October 16, 2020 8:50:46 pm
If you are a Harry Potter fan — films and/or books — this piece of news will give you great joy. Even if you have never received the letter inviting you to the magical wizarding world of Hogwarts, you can still ride the Hogwarts Express and pretend you are heading for the most magical experience of your life.
This real-life Hogwarts Express — officially known as the Jacobite — will have you ride through Scotland. Passengers can take this classic steam-train 84-mile long round-trip joyride, and sit comfortably inside, while staring out the window and watching actual Harry Potter film locations pass by!
According to a report published in Insider, the Jacobite is operated by West Coast Rail, and it promises to take you through some of “Scotland’s most idyllic and breathtaking scenery”.
In fact, the journey is believed to last four hours so fans can spot locations such as the iconic Harry Potter Bridge, also known as Glenfinnan Viaduct, Professor Dumbledore’s final resting place (Loch Sheil), and the location of the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, along with Rannoch Moor, where the Death Eaters attacked the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part One.
Passengers will have a lot of time to imagine themselves as significant Harry Potter characters, fighting the evil and waiting for the train to pull up at the station where Hagrid will be there to receive them, along with other students old and new.
The journey starts at Fort William and ends at Mallaig. The trip is so immensely popular it is considered as an addition to holiday itineraries for both Harry Potter fans and train travel enthusiasts. Should you be looking to explore Europe, this experience should feature on your list.
— athersleyredsscots (@athersleyredsSB) September 28, 2020
But, along with the popularity, there has also been some concern, since Pottermaniacs have seemed to throng stations to see the Jacobite. Scotland’s The National reports that as part of the Scottish Government coronavirus guidelines, people are advised to avoid busy places, with no more than six persons from two households permitted to gather with social distancing measures. As such, the West Coast Rail recently responded to concerns after images flooded social media, showing people crammed onto platforms hoping to see the locomotive.
“As you are aware, the Jacobite is a very popular trip and brings over 1,50,000 visitors to the region each year. This year has been very difficult for all of us in the tourism industry with the virus, and we have done our utmost to ensure the safety of our passengers, staff and for the local community throughout our shortened season,” a spokesperson was quoted as telling The National.
“Our message to any member of the public wishing to view our trains in transit is to do so safely, follow all local guidance on COVID precautions, stay well clear of all railway lines and respect others by not blocking traffic by parking carelessly or not respecting local residents,” they said.
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