Best Year Ever for Passengers on the Epping Ongar Railway17th January 2020

The Epping Ongar Railway carried 45,710 passengers in 2019, which was 3,906 more than the previous record set in 2018. The passenger numbers in 2019 were boosted by a bumper number traveling on the Santa Specials when over 16,000 people rode on his special train in December.

Earlier in the year, strong attendances at the Railway’s events including its Real Ale Festival in July, the Ongar Dinosaurs in May. Both of these contributed to the Railway’s impressive results.

The Railway’s Epping Fryer ‘Fish and Chip’ specials have proved to be very popular alongside the new Ploughman’s Lunch and Afternoon Cream Tea services. The Railway’s Guided Tours and Railway Ramblers brought in new passengers too.

Roger Wright, Managing Director said, “Again, the hard work and dedication of the Railway’s staff and volunteers has paid off with these pleasing results. The results are part of a long term trend of growth at the Epping Ongar Railway and with an exciting programme for 2020 we look forward to welcoming even more passengers.”

Steam locomotive Pitchford Hall on the Epping Ongar Railway
(Photo: Martin Creese)

The Railway’s 2020 season starts in February where children’s fares will be reduced to £1 as part of its half-term ‘Kids for a Quid’ offer (19, 20,21,22,23 February). The half term holiday will finish on a high with one of the Railway’s very popular Bus Events. New for 2020 will be a Mother’s Day Breakfast, Lunch or Afternoon Tea offer when the Railway will be working with local caterers, Magpie Catering, to bring a unique way to thank mothers in Essex – on board one of our vintage trains (22 March).

In August we will have a 1960s day (2 August) and we will mark the VE Day Bank Holiday with a special ‘On Board Street Party’ (8 May). Well-established events that Railway will continue with an Easter Egg hunt (10,11,12,13 April), and a Diesel Gala (18,19 April).

Future highlights include the Annual Steam Gala in June (5,6,7 June). Our work with local chippie ‘The Only Way is Fish’, means that the Epping Fryer will be running 20 times this year on a range of daytimes and evenings throughout the season.

Dean Walton, General Manager said, “We have learnt that in addition to riding on a heritage train and bus our passengers are looking for a complete experience. When we put that on whether through a dining service, or an event day the passengers will come. With that in mind, the staff and volunteers have crafted an exciting package of events and services for 2020 and we are sure that we will feature on the list of destinations for many people in London and Essex in 2020.”

Details of our special events can be found on our events page. Details will be added as our plans develop. 

Follow this link for details of our dining trains