Exciting 2019 Programme Announced22nd December 2018
The Epping Ongar Railway has confirmed that the Metropolitan Railway E Class 0-4-4T, “Metropolitan Number 1”, will be staying for another year. The locomotive will feature in a number of special events throughout the year as the Railway develops its commercial offering beyond running steam and diesel trains up and down the line.
Work has continued on the overhaul of Class 47, 47635, “Jimmy Milne”, one of the Railway’s longstanding home locomotives, and its return to traffic is expected to be a major feature in the Railway’s Spring Diesel Gala. The Railway’s thumper DEMU, 205205, which suffered a near catastrophic failure of its cam shaft in 2017, is now on schedule to return to service, again in time for the Spring Diesel Gala. Other visitors will be announced in early 2019. The Railway’s Autumn Diesel Gala will be held on 14 and 15 September.
The Steam Gala takes place at the beginning of June, and discussions with a number of locomotive owners are underway. Previous galas have featured 9F, 92214, US Army S160 5197 and Ivatt Tank 2MT, 41312.
The Railway will be looking to its buses to provide a colourful start to its enthusiasts season with a rally at its North Weald station on 24 February. The event will feature a number of bus routes to the area with heritage buses alongside its scheduled No. 339 bus services. The 339 Bus is unique in being the only scheduled bus operation run entirely with vintage buses in the UK. These buses connect the heritage train services with the Underground at Epping and the mainline at Shenfield.
Classic cars from a wide range of marques and manufacturers will be appearing at two regular and popular shows. The first, coinciding with Fathers Day is held on 16 June, and the second after the summer on 1 September.
A good selection of small and large steam traction engines, steam-powered fairground organ and others will be visiting the Epping Ongar Railway on 10 and 11 August as they make their way to the Dorset Steam Fair. The event will include a rally to a local pub on the Saturday night.
The Railway is keen to attract a wider range of visitors and following successful trials in 2018 has increased the number of “Epping Fryer” Fish and Chip trains.
For the family audience a Tyranosaurus Rex (‘Dexter’) will be visiting in May. It is expected that Dexter will be able to offer an opinion as to which vegetation provides the best basis for future coal production.
The main season starts with our popular "Kids for a Quid" trains during February half term, and will conclude with a marking of the 25 years of the Epping Ongar Railway since its inception in 1994. The event will feature Met 1 of course, but also it is hoped to bring in a range of other traction and to have the recently donated 1959 Stock Carriage open as a museum to explain the Railway’s history as part of the Underground.
Full details of all events will appear on the website once details are confirmed.