A LOCOMOTIVE which played a starring role in a classic British film received a warm welcome today (May 23) when it arrived at the North-East museum where it will be restored.

Locomotive GWR number 5775, which appeared alongside Jenny Agutter and Bernard Cribbins in the 1970s film The Railway Children, was greeted by youngsters wearing Victorian costumes in Shildon, County Durham.

Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, in West Yorkshire, has loaned the steam engine to Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon.

Loading article content

While in the North-East it will undergo a restoration costing about £2,000 to return it to how it looked on screen in The Railway Children.

Pam Porter, events officer at Locomotion, said: “The restoration team in Shildon enjoyed working on the Dominion of Canada for the Mallard 75th anniversary celebrations.

“We were looking for another project to take up and this is a great scheme for the team.

“The Keighley railway is funding the materials to restore the engine and we’re providing the labour at Locomotion.”

The repairs are set to start in early June and visitors to the museum will be able to view the work, which is expected to be completed by mid October.

The engine will then go on show in the museum until mid February next year.

Its most famous moment in The Railway Children came when two children used their red underwear to stop it from crashing.

Today (May 23), youngsters from the Children’s Amateur Theatre Shildon and the town's Young Kids Entertainment School, donned Victorian outfits to meet the engine when it arrived.

Derrick Robinson, who helps run the groups, said: “The Railway Children is a great film. The children are really excited to be appearing with the engine.”

A series of fun family events themed round The Railway Children and Victorian life will be held at Locomotion during October.

The museum - open between 10am and 5pm daily with free entry - is also looking to recruit volunteers who have skills in light engineering or cosmetic restoration to help on The Railway Children project.

Details can be obtained from Peter Shields on peter.shields@nrm.org.uk, Locomotion on 01388-777999 or email locomotion@nrm.org.uk