2021 Events Page
We Are Open Again!
With Covid-19 Secure Running at least until June 26th.
Bedford Model Engineering Society is once again able to open its railway to the public - but for the time being we will have to operate in the same way as we did during 2020 (see the service description that follows). We hope to resume "normal" public running towards the end of June but that will depend upon the further relaxation or removal of the Covid restrictions.
UPDATE (18/05/2021): With the current concerns regarding the "Indian Variant", particularly as it affects the Bedford area, and the subsequent uncertainty that "Step 4" will happen on June 21st, we have decided to add Sunday June 27th to the booking calendar. By so doing we should still be able to open for those who have booked should Step 4 not happen. If in the end, Covid restrictions are removed before the 27th we can still decide to revert to pre-Covid operating when booking was not required.
"Covid" regulated service - there is a lot to tell you here, but please read through to the end.
Unfortunately, we are not still going to be able to operate all of our railways with the Covid regulations as they currently are. So, we will continue as last year with the "new" ride combining the Summerfields Line (the 'main line') from Haynes End with the Springfield Line at Hammer Hill. This gives a journey time nearly twice that of the old main line run. The trains will not be stopping at Hammer Hill.
Trains will have only one carriage and the passengers on each train must all be from the same household or "Bubble". .
Our Buffet will open as a take-away service with tea, coffee, soft drinks and packaged snack items. Our picnic tables will be available outside - suitably distanced!
Toilets - as you may know the toilets do not belong to Bedford MES but are provided as a communal facility by our landlord for those on the Summerfields Barns site. Although they are not our responsibility, we will endeavour to check them on a regular basis. We will be providing hand sanitiser in a dispenser just outside the toilet block.
In common with other visitor attractions we have had to move to booking in advance in order to better manage passenger numbers on our site, and all payments will have to be made using contactless card.
We use your details to process your booking but we are also required to take contact details of visitors for Track and Trace purposes. No data will be retained beyond one month after your visit and will not be used for purposes other than those stated.
Therefore, we are asking that everybody who wants to ride our trains, first makes a booking online. Payment will still be taken at our Ticket Office but, again as other venues, only by contactless card.
Our trains will carry a maximum of six passengers with a maximum of four adults. Please do not attempt to book more than this on one train.
A round trip ticket will cost £4 per person . Children under the age of two still travel free. We hope that you will understand that the price increase this year was unavoidable. We have not increased prices for several years, and it was set to happen last year, but we deferred that increase. However, with our receipts last year only around 50% of the previous year a price rise this year was necessary if the railway was to survive for you to enjoy.
So, please pick a time and date on the booking form at the bottom of this page, complete with your details and submit. You will receive a confirmation email by return.
Please ensure that you bring the confirmation email with you on the day as it is your E-ticket.
In the event that you have to CANCEL we would really like you to let us know (before your day of travel if at all possible, please), by clicking the REPLY button to the confirmation email and dropping us a one-liner.
Since we started this new way of working we have always been fully booked. However we have found that between 15% and 20% of the folk who have booked simply do not bother to show up, thus denying others the chance for a ride (and us some much needed funds).
We would rather not take payment at the time of booking but what we will do is reserve the right to offer the slot to anyone wanting another ride if you are not checked in at the car park entrance a minimum of TEN minutes before your train departure time. Please, please make sure that you are checked in with our car park staff at least ten minutes before your train is due to depart – if you are later than that, we will not be able to guarantee your ride.
And lastly, it is a railway so, just like the "big" trains, departure times may slip a bit from your booked time due to operational circumstances. We will do our very best to be on schedule, but please be patient with us if we should be running late!
Thank You for your understanding and for supporting our railway - as always, we are looking forward to seeing you.
Keep scrolling down - the booking form is coming - honestly!!
Note: We are not open every day, so only the highlighted dates on the calendar can be selected. Our system only allows you to select one time-slot per booking. Booking will close 18:00hrs on the day before travel - booking on the day of travel is not normally possible.
If you should wish to book more than one ride, please leave at least 24 minutes between departures.
By making a booking you are confirming that all persons in your group riding the train are from the same household or "support bubble".
Bookings are accepted on the assumption that the Government Covid Roadmap Step 2 is implemented on April 12th.
We hope and intend to revert to "normal" operations when Covid restrictions are removed (Step 4).