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Friday, May 25, 2012

Epping Ongar Steam Railway Service on Tube from 25th May 2012

Don't forget that the
Epping Ongar Railway will be resuming steam and heritage diesel hauled passenger trains on the former end of the London Underground Central Line from today Friday 25th May 2012 and over this weekend .  For the first time in 55 years you'll have the chance to travel on a steam train on the Epping Ongar branch of this Tube Line.  Volunteers have been working towards restoring on the track, signals, buildings and rolling stock.  They'll also be running this service, throughout the summer on every weekend and Bank Holidays (including the Jubilee bank holidays) and also daily during the Olympics at nearby Stratford.

The main locomotive
The main locomotive by IanVisits


They were indeed running today
Photo by IanVisits

The railway will operate steam hauled passenger services between Ongar and North Weald, a diesel shuttle from North Weald into Epping Forest, and a heritage bus service connecting to Epping LUL Station and High Street.
London Transport - Central line extension leaflet - 21 November 1948

The photo above shows a leaflet issued by London Transport for when the Underground was originally extended on the Central line - west to West Ruislip and eastwards to Loughton on the way to Epping & Ongar.

The last Epping-Ongar service ran in 1994.  At the time the line was only carrying a mere 80 passengers a day. However, the train that ran the final London Underground service on the line, a three-car unit of 1960 stock, has been preserved by Cravens Heritage Trains.  After a variety of special opening days, at the end of 2007, the railway was sold to a new private owner who was committed to bring steam back to the line. 
You can book your tickets from this website and the full timetable & fares are here.  Follow @eorailway on Twitter to keep up to date. Advanced booking for the first weekend is strongly recommended. Many thanks to Shell for initially telling me about this.

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Steam Train on the London Underground - Video - Test Run for 150th Birthday Celebrations
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