The Epping Ongar Railway, in Essex, has announced that it is to become more disability-friendly after it had a successful bid to the Stansted Airport Community Trust to provide a fully accessible coach on its train services.
Earlier this year, the Epping Ongar Railway Volunteer Society (EORVS) and Epping Ongar Railway made a joint bid for £2000 to the community trust earlier this year.
The £2000 from the trust will be matched by the railway and society to give a total fund of £4000 for the newly converted carriage.
The guard’s van of one of its coaches, an ex-British Railways Mark 1 BSK, will be insulated, heated and fitted with lights.
Suitable seating and double doors will be fitted to make sure that passengers with disabilities and wheelchairs can travel in comfort on the heritage railway.
What did the officials say?
Dean Walton, Epping Ongar Railway Business Development Manager said “I am really pleased we will soon be in a position to provide much better accommodation on board for our disabled passengers and I am grateful for the support from the Trust and the Society for this project. The carriage that will be used is an ex-BR Mark 1 ‘BCK’ – a traditional compartment coach but with a large luggage and parcels area. The carriage is currently undergoing a major refurbishment but this money will allow the parcel’s area to be upgraded so that it is suitable for use by disabled passengers and their families. The project is led by volunteers from the EORVS and they hope to have it finished in 2019.”
Cllr Susan Barker, Chairman Stansted Airport Community Trust said “The trustees are delighted to support this worthwhile project in the local community. In their application, the Railway explained that they wish to open up this great local attraction to more people, and this grant will go some way to helping them achieve that.”
William Dale, Chairman of the Epping Ongar Railway Volunteer Society said “I would like to thank with appreciation Essex County Councillor Susan Barker Chairman of the Stansted Airport Community Trust for helping us to be awarded the grant of two thousand pounds. I am very pleased to receive the cheque from Susan on behalf of the EORVS. The society’s volunteers work hard to restore and maintain the carriages. This is a great vote of thanks for their hard work and for that, I would like to thank the Trustees for their support. I look forward to welcoming Cllr Barker back next year to view and possibly ride in this newly restored coach.”
- Visit the Epping Ongar Railway website
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