Harry Potter steam train to start Fort William to Mallaig summer trips

The famous steam train used in the films will start summer trips this month.

The Black 5 steam locomotive “Lancashire Fusilier” was recently seen hauling the Jacobite’s vintage carriages back to Scotland for its annual Fort William to Mallaig summer trips.

Photographs of the train – which doubled as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films – were posted on the Facebook page of operators West Coast Railway, which prompted excited replies from customers who have travelled on the award-winning route.

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The train journey, which has been voted one of the world’s greatest, sees the steam engine pass over the 21-arched Glenfinnan Viaduct – just like it does in the Harry Potter films.

The Jacobite steam train travelling across the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

The Jacobite’s first scheduled run this summer will be Monday 26 April, the day the Scottish Government lifts restrictions on travel following the coronavirus lockdown.

There will then be two journeys on the 84-mile round trip every day until October. The 84-mile round-trip travels past some of Scotland's most treasured sights - including Ben Nevis and Arisaig, the most westerly mainland railway station.

Other famous sights on route include beaches at Morar, which were used in the films Highlander and Local Hero. On a clear day, passengers can look out for glimpses of the small isles of Rum, Eigg, Muck, Canna and the southern tip of Skye.

A spokesman said: “Special precautions with social distancing mean that to keep passengers and staff safe mean we have had to reduce the capacity of our trains.

“But we are desperate to get back on track again. And a trip on the Jacobite is just the ticket.”

Covid-19 precautions include traditional paper tickets being replaced with e-tickets, and special signs will be erected at stations to show passengers where to stand.

All passengers must wear face masks except when eating or drinking, and instead of an on-board buffet car there will be a buffet trolley service through the train. Cream teas, champagne and chocolates will have to be ordered in advance.

Last year the trips were postponed until July due to the ongoing pandemic.

To find out more, please visit the West Coast Railways website.

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