The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway as a location for film & TV productions
The KWVR is ideal for film makers. The compact 5-mile line offers productions a range of authentic and unusual features and can be used as a location for any period between 1860 and 1960.
The KWVR works closely with Screen Yorkshire which invests in film and TV production through the innovative £15m Yorkshire Content Fund, which is the largest fund of its kind in the UK. The Yorkshire Content Fund comprises £7,500,000 of investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which will be matched by private investment on a project-by-project basis. Investments using the KWVR as locations include Peaky Blinders, The Great Train Robbery, and Testament of Youth. Added to that, the K&WVR boasts film-friendly staff with extensive first-hand knowledge of the particular requirements of both large and small-scale productions.
Feature films include Yanks (1979, Universal); Jude (1996, BBC Films): Fairy Tale: A True Story (1997, Icon Entertainment); Brideshead Revisited (2007, Ecosse Films), and Selfish Giant (2013); Another Brick in the Wall (Pink Floyd); Escape from the Dark (Disney).
The latest feature film shot on the KWVR is the cinematic adaptation of Vera Brittain’s iconic and powerful WW1 memoir, Testament Of Youth, starring Alicia Vikander & Kit Harington, released at cinemas in January 2015.
And, of course, who can forget the classic 1970 version of The Railway Children starring Dinah Sheridan, Jenny Agutter, Sally Thomsett and Bernard Cribbins, which was filmed here on the KWVR.
Television programmes made at the KWVR include The Great Train Robbery (2013 BBC); Spanish Flu – The Forgotten Fallen (2009, Hardy Picures); The League of Gentlemen (BBC); Last of the Summer Wine (BBC); Housewife 49 (2006, Granada Television); A Touch of Frost (ITV Productions); The Royal (YTV); Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em (BBC); Born & Bred (BBC) and several period dramas including, The Way We Live Now (2001); Sons & Lovers (2003); and North & South (2004).
More recently the Railway was used for locations for BBC’s Peaky Blinders but in September 2020 the KWVR burst onto out TV screens on the newly released version of All Creatures Great and Small.
The KWVR has also featured in numerous commercials, with brands including Budweiser (for the US market), Hovis biscuits, Symbol Crackers – filmed with the late Ronnie Corbett in Ingrow tunnel; Tetley bitter; Head and Shoulders shampoo – with 80002 at Keighley; as well as the famous Solvite advert when a steam locomotive (45212) was ‘wallpapered’ in Haworth yard.