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The Titfield Thunderbolt

The Titfield Thunderbolt

The Titfield Thunderbolt is a 1953 British comedy film directed by Charles Crichton and starring Stanley Holloway, Naunton Wayne, George Relph and John Gregson. The screenplay concerns a group of villagers trying to keep their branch line operating after British Railways decided to close it. The film was written by T. E. B. Clarke and was inspired by the restoration of the narrow gauge Talyllyn Railway in Wales, the world's first heritage railway run by volunteers. The name "Titfield" is an amalgamation of the villages of Limpsfield and Titsey in Surrey, near Clarke's home at Oxted.

Plot

The residents of the village of Titfield are shocked to learn that their railway branch line to the town of Mallingford is to be closed. Sam Weech, the local vicar and a railway enthusiast, and Gordon Chesterford, the village squire, decide to take over the line by setting up a company through a Light Railway Order. Upon securing financial backing from Walter Valentine, a wealthy man with a fondness for daily drinking, the men learn that the Ministry of Transport will give them a month's trial period, in which they must pass an inspection at the end of this period to make the Order permanent. While Weech is helped by Chesterford and retired track layer Dan Taylor in running the train, volunteers from the village help to operate the station.