Harry Potter steam train to Hogwarts

We all know where Platform 9 3/4 is don’t we? But where exactly is the famous train that Harry Potter and his school friends get to Hogwarts… well, it’s in Scotland and the Jacobite steam train (aka Hogwarts Express) will take you over the much-viewed viaduct seen in Harry Potter films.

En route for Harry Potter's Hogwarts
Hogwarts train in Harry Potter films

The line from Fort William in Scotland to Mallaig on the west coast has become famous since the Harry Potter films.

If you want to travel on the steam train yourself and enjoy views of the famous ‘Harry Potter’ viaduct, then make sure you travel First Class to make the most of your trip down Harry Potter’s memory lane.

First Class means little lamps on tables, coffee cups on the ready, a little bit of pampering – all rather refined and memorable.

Not so in 2nd Class! Whatever the extra cost to travel First…. it’s worth it so as not to shatter your Harry Potter dreams.

Book well in advance, it’s a popular route. Don’t do as I did and take the scheduled train from Fort William to Mallaig one-way (although it’s a fraction of the cost of the Jacobite and far less crowded) as times do not fit in with the ‘Harry Potter train’ and means hours of time wasting in not-very-much-to-do-Mallaig before the return trip on the HP steam train.

The Hogwarts ‘Express’ takes its time; stopping off at a couple of places to add to the scenic enjoyment of the day… all very nice if the weather is fine. But it ‘s likely only to stop on the outward bound journey. Most people book the return trip so no matter.

Famous viaduct and steam train in Harry Potter films

Viaduct frequented by Harry Potter train to Hogwarts

If it’s blowing a gale and the rain is lashing down (as it was when I was on the Jacobite train recently) then be prepared for a long journey… on my Harry Potter ‘experience’ the steam train could not get up the hill and took hours to get back from Mallaig to Fort William.

Everyone on board was wishing that Harry Potter would come up with a spell to end the prolonged journey. No such luck (even Harry Potter didn’t have a spell against alien wet leaves on rail tracks).

Nevertheless, all quite magical really – at least for those passengers lucky enough to travel in First Class I should imagine!

For more information on the steam train known as Hogwarts Express, featured in Harry Potter films, click here >>

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