TRAIN enthusiasts from across the world are set to descend on a village near Ross-on-Wye next month.

Alan Keef Ltd, a light railway engineer and locomotive building firm from Lea, will be opening its doors to the public from 11am on September 20.

Last year, around 500 people visited the factory, with enthusiasts coming from as far as Brisbane in Australia.

The firm, which was set up in 1970, works on all sort of railways and locomotives and has restored many trains from scratch.

It turned over £1.2million last year and has even carried out work for Blenheim Palace as well as the Duke of Westminster Estate in Chester.

Managing director Patrick Keef said: "We had 500 come last year from Scotland, Cornwall, Ireland and even Brisbane."

"The success of the open days mainly comes from word of mouth."

Visitors will be able to have a ride on some of the trains, as well as look at some of the projects undertaken at the site.

The firm has been situated in Lea since 1986 after it was previously based in Oxfordshire.

It has rebuilt countless number of steam, diesel and electric trains, and undertaken many contracts for European companies.

It has recently restored a Russell locomotive for the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, while a Northumberland steam train is due to be on display next month.

Engineers have also been busy building a mini diesel locomotive for Norfolk based Wells Harbour Railway and are due to undertake a major project for a Belgian firm.

"We have done a lot over the years, but my proudest achievement was probably a replica Steam Elephant for the British Museum in 2002 then a Puffing Billy two years later," said Mr Keef.

"My father started it as a hobby and it just snowballed."

Admission to the open day will be £5 for adults and £1.50 for children, with proceeds going towards the village church and St Michael's Hospice.