The Club has a very strong engineering membership which is heavily involved with the
constuction, operation and maintenance of our own dual 7¼ inch & 5 inch gauge line, the Bentley Miniature
Railway, which is situated close by to Uckfield in the grounds of the Bentley Country Park, East Sussex.
The Railway provides the opportunity for members and guests to operate their locomotives over
a ground level circuit of approximately one mile (7¼ inch gauge) or 800 metres (5 inch gauge) hauling suitable length
trains for the benefit of the general public visiting Bentley.
Members own a wide range of locomotive types including live steam, battery electric and petrol
constructed to both standard and narrow gauge designs. The Club itself owns several 7¼ inch gauge locomotives
including Desmond, a small but powerful live steam
Hunslet 0-4-0 saddle tank, and a battery electric Beyer Peacock
Hymek, based on the BR Class 35.
The Railway also gives the opportunity for members to involve themselves in other activities.
Whether these are in the areas of civil engineering, building construction, track fabrication, signalling or just
cutting the grass there is something for all. A number of workshops are located at the Railway to enable onsite
maintenance to be carried out.
Of course whilst the Railway is open for passenger rides, members turn their hand to ticket sales, platform duties,
train guards, signalman and of course driving. A process of training and certification is undertaken with members competency
being assessed before a role can be taken up. Our junior members also have the opportunity to undertake this training including
learning to drive locomotives under instruction.
The Club owns a portable track in 7¼ inch gauge which we take out to a couple of events each year.
The first of these is our annual outing to Brighton Modelworld at the Brighton Centre in February where we give rides to
visitors behind both steam and electric locomotives. The track layout involves a couple of turnouts, one remotely controlled,
to enable a quick turn around of trains. Our other outing is to the Nutley Village Day held in June where we provide a simple out
and back ride hauled by one of the battery powered Bulldogs. Unfortunately due to the heavy commitment of running the Bentley
Miniature Railway these are the only two regular events that we attend with the portable track; however invitations to other such
events are considered on their individual merits.
If you would like to get involved in the Model Engineering side of our activities, please contact us
via our contacts page.