Hogwarts Express plays a big part in the adventures of Harry Potter. Ron and the
Weasleys help him find the elusive Kings Cross Platform 9 3/4. The magical steam
train is Harry's escape from the Dursley family. It's on this train that he meets
Hermione and later Remus Lupin and the Dementors.
many other Harry Potter film locations, the Hogwarts Express is based on a real
life train. A trip to the Scottish Highlands can be your chance to sit in the
same carriage and dream about your own trip to the magical world.
The Jacobite Steam Train, part of the West Coast Railway Company, runs from Fort
William to Mallaig with a stop at Glenfinnan station.
This extension is also known as the Iron Road to the Isles Rathad Iarainn
Harry Potter fans
and their families, specially arranged travel tours are attracting those with
a renewed interest in the magic of the railroads!
a virtual taste of what they'll find:
The trip starts at Fort William where you'll get to see one of the most famous
locomotives in history up close... and if you are lucky, you'll get to meet the
conductor and engineer who were on the train when the movies were filmed. They
have plenty of stories to share and are happy to provide autographs to fans.
movie version of the Hogwarts Express was powered by a Hall 4-6-0 steam engine
number 5972, known as 'Olton Hall.' Steam engine Olton Hall was built in
1937 in Swindon, and was one of 330 locomotives created by designer Charles Collett.
The actual engine
on your trip will probably not be the Olton Hall, 5972, but it will be a steam
engine that looks very much like the one used in the Harry Potter films, and it
does travel the route including the Glenfinnan Viaduct.
engine is complete with coal car and pulls 4 cars or carriages.
Harry, Ron and Hermione meet for the first time aboard the Hogwarts Express.
Riding aboard the "real" Hogwarts Express on the Jacobite Steam Train in Fort William, Scotland.
all carriages are alike
'A', the first class carriage is set up for tea and scones served during the ride.
The second class carriages, 'B' and 'C' have open seating with tables, but no
scones are served. You can purchase refreshments on board.
sure to book ahead. The trip from Fort William to Mallaig runs once a day on weekdays
from mid-May to mid-October. During June and July weekend trips are added, but
even with that you'll find the seats sell out fast.
that locals take the trip to savor the fresh seafood in Mallaig on a special lunch
outing. Tourists enjoy the unique experience and the amazing scenery. Steam train
buffs have always been fascinated by the ride and when you add Harry Potter fans
to the mix... you have full trains!
Harry Potter fans will recognise the
long corridors and enclosed seating
aboard the "real"
you want the authentic "Harry Potter" experience, make sure to book
your seats in Carriage 'D' which is set up with the Harry Potter style compartments.
historical steam engine, and other carriages used in the film, were provided by
the West Coast Railway Company who graciously agreed to paint them the bright
red that fans expected for the movies.
You'll almost certainly recognize the interior of carriage D. The long corridor
with compartments on the side will transport you in imagination to the world of
you close your eyes you may hear the rattle of the cart with magical goodies for
the students on their way to Hogwarts or the whisper of the Dementors against
real Jacobite Steam Train won't have any travelers heading to Hogwarts, but you'll
find plenty of Harry Potter souvenirs to take home, including replicas of the Hogwarts
Express to posters of the steam train from the movies.
Jacobite Steam Train journey is not just for Harry Potter fans. Steam train buffs
and everyone who enjoys spectacular scenery will find this short 84 mile run a
trip to be remembered.
surrounding area remains a prime stop for walking tours through the Scottish highlands
and the scenery is spectacular and not limited to the steam train. The
route takes you past Ben Nevis, the UK's tallest mountain where you may still
see snow on Midsummer's Eve!
pass the shortest river, the Morar, and the deepest freshwater lake, Loch Morar,
where you may catch a glimpse of the Morag,
the Loch Morar creature, a less famous relative of the Loch Ness monster. Enjoy
the views of the deepest saltwater lake, Loch Nevis. Other scenic beauty and tourist
attractions along the way include Inverlochy Castle, The Great Glen, Caledonian
Canal and Neptune's Staircase.
if you can recognize the beaches featured in the movies Local Hero and Highlander
as the train steams by them. Even if you haven't seen the movies, the dazzling
expanse of silver sands will catch your attention.
When: The morning run at 10:20am aboard the Jacobite runs May - October from Monday to Friday, and on weekends from mid-June to mid-September. Additional afternoon service begins on weekdays from June to August.
Getting there: By train, from Glasgow to Fort William. By car from Edinburgh, take the M9 to Stirling then the A84, A85 (to Crianlarich) and A82 to Fort William.
Viaduct - A big, real-life 'set' used for the Hogwarts
Express, this famous viaduct was built in 1901. Steam train
travel was the most modern way to get around at the turn of the
20th century and the West Highland Railway expanded its route
to allow passengers and freight to get from Fort William to Mallaig.
The stunning viaduct is made up of 21 arches curving gently above
the Glenfinnan Valley. As the train travels across the viaduct
you'll have a good view of the Glenfinnan
Monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie with Loch Shiel as a backdrop.
you'd like to get a photo of the train crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct you can
set up near the Glenfinnan Visitor Centre about 11:20 AM as it passes on
the way to Mallaig or about 3:00 PM (15:00) as it makes the return journey to
The time may be off by a few minutes so get there a bit early and
be prepared for a crowd as the train passes by.
Glenfinnan Visitor Centre is just down the road from Fort William along
the A830. It is accessible by bus or car, but check ahead to make sure the road
is open. The roadway is narrow and repairs may cause long delays or shut off traffic
stations along the route to the shore include Banavie, Corpach, Loch Eil, Glenfinnan,
Lochailort, Beasdale, Arisaig, Morar, and Mallaig. The train makes a regularly
scheduled short stop at Glennfinnan, 16 miles west of Fort William, on it's way
to Mallaig. Enjoy the friendly visitor center and the Railway
Museum before getting back on board.
stops before the end station, Arisaig holds the distinction of being the most
westerly railway station on the British mainland. If you take some time out to
explore there on a clear day you'll be rewarded by the the dramatic water views
which include the "Small Isles" Canna, Eigg, Muck, and Rum and
the southern tip of the Isle of Skye.