Welcome to the Bristol Society of Model and Experimental Engineers’ website.

Please Note That Public Running Days at Ashton Court Railway are now over until March 2019, apart of course for the Santa Special (Tickets all sold out). Many Thanks.

Our Society was founded in 1909 and is one of the oldest in the country, we have around 250 members with engineering interests ranging from locomotives to boats to aeroplanes, tethered car racing, live steam and internal combustion engines, clocks, tool making, 3D printing and recently radio controlled model hot air ballooning. And we run the Miniature railway at Ashton Court.

Ashton Court Miniature Railway

We urgently need your help please

There is a very real possibility that this railway will cease to operate following the end of the 2018 season.

Bristol City Council are proposing not to renew our lease on this site as they intend to use the land for alternative activities.

Bristol Society of Model Engineers is a volunteer run, charity based, organisation that has built and operated this railway over the last 45 years. Over this time, it has given countless hours of enjoyment to the wider community in and around the city of Bristol.

If this happens the consequences will be:-

    • No more Ashton Court Railway


    • No more birthday parties events


    • No more Santa visits


  • No more charitable events

The railway needs your support.

We set up an online petition which attracted over 10,000 signatures.

Thanks to your wonderful support we were able to have our say in front of a full Bristol City Council Meeting on September the 11th.

Despite all party support from the councillors for Ashton Court Miniature Railway and it’s service to the greater Bristol community, the response from the Mayor and Deputy Mayor gave us little encouragement. The discussions however are continuing. The council meeting youtube video can be found here :-


The Ashton Court Debate starts at 1:15:00

Many thanks for your support.

  For further details please follow the Ashton Court Railway on    Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.





October 2018

Discussions over our lease with Bristol City Council are still ongoing. At the moment the long term future of Ashton Court Railway is in considerable doubt as the council are seeking to fully commercialise the site. The council’s aim is to maximise future revenues beyond anything that a miniature railway run by volunteers is likely to achieve and are therefore seeking alternatives uses for the land. 

IMG_1606For some years now during the month of August we have been running a highly popular Annual Model Engineering Exhibition at Thornbury Leisure Centre and 2018’s event was no exception.

However it has been decided that there will be no exhibition in 2019 due in part to the uncertainty over our lease. We may need all of our time and energy spent on dismantling Ashton Railway but we are hopeful of putting on another exhibition in the future.

Brilliant Bristol Model Engineering Exhibition review here.

Although the club has a strong affinity to the age of steam as witnessed by the many fine steam locomotives to be seen at our miniature railway layout at Ashton Court Railway you will also find “Diesel Electric” locomotives in the line up for passenger hauling which are a firm favourite with the youngsters who come along on our public running days for a ride, along with mum and dad.

David Giles driving Roger James's 5" gauge semi-scale LNER K3.

The diverse interests within the membership covers the whole gamut of engineering , mechanical, electrical, electronic, even civil engineering when you consider the track laying and maintenance carried out at Ashton Court Railway so there is a niche for a wide variety of skills and interests. Why not pay us a visit and see for yourselves?

We hold public running days at Ashton Court Railway and bi monthly lectures covering model engineering and related topics at Begbrook Community Centre where everyone is welcome, so come along and enjoy.

Fancy a ride on the trains at Ashton Court?  Click on this link for General information about the Track or click here for dates we will be Open for the Public Running


BSMEE has the use of 4.5 acres of land at Bristols Ashton Court on which our miniature railway can be found. To find out more about us follow this link.

Ashton Junction Signal Box

Ashton Junction Signal Box


Children from Bridge Learning Campus having a fun time.

Children from Bridge Learning Campus having a fun time May 2015.


Dave Marshall driving Neil Mortimer's 5" gauge Polly 'Endeavour'

Dave Marshall driving Neil Mortimer’s 5″ gauge Polly ‘Endeavour’

Fancy a ride on the trains at Ashton Court?  Click on this link for General information about the Track or click here for dates we will be Open for the Public Running

Every year the Bristol Society of Model engineers puts on a grand exhibition. Visited by thousands of people our Exhibition is an excellent way to see the diverse collections of models that are made around the UK and the world. Find out more about the exhibition.


(This is only one of the four halls we fill)

We are working towards creating a huge gallery of images of many aspects of our hobby, take a look or maybe even upload some yourself.

More about us in this video

The Bristol Society of Model and Experimental Engineers hope that you will find our website informative and enjoyable.

The Club Workshop

A well appointed workshop.

A well appointed club workshop.

The Club Workshop.

The club has a new workshop with an extensive range of tools and machine tools including lathes, mills, pillar drills and many other items. Some of the tools are larger than many of those found in home workshops so members can tackle large scale models.


Up and Away

(We are not just about hot engines)

RC Hot Air Balloon Demo.

RC Hot Air Balloon Demo.

Ongoing Improvements to Ashton Railway

Newly refurbished Ashton Sidings - NiceJob!

Newly refurbished Ashton Sidings – NiceJob!