A recently proposed shaft position sensorless method for torque and reactive power control of the brushless doubly-fed reluctance machine has proven successful in simulation studies. In this work, its real-time performance has been evaluated on a custom-designed machine prototype. The preliminary experimental results have confirmed the viability of the scheme and represent a serious step towards the development of a generic, virtually parameter independent controller for doubly excited machines. A wide range of applications is possible including drive and generator systems with limited speed ranges (e.g. large pumps and wind turbines) where the cost savings of using a partially-rated power electronic converter are significant.