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.

A good overall view of Keighley station opens the railway scenes in this movie
The first locomotive seen in the film is this shot of ex-LMS 8F 2-8-0 No.8431 arriving into Keighley amidst much smoke and steam
Lisa Eichhorn and Derek Thompson (later of Casualty fame) at Keighley station
The departure scene which follows is a little unusual in that it shows Keighley station looking in the opposite direction (towards Skipton) as opposed to Oxenhope, which is normally the case
This departure scene used Oakworth, more familiar of course from The Railway Children. It is unfortunate that the locomotive at the front is not identifiable.
What is it about Oakworth and evocative scenes? Here we see Venessa Redgrave waving the train away.
This is the random stock-shot of an ex-SR ‘West Country’ Class light pacific, seen making light work of its train whilst crossing a shallow embankment. The very first of these locos did not appear until May 1945, just in time for the end of the Second World War but erroneous for a film set in 1944.
The view through someone’s window shows that preparations are well underway for the movement en masse of troops and their supplies. This is overlooking Keighley Goods Yard and the Keighley & Worth Valley’s big USATC S160 Class 2-8-0 No.5820 simmers in the background. It is a very appropriate loco for a war film, but this particular one was built by Lima, Ohio, in 1945.
The loco is captured in the background again in this shot, filmed in the old goods yard at Keighley. Located off Cavendish Street, the yard is now a supermarket car park.
The US built loco is now seen arriving into Keighley station, packed with troops. No CGI here, just hundreds of extras.
This is a rare thing. Of all the films to have used Keighley station over the years this is the only time that I am aware of where the main entrance on Bradford Road has featured.
BR Standard Class 4MT 4-6-0 No.75078 (carrying ‘5078’) arrives into Keighley
And we close with this unusual forward facing view of the platform at Keighley packed with troops