The world's fastest diesel locomotive will make its inaugural appearance at the Watercress Line next month at the Diesel Gala from July 12 to July 14.

Two Class 43 locomotives, provided by RailAdventure UK Ltd, will be major attractions, offering a traditional diesel service on the railway.

Formed as power cars for the High-Speed Train which came into service in 1976, the Class 43 diesel-electric locomotives were the brainchild of British Rail Engineering at Crewe.

They were built between 1975 and 1982 and enhanced services between Kings Cross and Edinburgh, as well as between Paddington to Cardiff and Swansea.

In a special trial, the Class 43 reached a speed of 148.5 mph and regularly runs in service at 125 mph.

The Diesel Gala will also spotlight Class 50 50008 ‘Thunderer’ from Hanson & Hall Rail Services Solutions Ltd.

This engine was built in March 1968 and was devised to run at 100mph on the non-electrified portion of the West Coast mainline between Crewe and Glasgow.

The gala will also highlight the ex-BR Class 438 fixed formation 4TC and locomotives from The Watercress Line's home fleet as well.

On July 13, a Real Ale Train is scheduled to run an evening service offering patrons an assortment of real ales. Visitors will have the chance to partake in brake van rides, diesel train rides on the miniature railway, and free guided tours of the Engineering Works at Ropley.

The Watercress Line’s CEO Rebecca Dalley said: "We are so thrilled to announce that the fastest diesel locomotive in the world will be making its first appearance at The Watercress Line’s fantastic Diesel Gala this year. It’s a wonderful opportunity for visitors to see the two iconic Class 43 locomotives up close, along with our fantastic line-up of other visiting and home fleet engines.

" The Diesel Gala is always a huge success, but this year it promises to be a bumper occasion. In addition to the main attraction, our visitors can explore railway exhibits and enjoy free guided tours to gain a real insight into what it takes to maintain and run locomotives at The Watercress Line.

"Tickets are now on sale, so book ahead and get on board for a memorable day out at The Watercress Line at the Diesel Gala."