This scene from the 1970 movie "The Railway Children" was shot on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway (K&WV) then used as a book cover but the image was reversed - Date unknown Anonymous Photographer.
As a movie buff perhaps you may recall seeing this rather sappy, but entertaining, children's movie named "The Railway Children". The title alone is enough to draw the attention of any true Foamer. The story by Edith Nesbit (1858-1924) was originally serialised in "The London Magazine" during 1905 then published as a children's book in 1906.
The plot concerns a family who move to a house near a railway, after the father who works at the Foreign Office, is imprisoned and falsely accused of spying. The children befriend an Old Gentleman who regularly takes the 09:15 train near their home. He is eventually able to help prove their father's innocence, and the family is reunited. The family also take care of a Russian exile, a Mr. Szczepansky, who came to England looking for his family and Jim, the grandson of the Old Gentleman. Jim suffers a broken leg while playing on the railway. The three children of the family discover Jim just in time to wave down the morning train before he is run over. It seems railway trespass was just as popular in 1905 as it is today.
The story has been adapted for the screen several times but the 1970 version filmed in West Yorkshire is credited with boosting the railway preservation movement across Great Britain. Scenes were shot on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway (K&WV). (Pronounced "Keeth-lee", another strange spelling from the country that gave us mushy peas and marmite.) When I stopped a local and asked for directions to "Key-lee" the person said they had never heard of the place. The 1970 film is what drew me to "Keeth-lee" to ride on the Keeth-lee & Worth Valley Railway. A television version of the movie produced in 2000 used equipment running on the Bluebell Railway. This Bluebell photo article is where you can learn more about the Bluebell and their heritage equipment.
The Worth Valley was constructed in the year of Canada's Confederation, 1867. It was taken over by the Midland Railway to become part of the London, Midland & Scottish Railway in 1924. In 1948 British Railways assumed control. The railway, now a branchline which closed in 1962, was the immediate target of railway preservationists who got the line working once more by 1968 utilizing diesel traction.
Today's railway, while only 5 miles long, contains an amazing amount of detail crammed into this short distance. There are 6 stations with a very interesting museum located directly adjacent to Ingrow West. Admission to the museum is free with the purchase of a K&WV ticket. Run-around loops (Don't be confused by the British term for loop. Their loop is a siding, not a reversing loop as known in North America.) are provided at each end of the route. At Keighley K&WV trains utilize platforms 3 and 4 with the national rail network services at platforms 1 and 2. Connections are facilitated by simply walking across a pedestrian overbridge.
K&WV trains work upgrade, approximately 2 percent, soon after departing Keighley where their steam engines respond with appropriate quantities of steam and sometimes black smoke. Both steam and diesel services are provided throughout any given day with as many as seven trains per day, depending on the season of course.
There are over 30 steam locomotives available for operation with 7 in regular service during my visit. The railway is entirely owned and operated by volunteers.
At approximately 09:45 on 10 Aug 2004, Haworth (Pronounced How-worth, there you are again!) was struck by flash floods. Considerable damage was caused to local properties including the railway's workshop and accommodation block, but incredibly, the railway still managed to run train services later in the day.
The Haworth station and platform during the flood - 10 Aug 2004 Anonymous Photographer - K&WV.
In 2013 planning commenced for the addition of a new cafe beside the Oxenhope station. Currently food is provided within a railway carriage parked beside the station platform. Plans for a new cafe were carefully drawn up to comply with heritage considerations. Those plans met approval by the Conservation Officer and were recently approved by the railway society's board of directors with no significant alterations required. All that now remains is to secure funding so the project can begin.
The proposed new cafe for Oxenhope station - Date unknown Anonymous Artist.