The Railway Children

The newly formed Keighley & Worth Valley Society was thrust into the limelight, when Lionel Jeffries selected the railway to be the backdrop for his adaption of  E. Nesbit’s “The Railway Children”.

The Railway Children (1970)

A Classic Film

The 1970 film version of Edith Nesbit’s story The Railway Children brought the Keighley & Worth Valley into the limelight, with the railway and the surrounding valley used as the backdrop for the film. The story revolves around a family with three children – Roberta (also known as Bobbie), Peter and Phyllis, their father was arrested on suspicion of being a spy.

The mother hides this from the rest of of the family and they had to move to the countryside, due to becoming impoverished. They move to a cottage called Three Chimneys in Yorkshire near Oakworth Railway Station. The rest is history…


Oakworth Station
Seen throughout the film for a variety of events and still recognisable to this day. The Work place of ‘Perks’ the station porter, Peter’s coal mine, the presentation ceremony, the ‘shabby Russian’ and the homecoming of the railway children’s father.

Mytholmes Tunnel & Embankment
Seen in the film during the paper chase and is where ‘Jim’ falls and injures his leg. The embankment to the left of the tunnel mouth is where the landslide was filmed. Nearby on the railway line the railway children used their red flannel petticoats as flags to warn the driver of the 11.29 train of the danger.

Oakworth Level Crossing
Seen throughout the film and in particular when Mr Perks opens the gate for The Scotts Flyer. For filming, the gates were changed from the normal single gate to double gates.

Railway Cottage
Located across the level crossing from Oakworth station. The first house on the left named ‘Railway
Cottage’ was the home of Mr Perk’s.

Other locations included Bents House situated above Oxenhope Railway Station, various location around Haworth including, St Mary’s Churchyard, Brontë Parsonage Museum and the iconic cobbled Main Street.

Engines & Rolling Stock

Great Western Railway 0-6-0PT Pannier Tank No.5775
No.5775 was built at Swindon in 1929 and during British Railways ownership was ‘shedded’ at Danygraig, Carmarthen and Pontypool Road from where it was withdrawn in January 1963 when, like several others of the class, it was sold into private ownership. No. 5775 was sold to London Transport for use on the Underground system on, mainly, night time engineers’ trains. In the LT fleet it received the London Transport maroon livery and took the number L89 and served in the capital until it was purchased for preservation by the KWVR in January 1970.

Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Class 25 ‘Ironclad’ 0-6-0 No.957

The loco had worked on the national network for 72 years before being withdrawn from service by British Rail in 1959. No.957 was built by Beyer Peacock of Manchester in 1887, and was one of the last 50 to be built in its class. After being withdrawn from service the loco was purchased by Mr.Tony Cox, and transferred eventually to the railway in 1965, three ways before the re-opening. The loco was painted in a green livery and gained the unofficial name “Green Dragon” while taking part in filming. At a 134 year-old, The most recent restoration was completed in time for the 51st anniversary of the Railway Children, and took pride of place over the weekend.


North Eastern Clerestory Inspection Saloon, no. 21661 “Old Gentleman’s Coach”
Originally built for Stockton & Darlington Railway in 1871, the coach didn’t become an inspection saloon until 1876 when taken in by North Eastern Railway and converted. The coach was withdrawn after nearly 100 years service in 1969 and was purchased for preservation by KWVR Society member, John Dawson. The coach found fame when it was used as the “Old Gentleman’s Coach” in the Railway Children Film,.


  • Jenny Agutter as Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Waterbury
  • Sally Thomsett as Phyllis Waterbury
  • Gary Warren as Peter Waterbury
  • Dinah Sheridan as Mother, Mrs. Waterbury
  • Bernard Cribbins as Albert Perks
  • William Mervyn as Old Gentleman
  • Iain Cuthbertson as Father, Charles Waterbury
  • Peter Bromilow as Doctor Forrest
  • Ann Lancaster as Ruth

The Railway Children Return (2022)

40 Years Later...

The Railway Children Return will take audiences on an exciting and heart-warming journey, in which a group of children are evacuated to a Yorkshire village during World War 2, where they encounter a young soldier, who like them, is far away from home….

Production company Studio Canal have released the first trailer of The Railway Children Return, filmed along the railway and surrounding areas. Multiple trailers will be released during the run up to the films scheduled release date on the 1st April 2022.

The Railway Children Return is helmed by BAFTA-winning director Morgan Matthews and written by BAFTA-winning Danny Brocklehurst.

Starring Sheridan Smith, Jenny Agutter (who returns as Bobbie from the original beloved family classic), Tom Courtenay and a new generation of Railway Children!


The Railway Children Return preview poster.