RAIL FANS will have an opportunity to see a historic express train pass through Whitchurch and Wem next month.

Thursday, June 3 will see the 'Welsh Marches Whistler' visit north Shropshire, as part of its journey between Lancaster and Shrewsbury.

The locomotive itself will be a British Rail Class 40, a diesel train that found regular use from its heyday in the 1960s, before being phased out by the mid-1980s.

The 'Whistler' moniker comes from the distinctive noise of the turbocharger.

The Welsh Marches Whistler is scheduled to leave Crewe Station at 8.10am and is expected to arrive at Shrewsbury at 9.25am.

The train is set to return in the opposite direction later in the day, leaving Shrewsbury at around 7.30pm and arriving at Crewe at 8.10pm.

A spokesman for Saphos Trains, who run the service, said: "Our train is diesel hauled to Crewe by a preserved Class 40 locomotive where two of our immaculately restored steam engines take over to double head the train through the Welsh Marches to Bristol.

"We return from Bristol hauled by a Class 40 diesel for the journey through Cheltenham, Birmingham New Street and Wolverhampton."