adequate. I hope they manage to extend the line as far as Epping before long which will make the line much more useful for local residents, but I also hope they continue to run the vintage bus service which is all part of the nostalgic experience.

Visited November 2012
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Chipping Ongar, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Fun Day with Grandchildren”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

Great Fun with the grandchildren Sophie 9 months and Jack 4.5 years and nephew aged 10 . Bus ride great fun ! Train ride to Epping and turn around back to North Weald and then bus to Ongar . Jack and Grandpa went upstairs while Sophie and I stayed down . It reminded me so much of my bus journey home from school on the 414 from Dorking to Capel in the 70's . We bought a family ticket which was the cheapest way of doing this but still quite expensive for a day out .

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brentwood, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“At last - the steam railway is working from Ongar again”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012 via mobile

Live nearby. Went with 7 yr old daughter on a Sunday afternoon. Both of us thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon, riding the steam train to North Weald for lunch, followed by the next engine to "near" Epping station. Back to NW and then the Routemaster bus to Ongar - what a bone shaker it was on the top deck but fantastic fun! Great value at £13 adult and £7 for a child as you can travel all day for as long as you like on bus or train. However, as a local, I'd like to see a range of fares so I could do one trip out and back for less than that. Say £8 adult fare return and £6 child.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A lovely railway a Stones Throw from London”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

A couple of Friends and I had been wanting to Visit the EOR for a while. The vintage bus was out side Epping Tube station and we were able to buy all day rover tickets on-board from a very chatty and helpful conductor. We travelled all day between Coopersale-North Weald-Ongar all day The trains were clean and well looked after but they were slightly chilly. We had an Informative talk and show round Ongar Signal box. The Staff were friendly and helpful and willing to answer questions. But The thing that let down the day for us was the lack of hot food, also if you are looking for other attractions at this Railway there is very little else apart from the main trains to ride on and perhaps if you have kids once you have done a full round trip you may find little else to do but my friends and I had come to ride on the trains so this didn't matter to us. I would recommend a visit and I will be back again.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“An interesting visit but cold buses/trains”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

This was a nostalgic few hours on a Sunday. The green vintage bus arrived to pick us up from Epping station for a 10-15 minute ride to North Weald Station. The bus certainly brought back memories from alighting at the back, to wind down windows, bell pulls and the driver sitting out the front next to the bonnet. North Weald Station was reminiscent of the 1940s-1960s and was very authentic and welcoming, with open fires burning. From here we travelled by diesel train in a 1st class compartment to Coopersale (approx 6-7 mins) and then back to Ongar (approx 10 mins). It was lovely travelling through the countryside but it was a cold day and there was no heating on the trains (or the buses). This meant that unfortunately we didn't want to spend too long on the train. Ongar station both inside and out was also very typical of the 1940s - 1960s stations but lacked the open fires at North Weald, which would have been very welcome on such a cold day. We walked around Ongar for a while and although it was pretty, there wasn't really much to see. We had about 1/2 hour wait for the train back to North Weald but you can wait up to an hour. On arriving back at North Weald we crossed the tracks to the working signal box where a very helpful volunteer explained how it all worked. We then caught the vintage bus back to Epping Station. All staff were helpful.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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