© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011
The Worth Valley Railway, one of the very first standard
gauge preserved lines, became particularly well known in the
mid-70s on the release of the film "The Railway Children".
One of the (mechanical) stars of that film was the unique ex-
L&YR Barton Wright 0-6-0 no. 957, built in 1887. Painted in a
fictitious livery, it was "the green dragon", which was saved
from disaster by Jenny Agutter after that famous landslip...
I had met no. 957 a couple of times previously in that green
livery - it was displayed on the site of the former Leeds Central
station in 1971. On this occasion, however, it looked much more
modern - painted in BR black livery, and bearing its BR number
52044. And it was in steam - a fairly rare event at that time -
ready to work a special train for filming purposes.
Other than that basic fact, I can remember little
else about this trip. The normal service train was
in the capable hands of Ivatt 2-6-2T 41241, at
that time still bearing its crimson "K&WVR" livery.
Similarly, "Fred", the ex-NCB Austerity (RSH
7289/45) bore a blue variant. These were still
early days in preservation - I don't think we quite
knew how best to do it...
The steaming of 52044 illustrated must have been one of its last
before a lengthy period out of service; now fully restored, it is
once again an active member of the fine fleet of locomotives on
the Worth Valley Railway.
Keighley and Worth Valley Railway