Inspired by one of the most loved British family films of all time, The Railway Children Return is an enchanting, moving and heart-warming sequel to the original Railway Children film.
Fans gathered to see the stars of the new film arrive on the red carpet outside the Keighley Picture House as Jenny Agutter, Sheridan Smith, Sir Tom Courtenay, John Bradley and the rest of the cast celebrated the film’s world premiere in the town, ahead of the full release on 15 July.
Railway children arrive back in Yorkshire
Earlier, the stars had gathered at Oakworth Railway Station on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway where The Return of the Railway Children is set. Half a century on from the first film, the sequel is sure to capture the imagination of a new generation of fans.
The idea of producing a sequel came to mind after the film’s producer Jemma Rodgers had been watching The Railway Children with her family:
“I actually used to live in Haworth and after watching the film with my daughter’s I thought to myself why anyone had not done a sequel using the same location and moving some of the stars of the original film on? It was a very conscious decision when we made the new film that we had to give a nod or two to the original film. I hope that if people liked the original they will enjoy the sequel, for those who have not seen the first one this will be a whole new film.”
Agutter makes her return as Bobbie, now mother of Annie played by Sheridan Smith, who told us, “When Jenny arrived on set it felt like royalty had arrived, the three main things that were needed to make the film work was that Jenny was in there, the Keighley and Worth Valley trains were going to be a big part of the film and of course the railway children themselves. Coming from Yorkshire myself I am so pleased that the World Premiere has been held here”.
Celebrating the Yorkshire connections
Agutter herself has Yorkshire connections too:
“My father is from Headingley and I used to come up to Yorkshire many times as a child, It was wonderful to be back filming here. I have, from the first time I ever went to Oakworth Station, loved steam trains, I think they’re absolutely wonderful. The sounds they make, the whole sense of them. Just being back here and filming was very touching.”
Leeds-based actor Austin Haynes plays Thomas, grandson to Bobbie. Wearing his Yorkshire badge on his lapel and also celebrating his birthday on the day of the premiere the young actor was justifiably proud of the new film: “This is such a good Yorkshire film, we all had such good fun making it and I hope that people will like it.”
Nicholas Hellewell who drove one of the trains on the original Railway Children film was present at Oakworth station driving ‘Big Jim’, which appears in The Railway Children Return.
The Railway Children Return
Fifty years on it seems that this sequel will steam full ahead in being a big success.
The Railway Children Return will be released this Friday, 15 July.