A historic train route which ran its last service 20 years ago will return for one weekend.

The Central line extension service that ran between Epping, North Weald and Ongar had its last journey on September 30 1994.

The service was operating at a £184,000 loss a year and with £3-4 million in refurbishments needed to upgrade the line, London Underground decided to close the extension.

But this weekend, the 1960s original train will be back in service after being ‘lovingly restored’ by a team of volunteers.

The line is no longer electrified, so the train will be powered by diesel Schoma engines for the last time ever before they convert to battery power representing a 'historic moment' for restorers and enthusiasts.

Dean Walton, of the Epping Ongar Railway, spoke of the experience of riding the restored trains.

He said: “It really is like stepping back in time.

“These trains certainly weren’t air-conditioned. Air could really only get in through the gaps in the doors.”

“The carriages have all been lovingly restored from the straps passengers needed to hold on to, the interconnected doors, the only problem in the re-running is the drastic difference in platform heights. But I’m sure we will cope.”

Nick Whelan, a volunteer in restoring the trains and ex-Underground employee who worked on the branch before its closure in 1994, said: "I worked at North Weald during the 1970s and I remember the team on the branch line from Epping and the camaraderie that we had.

"I still meet with a number of the signalmen and yes, we recall happy days.

“When I retired it was an obvious choice to volunteer - I was aware of the development work happening through London Transport colleagues.

"What struck me then and now is the very friendly nature of the volunteers, especially when restoring locomotives and more to my own interest working on the station and signal boxes with our passengers.

“I still say this is the best job on the railway. It's been a privilege to have worked with the railway for over 40 years."

Sunday will also feature visiting buses, which will operate additional services in the area. This will include the launch of the newly-restored prototype Routemaster CRL 4, the front of which has been reinstated to its original 1957 style.

Mike Brown, the managing director of London Underground, praised the conservation of the project.

He said: "The Epping Ongar railway is an important and beautifully preserved part of our rail heritage.

"Our links with the railway remain strong, with many families and railway enthusiasts travelling to Epping on the Central line to enjoy a taste of history, and some of our former staff helping to keep the railway running for future generations to enjoy."

The end of Tube event will be run from Friday until Sunday, starting with a ceremony at Ongar station at 10.30am on Friday.

The train will then run the shuttle service between Ongar and Epping station just as it did 20 years ago, for one weekend only.