CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY – ALL PUBLIC TRAINS CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
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UPDATE – 02 July 2020 – We are currently investigating ways in which we might be able to run limited trains later in the season. These will be on the basis of pop-ups, i.e. there will be no formal Sunday season this year. In addition, all visitors will be required to wear masks, just like on the real thing. There will also probably be a restricted range of fares available.
Regular Sunday services for 2020 will run from Sunday 29th March until early October (also see pop-up train days, below)
Public trains will operate every Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday until early October. All trains operate on the Mainline ground level track from Parkside station with the exception of the first Sunday of the month in May-September which will be on the raised Heritage Track from Larch End station (nearest the rose garden). In exceptional circumstances, Heritage Track days may be substituted by a Mainline service.
Services operate between 1300 and 1700, weather permitting The last train departs at 5pm prompt. We will do our best to run as advertised but please note that during foul weather service may be suspended or, as a last resort, abandoned. Please also remember that we are all unpaid volunteers running trains in our spare time. We enjoy doing this as much as you enjoy riding!
From Easter Monday we will include an accessible carriage in our Mainline trains on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays. This carriage can convey wheelchair users, accompanied prams/pushchairs, accompanied dogs (at staff discretion) and also people who are unable to ride on our existing “sit astride”carriages. Please note that the Heritage Track is unable to accommodate the previously mentioned passengers.
Fares for 2020 will be unchanged (since 2006!) at £1 for the Mainline and 50p for the Heritage Track. Riding twice? – save time on the Mainline by buying a 2-trip ticket. The former ticket-less system changed in 2017 and heritage or souvenir tickets are issued. Please obtain these from the booking office and retain for inspection on the train or at the station entrance. You may wish to keep these for scrapbooks or journals or for possible promotions later in the season. A used ticket bin is provided at the exit if you wish to dispose of your ticket thoughtfully. We are currently trialling a £4 Rover ticket. Enquire at the booking office on a Sunday about this.
There are several special charity days planned for 2020. There will be a day for the EACH Nook Appeal and on August Bank Holiday Monday we ran trains to benefit the Lord Mayor’s Fund. The final Sunday is the traditional day for Children in Need. We raised over £3.5k for charities last year. We hope to repeat this in 2020.
For services after early October, see pop-up train days below.
As with any railway, all tickets are issued subject to conditions. A copy of the Conditions of Carriage may be found here
The Mainline (below) is the dual gauge ground level track that opened in 2006. Most of the trains you will see will be of the larger 7.25″ gauge. This line is around 1km long and you will see much evidence of improvements since it was first opened.
Click here to view some of the locos you may see.
The Heritage Track (below) is the raised level 5″ gauge track, parts of which date back to the 1960s. This was the only track until the Mainline opened in 2006. Originally opened as a circular line, it was extended to it’s present form in the late 1970s.
Pop-up train days
What’s a pop-up? A pop-up is not a part of the formal advertised season but, as its name implies, pops up at short notice subject to us having enough volunteers to operate safely, and also subject to the weather! Typically these may happen on Fridays in the Easter and summer school holidays from the pop-up station near the wild flower beds or on odd Sundays outside the formal season, for example at half-terms. (these latter will operate from Parkside station)
Parties and Group Visits
We welcome visits from organised groups or societies, and will do our best to accommodate you wherever possible. Please make contact in good time by email to EPMRinfo@ndsme.org. Please note that on the first Sunday of each month there is limited capacity only on the Heritage Track. Larger groups might wish to consider a day when the Mainline is in operation (see above)
If you are holding a birthday party in the park on a Sunday afternoon when we are running public services and would like to include rides on our trains as part of your celebrations, please contact us well in advance by email. We will do our best to assist you wherever possible.
For 2020 these will operate in December. Further details to follow.
We are always seeking railway enthusiasts to help us run the popular railway in the park. You don’t require any specific skills, just a willingness to learn and an eagerness to take part. Jobs you could do include ticket inspection, platform attendent and, after training, guard. Enquire at ther booking office on any train running day for further info.