Page last updated at 15:04 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 16:04 UK

The Real Railway Children and the Bluebell Railway

Clive Groome & steam train

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The Real Railway Children celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Bluebell Railway in Sussex, the world's first preserved standard gauge passenger steam railway.

By the 1960s steam trains were in decline, and diesel and electric trains were taking over.

Steam trains would have disappeared forever if it hadn't been for individuals who started buying up locomotives and bits of track.

The Bluebell line in Sussex became the world's first preserved standard gauge passenger steam railway as early as 1960.

Other projects soon followed around the UK.

Former engine driver Clive Groome used his knowledge of steam to take himself and his family around the country to see them.

Over the years the Groome family have taught 8,000 people how to drive or fire steam locomotives, passing on their skills.

But as the Bluebell reaches 50, the worry is that there will not be enough youngsters to carry on the working this £200m train set.

Fortunately, Clive Groome has passed his passion for steam on to his daughters.

As the Bluebell line celebrates its 50th anniversary these real railway children are being groomed to take over and follow in their father's footsteps.

Jenny Agutter, the star of the 1968 BBC television series The Railway Children, narrates the story of the Groome family and the Bluebell Railway.

Watch the full programme The Real Railway Children on Sunday 9 May at 15:45 on BBC One South and BBC iPlayer after transmission.

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