RAIL enthusiast and social media star Francis Bourgeois attended an event which marked 50 years of the Avon Valley Railway.

A plaque was installed to mark the half-century milestone of the railway, which was attended by dozens of locals and regional mayor Dan Norris, on Thursday (April 4)

The plaque reveal marked the start of four days’ worth of special anniversary events, which were held from Thursday until Sunday (April 7). Other anniversary highlights included behind the scenes tours and more.

Bitton Station is an original Victorian Midland Railway station, which closed in 1966 under the Beeching Cuts before being painstakingly restored by volunteers nearly a decade later.

There are now three miles of re-laid track, and locomotives and carriages have been returned to their former glory – as has the original Victorian railway station building.

Opened in 1869 by Midland Rail, today locals can take a trip back in time with steam and diesel train rides throughout the year.

Mark Simmons, general manager for the railway, said: "We are really pleased to be welcoming Dan Norris back to the railway to help mark this major milestone in the history of the Avon Valley Railway.”