Hogwarts Express

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The Hogwarts Express is the scarlet steam engine that takes the students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to Hogsmeade Station from King's Cross Station.

It can be found on platform nine and three quarters at King's Cross Station. The Express leaves pricisely at 11:00 AM on the first of September. It takes most of the day to reach Scotland, passing through towns/villages, hills, forests, fields, and over viaducts and bridges. The Hogwarts Express employs a "smiling, dimpled woman" known as 'The Food Trolley Lady' who pushes a trolly of sweets including: Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans, Drooble's Best Blowing Gum, Chocolate Frogs, Pumpkin Pasties, Cauldron Cakes, Licorice Wands, and more.

It seems that most people choose compartments according to age and House. School prefects patrol the corridors every so often to ensure everything is in order and students are behaving themselves. The prefects have their own compartment at the front of the train and must report there every new year where they presumably get instructions from the Head Boy and Head Girl.

[edit] Notable Happenings on the Hogwarts Express

  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, as new prefects, must sit in the designated prefect carriage at the front of the train. This leaves Harry Potter to sit with Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood (whom Harry meets for the first time). Cho Chang, a pretty girl that Harry likes, ends up trying to visit him at an embarrassing moment and Harry, thinking to himself, expresses the wish to be sitting with "cooler people." When Ron and Hermione turn up they bring news that Draco Malfoy has been made Slytherin prefect, as well as who the rest of the prefects are for each House.
  • In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Harry once again finds himself without Hermione or Ron as they need to sit in the prefect carriage for a large portion of the trip. He instead sits with Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood. Interestingly, Romilda Vane asks Harry to sit with her and her friends stating, "You don't have to sit with them." Harry refuses outright, saying that Neville and Luna are his friends. This is a substantial change in Harry's thinking compared to the previous year on the Express. Later on, Neville and Harry are invited to Horace Slughorn's compartment for lunch. They also meet Marcus Belby, Blaise Zabini, Cormac McLaggen and Ginny in Slughorn's compartment where they all remain for almost the entire rest of the trip. After this meeting Harry, under cover of the Invisibility Cloak, follows Slytherin Blaise Zabini into the Slytherin sixth year compartment in an effort to spy on Draco Malfoy (whom Harry is suspicious of). This plan fails because the train was nearly at Hogwarts (so he really didn't hear anything important) and Draco Malfoy catches sight of Harry's shoe momentarily un-covered by the Invisibility Cloak. As the train reaches Hogwarts, Draco tells his friends to go on ahead without him and jinxes Harry causing him to be unable to move or speak. Draco, as punishment for Harry getting his father Lucius Malfoy thrown in to Azkaban prison and out of sheer spite, stamps on Harry's face, breaking his nose. He then re-covers Harry with the Invisibility Cloak in an effort to hide him, hoping he won't be found until the train is all the way back in London. Amazingly, Nymphadora Tonks finds Harry and is able to remove the jinx and fix his nose. She then takes him up to the school.

[edit] In the Films

West Coast Railways, operators of ‘The Jacobite’ train, provided the steam engine and carriages for the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and others. Some of the traditional carriages of the Jacobite are ones used in the films. The train goes past the 12-arched Glenfinnan viaduct, which overlooks Loch Shiel and the Jacobite monument.[1]

[edit] Notes

  1. West Cost Railways website, The Jacobite