The film opens in a happy, comfortable upper middle-class home in Edwardian London. One night in 1905, the three children see their father usher two strangers into his study. After an argument he leaves with them and does not return. They and their mother fall on hard times and eventually move to a cottage in the country. Yet they keep their spirits up and find ways to help others. Fascinated by the nearby railway, they wave to the passengers faithfully every day, and their vigilance and courage prevent an accident. Their kindness makes friends of some important people who can help solve the mystery of their missing father. Written by
Paul Emmons <firstname.lastname@example.org>
What's the unexpected secret that turns their world upside down?
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Did You Know?
In 2010, a festival was held in Haworth to mark the 40th anniversary of the film. See more
When the toy train blows up we see the dog running out of the house into the bushes on a clearly spring or summer's day. However, it is supposed to be at Christmas time. The next time we have an outdoor shot, it is snowing heavily. See more
Why don't we ask the next train to take our love to Daddy?
Trains don't carry people's love, they'd be above that.
Yes, they do if you tame them first. I wonder why Daddy hasn't written to us.
Mummy says he's too busy. He'll write soon, she says.
Well, why don't we wave anyway? Three waves won't matter. We won't miss them.
[so start waving
As the end credit captions are displayed the shot tracks towards a steam locomotive, in front of which are gathered the principal cast. They are surrounded by extras portraying local townspeople, who wave and say goodbye to the audience. All the while, Jenny Agutter is preoccupied with writing something on a slate. As the camera reaches her, she holds it up to display the words "The End". See more
Referenced in Roald Dahl's Esio Trot
The Man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo
Written by Fred Gilbert
Performed by Cook and the children See more