The (relatively) real Hogwarts Express operator banned from running trains

Edited: April 4, 2015, 10:24 AM

Not exactly a Theme Park attraction, but if riding the Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios has got you hankering for the real thing, you might find this of interest...

West Coast Railways, a railway tour company in the UK has been suspended from running trains on the National Rail network. The Train runs steam train (and less exciting diesel) rail tours, including one promoted as being the "Hogwarts Express" (officially called "The Jacobite" for non Harry Potter fans), on the "West Highland Line" which provided some of the visual feast of the Hogwarts Express shots in the Harry Potter movies.

Those familiar with signalling on attractions like the Disney Monorails might find the reasoning to be of interest... A steam train they were operating passed a signal whilst still at danger (red). Like any other train on the UK National Rail network, steam trains do contain equipment designed to stop the train if this occurs; however the train operator overrid this equipment allowing the train to continue at normal speed. Thankfully there was no collision with the other train on the line - it could have of course been quite catastrophic had there was an oncoming train - Trains aren't particularly known for being easy to make swerve....

There's more here (and in many other news outlets). The company plans to keep arranging trains but will have other operators officially do the work in the meantime.

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