17 minutes into the film and this is the very first railway shot. The Waterbury family board a train, probably filmed at Oakworth but unusually filmed from the non-platform side.
This is the forgotten railway scene of the film, and it takes the form of a beautiful shot of a train crossing the Barmouth Bridge. This is a filtered shot to represent sunset, but it is very effective.
The train bringing the family into a wet Oakworth station is hauled by ex-Manchester Ship Canal Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T No.67
Ex-LYR Class 25 0-6-0 No.957 bursts out of Mytholmes Tunnel
This is the first of many classic scenes. The Railway Children watch on as No.957 passes by with its train.
Don’t try this at home kids. Nonchalant trespass on the Keighley and Worth. Note Mytholmes Tunnel in the background.
The children approach the station at Oakworth, crossing the bridge over a small lane in the process
The children on a very neat, tidy, and apparently deserted Oakworth station
Ex-LNER N2 Class 0-6-2T No.4744 approaches Oakworth at the head of the ‘Scotch Flyer’
The express steams through Oakworth. When Peter (played by Gary Warren) asks ‘Why is it going so slowly Mr. Perks’, the stationmaster replies back with the quip’ Well it’s all up hill to Scotland in’t it’!! Note that the loco’s LNER branding has been removed from the tank side.
Picking the station name out in whitewashed stones was once a very common sight that is now largely a ‘sign’ of the past
The photography in the film is really rather good and does not just extend to gratuitous shots of trains passing by the camera. There are some delightfully artistic glimpses of the trains, most notably that of the ‘Old Gentleman’. Here, the train is framed among the trees as it heads away from the camera
Another classic view. Ex-GWR Pannier Tank No.5775 in its tasteful light brown livery.
No.5775 enters Mytholmes Tunnel….
….and arrives into Oakworth station framed by the levers of the station ground frame
No.67 arrives into Oakworth during a violent downpour, recreated for filming by a rain machine
Just prior to the landslide, No.957’s progress is watched over by the children, from a top Mytholmes Tunnel
In another brilliantly framed shot, No.5775 runs alongside the River Worth
The railway took a lot of pride in the film and ensured that its staff were not overlooked. Here, the driver of 5775 smiles at the camera as he mops his brow with the back of his hand.
‘Take off our petticoats’… In one of the most memorable scenes from the film, the children wave valiantly to bring the train to a halt. Don’t tell everyone but the train was actually moving away from the camera at this point so as to risk no harm to Jenny Agutter!
But the scene works exceptionally well and with just inches to spare, the loco comes to rest in front of Jenny Agutter. Who then does the right thing and faints!
No.5775 and station are suitably bedecked for the children’s award ceremony during which there is a comedy appearance from the Haworth Town brass band.
Another stunningly artistic shot of the Old Gentlemen’s train passing through the verdant countryside of the Worth Valley
The old gentleman’s saloon. Ex-NER Clerestory saloon No.1661.
The paperchase enters Mytholmes Tunnel and probably breaks about five railway bylaws in the process of doing so!!
Peter, Bobbie and Phyllis follow the course of the paperchase over the tunnel, like all good sensible children should do. Note the platelayers walking the track in the background continues the continuity from that of the above shot.
This final shot of the Old Gentlemen’s train would reappear 21 years later in the 1991 film The Crucifer of Blood (qv).
‘Daddy, My Daddy!’ It must be the atmospheric way in which father’s return is shot, but it makes me cry every time.
The entire cast break the fourth wall and perform a curtain call as the credits roll. This highly unusual ‘thank you’ honoured the family spirit and togetherness under which filming took place.