Actress Jenny Agutter meets Keighley and Worth Valley Railway volunteers who drove engines in the 1970 film on the set of The Railway Children sequel
The Railway Children Return was filmed in the Oakworth and Haworth areas for six weeks in May and June and filming is now complete.
The original film’s railway scenes used engines and volunteers from the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, and the producers once again returned to the heritage line – where they found familiar faces.
Volunteers hope The Railway Children will put the historic railway back on the map
Longtime volunteer Nicholas Hellewell, now 71, was a young firefighter who was part of the driving crew of the trains used in the 1970 shooting. Now a pilot himself, he has returned to the front of the scene, this time with her daughter Frances Hartley, the first female pilot of the line, in the scenes of the new production.
Mr Hellewell, who has worked on the railroad since the 1960s, was pictured with actress Jenny Agutter who played Bobbie Westbury in the first film as a child star and reprise her role in the sequel as adult Bobbie.
Keighley and Worth Valley Railway operations manager Noel Hartley said it had been “difficult” to fit the shoot to the line’s regular schedules after a long period of shutdowns.
Unlike the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, which closed for filming on two Hollywood productions – parts of the Mission Impossible and Indiana Jones franchises – this spring, the line remained open to visitors.
“Nicholas has been with us since the late 1960s – he was a firefighter in the original film and he drove the three locomotives we were using in the new film. His daughters, Frances and Emma, are both drivers now as well. It is a new generation, the new blood that will continue now that it comes to the end of its railway career.
“Jenny was here for a week, she has a pretty reasonable role. We all enjoyed doing it – it’s great to give this experience to the younger volunteers.
“It was a tough six weeks, as production took over all the room for the footage and rail scenes at Oakworth Station. It was a big job for us, involving a lot of engines and cars, and we had to run our own service too, but we got there. We don’t run weekday trains in May and we only run from Wednesday to Sunday in June; in the end, we only had to cancel one leg of the train. ‘a service. “
The film, set during World War II, is slated for release in 2022. The cast also includes Tom Courtenay and Sheridan Smith.