STEAM train enthusiasts in Wiltshire and beyond are in for a real treat on Sunday, when the Lord Dowding makes a scheduled stop at Bradford on Avon to pick up passengers.

The engine is the first steam train to make a scheduled stop at the historic railway station to pick up passengers since 1963 or 1964.

The historic arrival is scheduled to take place just after 8.30am on Sunday, June 24 and should attract scores of steam train enthusiasts and photographers.

The train, run by Saphos Trains - a new steam charter company, will be travelling from Bristol Temple Meads to Kingswear so that passengers may cross over to Dartmouth for a few hours before returning later in the day.

Company spokesman Harriet Feilding said: "Our research shows that this is the first time that this has happened since the 1960s, before steam came to an end on the mainline.

"This is Saphos Trains’ first year of operations, and it is part of a larger group that owns a number of steam engines.

"Six of them are in full operation either on the mainline or on preserved railways as well as a growing fleet of historic diesel engines.

"Passengers will be travelling in style in a combination of beautifully restored Mark 1 and Mark 2 carriages."

The engine, which is actually West Country Class no. 34046 Braunton, has been specially re-named as Battle of Britain Class no. 34052 Lord Dowding.

The re-naming took place to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, in honour of Air Chief Marshal Dowding, who led Fighter Command during the battle.

Braunton was originally built in 1946. Two years later in 1948, under nationalisation, she became British Railways number 34046, and was officially named Braunton in January 1949.

The first 48 members of the class were named after places in the West Country served by its trains or close to its lines.

Braunton was then withdrawn from service in late 1965, two years before the end of steam on the Southern Region, after accumulating 779,210 miles.

In 1996 the engine was saved from further deterioration, and in July 2007, the locomotive was steamed for the first time since 1965.