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“Disappointed” 3 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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2013

Very disappointed with our Santa express experience on Sat 14th Dec. Poorly decorated train just a few paper chains hanging on windows, no Xmas lights, nothing special for a Santa Express! Father Christmas was a young slim man in a cheap tacky Santa suit. My toddler was disappointed with his present a Babies teddy bear with a first book. He is 3 years of age, the toddler sitting opposite us got a Disney Car which my Son would have preferred.
Overall would not recommend, not worth the money paid £40. Went to Colchester zoo the next day and it was brilliant, lovely pantomime for toddlers, excellent Santa's Grotto, Realistic Father Christmas, half the price and so much better and a day at the zoo brilliant.
I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THIS SANTA EXPRESS TRAIN EXPERIENCE SAVE YOUR MONEY ITS A RIP OFF!

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Epping-Ongar-Railway, General Manager at Epping Ongar Railway, responded to this review, December 19, 2013
Dear Lou,
Many thanks for taking the time to leave a review. We take customer feedback very seriously and bear this in mind for next year. We are very disappointed that you did not have an enjoyable time, and that you haven’t raised this with our staff during your visit or directly to us before posting the review. We have had many favorable comments on the day from satisfied customers, but we appear to have fallen short of your expectations on this occasion.

All our team are all volunteers, and work very hard to ensure a festive atmosphere. Our Santas are all over the age of 45 and have received training. The Elves are always happy to exchange any gifts that are unsuitable and we would be happy to facilitate this, please could you get in touch via enquiries@eorailway.co.uk . We would welcome the opportunity to welcome you down the railway again so you can see what an excellent day out this offers. Please get in touch with us.

Maintaining the heritage railway and steam trains is very capital intensive, which unfortunately has to be reflected in the fares, with all the monies raised going to help the hard working volunteers maintain and restore the longest heritage railway in Essex.
Seasons Greetings, Simon, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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156 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
london
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Bad Santa”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2013

The idea of this Santa trip is excellent. The steam train is lovely. Very Harry Potter Esk We booked our own compartment meant for seven people with a personal visit from Santa with personalised gifts. The total sum for the compartment £110. Everybody. Not just families that had booked compartments where given mince pie and mulled wine with chocolate and a carton of drink for the children. The journey starts at Onger station travels to North Weild ( changed to North Pole, nice touch ) with a twenty minute brake for refreshments and photo oppotunity with Santa. Now Santa Is where it all goes wrong, you know the main event !! We had brass band playing on the platform, another lovely touch. Then we spotted him really bad Santa Hat, you know the pound shop ones that drunk people where on the tube after the Christmas party, dreadful ! His greasy brown hair sticking out of the side of his equally cheap and nasty beard!! So unconvinced this is the actuall one coming to see us in said compartment, we ventured back to our compartment. Then he appeared in all his cheap and nasty unconvincing glory!!! He stood in the doorway didn't enter the compartment and certainly didn't ask any of the kids what they wanted for christmas terrible terrible disappointment ! He called the children's names including our daughter who he called Freeza!! Actual name Freya handed the other two children their gifts, said ' Happy Christmas ". And walked away. That was it all over. One very disappointed grandson who is now totally convinced there is NO real Father Christmas. A baby none the wiser and an older child, well who sort of
Knows the truth. Onger Railway you have let yourself down with the main event which should always always be magical and most of all convincing. Never again Booooo

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Epping-Ongar-Railway, General Manager at Epping Ongar Railway, responded to this review, December 19, 2013
Dear Lou,
Many thanks for taking the time to leave a review. We are glad that many aspects of the Santa Special experience was positive and that you enjoyed the steam train ride, heritage coaches and brass band.

We would have appreciated if you had raised your concerns with our many helpful and welcoming volunteer staff during your visit or directly to us before posting the review, to enable us to rectify the situation.

All our Santa team are all volunteers and work very hard to ensure a festive atmosphere. Our Santa suits came from a professional costume supplier and unfortunately the rostered volunteer scheduled to take the part was taken ill and had to be replaced with another volunteer that morning. We would be pleased to have the opportunity to welcome you down the railway again so you can see what an excellent day out this offers, please contact us on enquiries@eorailway.co.uk

Seasons Greetings, Simon, General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Great day out”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2013

We had a lovely day, well maintained facilities, very friendly staff, quite a few train rides, and a bus rides. The ethos of the heritage railway is excellent and I noticed some volunteers with learning disabilities which is really great.

I Would give a rating of 5 if there was more information on attractions nearby and buggy accessibility - for example we wanted to go to the aircraft museum nearby, but had no idea how much it would cost, we had no idea if there was much walking from the bus or how easy it would be with the buggy and young children. This information would have helped us greatly.

The buses and trains are not very frequent, so we were not willing to take any chances, with nearby attractions else we may have been stuck waiting a while for a train/bus with irritated kids, so we had our eye on the timetable constantly, and went on more rides than we would have liked to. I would go again in a couple of years when the railway becomes more established.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Memories all came back to me”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2013

I am now 65 and i still get such a buzz out of steam. When i was 7 years old my dad was relief station master at Blake hall station so i managed to spend all my summer holiday on the line. I got to know the drivers and staff. I even managed a trip in the cab of the engine a few times backwards and forwards on the old pull and push and watching the fireman fire up the steam. I can still remember the engine N0 65454. In between helping dad i kept the track free from weeds, oh what an adventure.I then became an Ian Allen anorack and went all over the country trainspotting. I love this epping to ongar line and have been back many times, the staff are very friendly and do a fantastic job. I highly recommend to anybody old or young to vist them. I take my grandson Oscar who is 7 and he is now hooked. Well done everybody connected to the E&O line. Even Michael Potilio enthused about it.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Romford, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Excellent Santa Special”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2013

We have been to other Santa Specials elsewhere, but this was the first at the Epping & Ongar Railway.I was a little apprehensive, but this soon evaporated as we were greeted by staff, and then offered mulled wine and mince pies and our three grand children had the choice of cartoned drinks and bars of chocolate/biscuits.
Once on the platform Father Christmas and his helpers greeted the travellers with photo opportunities. The staff excelled themselves and could not be faulted.
An excellent day out and not to be missed

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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