Welcome to the Bristol Society of Model and Experimental Engineers’ website.
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 and traction engines to boats to aeroplanes, tethered car racing, live steam and internal combustion engines, clocks, tool making, etc. In fact all things that can be engineered in miniature.
We also built and operate the Miniature railway at Ashton Court.
From its opening in 1973 the railway has been developed by the Society to become what you see today … an interpretation, albeit on a smaller scale, of how the railways were operated particularly in the days of steam. We are all volunteers and many of the locomotives you will see and travel behind have been built by Society members as faithful reproductions of an original prototype that also work in exactly the same way.
The Ashton Court Miniature Railway is open. See dates below.
Keep your eyes open for the new 16mm scale Garden Rail Track.
The Bristol Model Engineers are pleased to announce the public running dates at the Ashton Court Railway for 2022.
March: Sunday 27th
April: Sunday 3rd, Sunday 17th, Monday 18th
May: Sunday 1st, Monday 2nd, Sunday 15th, Sunday 22nd
June: Sunday 12th, Sunday 19th
July: Sunday 3rd, Sunday 10th, Sunday 24th, Sunday 31st
August: Sunday 21st, Sunday 28th, Monday 29th
September: Sunday 11th, Sunday 18th
October: Sunday 2nd, Sunday 23rd, Sunday 30th
Please follow our Facebook page for further updates, and read all of the below information before your visit.
These dates are however subject to the weather (as always), the availability of volunteers and we also reserve the right to suspend or amend operations if the government reintroduces any Covid-19 regulations or advice.
The railway will be open from 12.00hrs until 17.00hrs with the exception of October 30th 2022 when the railway will close at 16.00hrs. We may have to close the queue a little earlier to avoid any disappointments if many people are waiting.
* What’s different this year?
We need to avoid overcrowding within the railway site so that we can all have a happy and safe afternoon.
Anyone showing or experiencing any of the symptoms of Covid-19 MUST NOT come to the site or ride the railway.
A one-way route into and out of the site, and to and from the trains, will be in operation. Please queue outside the ticket office, and along the boundary fence of the railway enclosure.
Tickets will cost £1.50 each, or 5 for £6.50. Multiple tickets may be purchased, cash and cards are accepted.
We are running trains on both our railways: On the raised track railway there is usually only space for one household per train and on the ground level one household per carriage will be the norm. Railway volunteers will give guidance on which carriages can be used in order to avoid overcrowding.
Railway volunteers will also wipe down the carriages periodically throughout the day.
* What about parking?
Please remember that parking at Ashton Court is controlled by Bristol City Council, and visitors will need to pay and display. Only members of the Bristol Society of Model & Experimental Engineers are permitted to park their vehicles in the area immediately adjacent to the railway.
If you enjoy the magic of a steam railway why not join us? Email the chairman (email@example.com) for more details, he’d love to hear from you.
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.
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.
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.
The Bristol Society of Model engineers has for many years put 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. Although the staging of that exhibition is currently on hold you can find out more here. Find out more about the exhibition.
Brilliant Bristol Model Engineering Exhibition review here.
CLICK ON THE VIDEO FOR A TIME LAPSE VIEW OF ONE OF OUR EXHIBITIONS
(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 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)
Ongoing Improvements to Ashton Railway