Jenny Agutter returning for 'The Railway Children' sequel, 51 years after the original

·Senior Editor
·3-min read
Sally Thomsett and Jenny Agutter meet Bernard Cribbins in a scene from the film 'The Railway Children', 1970. (Photo by Universal/Getty Images)
Sally Thomsett and Jenny Agutter meet Bernard Cribbins in a scene from the film 'The Railway Children', 1970. (Photo by Universal/Getty Images)

Beloved 1970 film The Railway Children is getting a sequel, 51 years on, from the studio behind Paddington 2 and The Secret Garden.

Studiocanal has announced that production is underway on The Railway Children Return with original star Jenny Agutter reprising her role of Bobbie Waterbury, alongside a new generation of young stars. It will arrive in cinemas in April, 2022.

The story will be set during WW2 and will follow a group of children, evacuated to the Yorkshire countryside, who discover a young soldier who is also far from home.

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The film is also set to star Sheridan Smith and Tom Courtenay. It's not yet been confirmed if any of the other original stars — including Bernard Cribbins — will appear.

Read more: How 2020's The Secret Garden updates the story

The Railway Children is based a children's book, written by Edith Nesbit, first published in book form in 1906. It tells the story of a young family who move from London to Three Chimneys in Yorkshire after the father accused of being a spy and imprisoned. It follows the children's adventures on the railway near their home, and their friendship with the local station porter. 

Jenny Agutter attending the 2015 Costa Book Awards at Quaglino's, London.
Jenny Agutter will return to her iconic role in The Railway Children Return (PA)

It has been adapted a number of times for stage and screen but the 1970 film remains the most beloved.

Written by Bafta-winner Danny Brocklehurst (Shameless, Sky One's Brassic, Netflix's Safe and The Stranger) and Produced by Bafta-winner Jemma Rodgers for Studiocanal, The Railway Children Return is directed by Bafta-winner Morgan Matthews (X+Y). 

It will be shooting in key locations from the original film, including Oakworth Station, Haworth, and The Bronte Parsonage. The iconic Keighley & Worth Valley Railway from the original film will also feature.

A still from The Railway Children, released in 1970 (Studiocanal)
A still from The Railway Children, released in 1970 (Studiocanal)

Here's a full synopsis: Inspired by one of the most beloved British family films of all time, THE RAILWAY CHILDREN RETURN is an enchanting adventure for a new generation bringing a contemporary sensibility to a classic story and combining British cast with stunning locations.

THE RAILWAY CHILDREN RETURN will take audiences on an exciting and heart-warming journey, in which a group of children are evacuated to a Yorkshire village during World War 2, where they encounter a young soldier, who like them, is far away from home…

The Railway Children Return will open in cinemas on 1 April, 2022.

Watch: Paddington 2 dethrones Citizen Kane

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