Facilities Available At The Ashton Railway Site

The major facilities comprise a raised 3½ and 5 inch gauge railway, a 5 inch and 7¼ inch gauge ground level railway and a traction engine circuit running inside the raised track. The circuit length of each of the rail tracks is approximately 1/3 mile.

The supporting infrastructure comprises the following:

1. Carriage shed for the storage of 15 carriages or locos for ground level operation and 20 carriages for raised track workings.

2. Station building allowing for the admission and safe handling of large numbers of passengers for the railway and traction engine circuit.

3. An extensive system of semaphore signals and warning bells necessary to ensure the safe operation of the railway. Conventional road signs are used to control the safe multi engine operation of the traction engine circuit.

4. A traverser system and railway sidings that allow carriages to be taken from the carriage shed without the need for manhandling.

5. A separate steaming bay for locomotives comprising a number of raised platforms for all gauges and means for easy access from the steaming bay onto the main lines. There is also a hydraulic lift to help with the unloading of the ground level locomotives. Unloading ramps are available for the raised track locomotives.

6. Swinging beam that allows access to the inside of the raised track circuit for use by the traction engines and for maintenance work.

7. Coal, water, 12 & 24-volt power supplies and disposal facilities are available.

8. First aid equipment, fire extinguishers and a telephone are available for emergencies.

The BSMEE welcomes visitors who wish to bring along either their locomotive or traction engine to operate either as a private session or as part of the public running days. However, it is desirable to discuss your intentions to visit with us  beforehand to avoid disappointment. New visitors should make known to us their intentions to visit by contacting us via contact us page, subsequent discussions can then be conducted by phone or e-mail.

For safety, insurance and legal reasons there are a number of restrictions that will apply to your visit if you wish to operate your locomotive.

1. You must be in possession of a valid boiler test certificate issued in accordance with the requirements of the “The Examination and testing of Miniature steam Boilers” new edition 2008.

2.You should have a valid certificate of insurance for 3rd Party Liability / Public Liability Insurance with a limit of indemnity of at least £3million.

3. You should have evidence that you have suitable driving experience and must know the operation of  semaphore  and light signalling systems.

4. Drivers under the age of 16 years will not be permitted to participate in any public passenger carrying session or to operate when public passengers are being carried. Between 16 years and 18 years suitable persons may drive without passengers. Between 16 years and 12 years drivers must be supervised at all times.

5. Your locomotive and driving truck must be in sound mechanical condition.