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Santa Specials on the Epping and Ongar Railway

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by Sandra Lawson (subscribe)
To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at and my theatre reviews at
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Not only Ho Ho Ho but also Choo Choo
A few months ago I had the opportunity to travel on London's local steam line: the Epping and Ongar Railway. The line, which is manned solely by volunteers, only re-opened in May of this year is running Santa Specials throughout December. So if you believe in Father Christmas, why not wallow in the whole nostalgia experience and meet up with him on a steam train?

Santa Special
Santa Special (Picture Courtesy of

Your journey starts from the beautifully restored Ongar Station, a building that dates back to 1865. Once on the train to the 'North Pole' station the man in the red suit will visit all the passengers, giving presents to the boys and girls. The grown-ups will also be able to enjoy a glass of something festive and a mince pie to soak it up. Once you reach the 'North Pole' you'll be able to stretch your legs for a few minutes before heading back to Ongar.

The experience lasts 60 minutes and includes a ride on a heritage 339 bus from Epping station (at the end of the Central line), through Epping Forest, via North Weald and out to Ongar.

So don't say 'Ho! Ho! Ho!' but 'Choo! Choo!'

Epping and Ongar Railway Santa Special
Epping and Ongar Railway Santa Special (Picture Courtesy of the Epping and Ongar Railway Facebook Page)

Full details, including advance online booking, are available on the website. The trains will be running over the weekends of 8/9, 15/16 and 22/23 December.
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Why? To meet Father Christmas on a restored steam train
When: Weekends during December prior to Christmas
Where: The Epping and Ongar Railway
Cost: Details are on the website
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