Epping-Ongar Railway: 23rd September 2012
Prepared by Ian Smith, 28th September 2012.
339: Epping Station to North Weald Station: RCL2260The Epping Ongar Railway is best reached by the Central Line. I alighted from set 91047 at Epping Station, currently the terminus of the tube line. The tracks continue beyond the footbridge to a reversing crossing, but large STOP signs deter drivers from going beyond the platform. I gather that the tracks continue beyond the roadbridge and connect to the Epping-Ongar Railway, although the junction is protected and not used.
I had arrived in time for the 0955 bus to North Weald. So had a number of railway staff. The bus arrived promptly, driven by owner Ropger Wright himself. It was RCL2260, taking over for a few days from one of the two green RTs that had been maintaining the service. This (unless you know otherwise) is one of only two public routes in the world to regularly use RTs.
I climbed aboard RCL2260 and settled in behind the big bonnet.
We set off, round the bus turning circle, baulked by two vans. The second only moved when a quiet word was had by an off-duty police officer riding on the bus.
We turned up into Epping, and turned north along the High Street, which was still very quiet at ten on a Sunday morning. Solo 2473 gave us a reminder that there are ordinary buses even on a Sunday here, as it passed through on the 541 to Loughton Station.
We headed east, through the edge of Epping Forest, then under the M11 and past North Weald Airfield to North Weald village, where we turned up Station Road and past the old level crossing gate to the station frontage. Just as we arrived RT1700 left, heading back to Epping Station.
The station yard is nicely appointed with a London Transport bus-stop, properly fitted with E-plates, a red telephone box, and a London Transport bus shelter. This, one of the last of its kind, was rescued by Country Bus Rallies from Stapleford (route 390), and has been re-erected here.
But now it was time to look at the railway...
Photos by Ian Smith. Click on any of them for a larger picture.