GB 1979 2hrs 21mins Dir: John Schlesinger Starring: Richard Gere and Vanessa Redgrave
American GIs find romance in a Lancashire mill town during the Second World War
This lavish war drama is beautifully orchestrated in parts, and seriously cliched in others, but is largely an epic worthy of its status and was a successful blockbuster of the time. There are some excellent scenes filmed on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, with Keighley station and yard dominating these scenes as troop trains send American soldiers off to war. Locomotives prominent in these scenes are ex-LMS Class 8F 2-8-0 No.8431 (built in 1944), BR Standard Class 4MT 4-6-0 No.75078 (carrying ‘5078’ but built in 1956), and the line’s big USATC S160 Class 2-8-0 No.5820 as ‘28201’. This US-built loco is by far the most appropriate for filming with an estimated 2120 built by various American builders for the United States Army Transportation Corps. Many saw service on Britain’s railways though this particular loco was not built until 1945! There are also some general departure scenes at Keighley, with an additional one filmed at Oakworth. Finally, there is a random stock shot of an ex-SR ‘West Country’ Class 4-6-2 that is used to depict a journey in progress. The Keighley and Worth Valley has its own ‘West Country’ in the form of No.34092 City of Wells, but the shot is neither of that loco, nor was it filmed on the line.