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Hogwarts Express train cancelled over safety concerns

Hogwarts Express train cancelled over safety concerns

The iconic train used in Harry Potter for the Hogwarts Express is no longer running because of safety issues

The train that is best known as the iconic Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter film series has been cancelled because of safety concerns.

No, the safety concerns aren’t dementors or flying vehicles or anything like that, this is the real world and things tend to be – though not always – a little less fantastical and fun.

The steam train itself is called the Jacobite and it chugs around the Scottish Highlands, often carrying carriage loads of Potter fanatics out to capture a small part of their favourite book or film.

However, the safety inspectors have said that issues with the locking of the doors have put passengers at risk of falling out of the carriages or getting hit whilst leaning out of the windows.

The Hogwarts Express, chugging through the Highlands.
Filippo Maria Bianchi/Getty

You definitely wouldn’t want either of those things to happen to you on a moving train, let alone on a train travelling some of the terrain that made the Jacobite famous.

The most famous part of any journey aboard the steam locomotive is a trip over the Glenfinnan viaduct, which is famous for appearing in several of the Harry Potter flicks.

Remember when Ron and Harry stole Ron's dad's car and flew it up to catch the train?

Yeah, that viaduct.

It runs on the West Highland line between Fort William and Mallaig, and needs an exemption granted by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) which allows it to still ride the rails.

However, the ORR has now reported that it isn’t safe, and – as they have the final say on heritage rolling stock – that means that it’s not allowed to run at the moment.

West Coast Railways, who operate the service, have said that all services have been suspended whilst the problems raised by the ORR report are considered.

The train was out of action this weekend, but services were supposed to resume this week before an unannounced visit from the ORR inspection team found ‘a couple of issues of concern’.

They said that there were problems with procedures surrounding secondary door locking, and decided that West Coast Railways were putting their passengers ‘at risk of serious personal injury’.

They also found that stewards weren’t discouraging passengers from hanging out of windows or leaning on doors whilst the train was moving.

The Jacobite has now been deemed unsafe.
Thegoodly/Getty Images

In a statement West Coast Railways said: "As of now, passenger journeys on the Jacobite, have been suspended while West Coast Railways review the concerns raised by the ORR to reach a satisfactory and swift solution to the issues raised.

"Please accept our sincere apologies for these cancellations."

The Jacobite was given to Warner Bros for the filming of the Harry Potter series, and makes two trips every day, using exactly the same carriages from the film.

West Coast said that all passengers will be refunded and added that they hope to run services again ‘as soon as possible’.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay/joannalorrainerhodes/Wikimedia Commons

Topics: UK News, Harry Potter, Travel, TV and Film, JK Rowling