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Author Topic: Epping Ongar Railway  (Read 438 times)
bobm
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« on: May 15, 2022, 12:33:41 pm »

Having arrived back in London on the sleeper to yesterday's glorious summer weather it seemed a shame to head straight home so I decided to spend a morning exploring the Epping Ongar Railway.  I took the TfL» (Transport for London - about) service to West Ealing before getting the GWR (Great Western Railway) shuttle to Greenford and the Central Line across London to Epping.

Here the line on to Ongar closed in 1994 but ten years later the first preserved service ran from North Weald to Ongar and regular services started shortly after that.   Work is now going on to restore the line back to Epping.  In the meantime there is a bus link from Epping to North Weald provided by a vintage LT bus dating from the 1940s.  The route is registered as an official bus service so people can, and do, use it for intermediate points but for those visiting the railway the fare is included in the railway's day rover ticket.



North Weald Station has been restored into LNER» (London North Eastern Railway - about) (Eastern Region) colours and has a number of static rolling stock displays including a Mark II coach which acts as a buffet.

The first round trip of the day was provided by an ex BR (British Rail(ways)) Class 121 coupled with half of a Class 117 two car unit.   These were based on the Western Region and worked many services in and out of Paddiington and the Thames Valley branches as well as routes out of Plymouth.



Promptly at 10:10 we departed for the 15 minute journey to Ongar.  For much of the journey the track is on a rising gradient and the DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) had to do a bit of work to maintain speed.

On arrival at Ongar there was time to look around the station before the trip back



Although no longer part of the Underground network Ongar was used as the zero point when distances were converted to kilometres in the 1970s and remains so today.



One advantage of the DMU is the chance to sit behind the cab and see the forward view







The second service of the day was provided by a GWR Prairie Tank in LT colours.  This much travelled engine was built in Swindon in the 1920s and spent much of its working life in the West Country but in preservation has been to a number of heritage railways here and in Europe.



Having seen it depart it was time to take the shuttle bus back to Epping and a surprisingly crowded train back to central London.



It was a well spent couple of hours there and certainly worth exploring their excellent website before a visit - https://www.eorailway.co.uk/

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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2022, 01:04:16 pm »

Having arrived back in London on the sleeper to yesterday's glorious summer weather it seemed a shame to head straight home so I decided to spend a morning exploring the Epping Ongar Railway.  I took the TfL» (Transport for London - about) service to West Ealing before getting the GWR (Great Western Railway) shuttle to Greenford and the Central Line across London to Epping.

Great idea and lovely report.  Didn't realise that was a permitted route, but it makes sense with easy interchanges  Cheesy
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2022, 01:44:44 pm »

I'm off to Chelmsford next month. I might end up in Epping* if the strike action goes ahead so could get an opportunity to do this. Thanks for the report bobm.

*I think I can get a Central Connect bus to Harlow Bus Station then an Arriva bus to Chelmsford.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2022, 01:51:20 pm »

Having arrived back in London on the sleeper to yesterday's glorious summer weather it seemed a shame to head straight home so I decided to spend a morning exploring the Epping Ongar Railway.  I took the TfL» (Transport for London - about) service to West Ealing before getting the GWR (Great Western Railway) shuttle to Greenford and the Central Line across London to Epping.

Great idea and lovely report.  Didn't realise that was a permitted route, but it makes sense with easy interchanges  Cheesy

I’m guessing Bobm used a travelcard?
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bobm
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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2022, 02:17:24 pm »

Having arrived back in London on the sleeper to yesterday's glorious summer weather it seemed a shame to head straight home so I decided to spend a morning exploring the Epping Ongar Railway.  I took the TfL» (Transport for London - about) service to West Ealing before getting the GWR (Great Western Railway) shuttle to Greenford and the Central Line across London to Epping.

Great idea and lovely report.  Didn't realise that was a permitted route, but it makes sense with easy interchanges  Cheesy

I’m guessing Bobm used a travelcard?

Well there's the thing.  Tapped in with Oyster (Smartcard system used by passengers on Transport for London services) at platform 14 at Paddington.  Nowhere to tap in and out at West Ealing or Greenford without leaving the platform.  Tapped out at Epping and was charged £3.50.  In my case it isn't an issue because my other journeys took me to the daily cap anyway.
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paul7575
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« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2022, 04:36:17 pm »

Having arrived back in London on the sleeper to yesterday's glorious summer weather it seemed a shame to head straight home so I decided to spend a morning exploring the Epping Ongar Railway.  I took the TfL» (Transport for London - about) service to West Ealing before getting the GWR (Great Western Railway) shuttle to Greenford and the Central Line across London to Epping.

Great idea and lovely report.  Didn't realise that was a permitted route, but it makes sense with easy interchanges  Cheesy
There isn’t really a concept of “permitted routes” for PAYG (Pay as you go) within the original London fare zones.  You touch in and out and they look up a default fare.  Sometimes they’ve worked out a possible cheaper option that might need validation en route, but that doesn’t apply to every possible origin/destination pair.

In this case though, the TfL single fare finder doesn’t actually show you a fare, I assume because they don’t expect anyone to normally go that way.   But there is a fare in the underlying system, and bobm was obviously charged it.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2022, 05:13:14 pm by paul7575 » Logged
Mark A
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« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2022, 05:17:50 pm »

I think that's the way it's intended to work.

I broke an oystercard journey doing Blackheath onto the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) changing at Woolwich and then eventually out at... somewhere or other. The system didn't close the journey, so charged me the maximum fare. A quick email to explain and TfL» (Transport for London - about) reconciled the travel and adjusted the charge to what it should have been though, so all was well. Apparently that trip is one where one needs to touch an intermediate touch point in the station itself and while regular travellers are familiar with that, for infrequent travellers it's easy to miss.

Ah: it was one of these, a pink card reader:

https://tfl.gov.uk/fares/how-to-pay-and-where-to-buy-tickets-and-oyster/pay-as-you-go/touch-pink-card-reader-when-changing-trains

Mark
« Last Edit: May 15, 2022, 05:23:56 pm by Mark A » Logged
bobm
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« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2022, 05:40:26 pm »

I did come across pink card readers when I was researching my journey - but they are at a limited number of stations

Quote
Blackhorse Road
Canada Water
Clapham Junction
Gospel Oak
Gunnersbury
Hackney Central/Hackney Downs
Highbury & Islington
Kensington (Olympia)
Rayners Lane
Richmond
Stratford
Surrey Quays
West Brompton
Whitechapel
Willesden Junction
Wimbledon
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Witham Bobby
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2022, 11:46:15 am »

The sight of 5521 there (the GWR (Great Western Railway) Prairie in LT livery) answers an old question for me!  A long time ago we got a request for 5542 to be considered for a stay on the line, and I asked if she would fit, bearing in mind the out-of-gauge (for many routes) measurement over the outside of her cylinders.  No answer was received, so 5542 never made the journey.  Crossovers between platforms are particularly tricky for this class
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