The Railway Children sequel announced after more than 50 years

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A sequel to The Railway Children has been announced more than 50 years after the original – with Jenny Agutter due to reprise her role as Roberta Waterbury.

Sheridan Smith and Sir Tom Courtenay will join Call The Midwife star Agutter, 68, in the cast, with filming due to start on 10 May.

The sequel, titled The Railway Children Return, will feature a new generation of youngsters who are evacuated to a Yorkshire village during the Second World War, where they encounter a young soldier who is also far from home.

Written by E Nesbit and published in 1906, The Railway Children told the story of a mother and her three children who move to the Yorkshire countryside after their father is falsely imprisoned.

Agutter was a teenager when she shot to fame as the oldest of the Waterbury children in the 1970 film, which also starred Dinah Sheridan, Bernard Cribbins, Sally Thomsett and Gary Warren.

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Morgan Matthews (X&Y) will direct the sequel, which has been written by Danny Brocklehurst (Brassic, The Stranger).

Key locations from the original film, including Oakworth Station in Haworth, West Yorkshire, and the nearby Bronte Parsonage, will be used for shooting. The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway from the original film will also feature.

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Announcing the film, producers Studio Canal said: "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 is set to be released in UK cinemas on 1 April 2022.

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