A FAMILY run Herefordshire engineering firm is celebrating its 50 years in business this month with a special event involving four steam locomotives.

Alan Keef Ltd will be holding an open day at its workshop in Lea, near Ross-on-Wye.

The company is a widely recognised and acknowledged authority on all aspects of narrow gauge railways, both in the UK and worldwide.

With in-house design and manufacturing, it builds new locomotives and carriages, together with servicing and maintenance for all makes of locomotive.


Three narrow gauge locos, Woto, Taffy, and Peter Pan will be in steam on the day and it will be possible to enjoy a short train ride in the newly restored carriages which once ran on the now defunct Dalmunzie Estate Railway in Scotland.

Also present will be a steam roller Trotter of Coleford.

A special exhibition will also trace the businesses history over the last half century at the open day which takes place on Saturday, September 24.

For many steam enthusiast visitors a major highlight of the day will be the first public steaming of Corris Railway number 10, a 21st Century version of an 1878 design, which has been constructed at Keef’s and is planned to take up work heading passenger trains on the Mid Wales narrow gauge railway in 2023.

The construction and assembly of the engine has progressed since 2009 and will eventually cost in the region of four hundred thousand pounds.

Members of the Corris Railway Society will also be on hand to meet visitors.

A spokesperson for Alan Keef Ltd said: "This year marks our 50th anniversary and we're delighted to confirm our open day.

"It’s been four years since the last steam-up and so this year’s event is going to be very special.

"It's a showcase of all that we are."