TESTAMENT OF YOUTH

GB
2014
2hrs 09mins
Dir: James Kent
Starring: Alicia Vikander and Kit Harington

A British woman recalls coming of age during World War I

This drama is based on the First World War memoir of the same name written by Vera Brittain. The railway station scenes, the train interiors, and the scene in the railway cafe were all shot at Keighley station, using trains provided by the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. Ex-LMS Class 4F 0-6-0 No.43924 is visible in several shots but it’s cabside number has been removed, possibly as an aid to authenticity though the loco wasn’t built until 1920, after the war had ended. In one departure scene, ex-L&YR ‘Coal Tank’ 2F Class 0-6-2T No.1054 is revealed to be standing in an adjacent platform at the head of vintage L&YR coaching stock, but the overall roof above has been added through computer generation as the station, in this instance, is playing the part of London Charing Cross. No.1054 is seen later in another atmospheric departure scene (this loco is old enough for it was built in 1888). The landscape shots of period trains were filmed on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and consist of a rake of LNER teak carriages hauled by ex-LNER B1 Class 4-6-0 No.61264, not built of course until 1947, after the Second World War had ended! Quite a bit of footage from filming at Keighley appears on the short Making of featurette on the DVD extras for the movie

The opening railway shot in the film sees a train of LNER teak carriages hauled by B1 4-6-0 No.61264 passing through the North Yorkshire Moors countryside.
And a more distant view of the train, this time, approaching the camera
The footbridge at Keighley in a recreated period scene
Alicia Vikander leans out of a vintage carriage window in this delightfully artistic shot filmed at Keighley
In this oddly truncated low-level run-by one can see that the smokebox number plate for No.61264 is in fact reversed, and it appears to read 61236!!
Alicia Vikander in another authentic period scene at Keighley
The Keighley & Worth Valley’s 4F 0-6-0 No.43924 also plays a part in the film but it’s cabside number has been removed
This is a brilliant shot. Soldiers wave goodbye as their train pulls out of Keighley headed by 4F No.43924. Visible in the centre background is ex-L&YR ‘Coal Tank’ 2F Class 0-6-2T No.1054 (as evidenced by its red numberplate).
Oh for the wonders of modern technology. The passengers and the platform with canopy are real (this is platform 4 at Keighley) as is the train of vintage Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway stock with the ‘Coal Tank’ on the front. However, the overall roof and background building more reminiscent of a London termini are wholly synthetic, created as they are by a computer.
A packed platform 4 at Keighley as soldiers prepare for their journey
In this shot of filming taking place on platform 4 the Midland 4F stands on the left. This is a better glimpse of the loco and its number is still on the cabside (it was removed for the finished take as evidenced by the screen capture seen earlier).
Filming at Keighley. The carriage is Metropolitan Railway ‘Dreadnought’ 7-compartment First No.509. This maybe a rare example of an all First-Class commuter coach but it was not built until 1923, too young for a film set in the First World War. Still, it looks the part.