The Jacobite Steam Train Is Resuming Its Journeys After Temporary Suspension

Last month, the Jacobite steam train, which Harry Potter fans will know as the Hogwarts Express, was suspended due to safety concerns, but thankfully, it can now return to service. 

The steam train ran an 84-mile trip through the incredible landscapes of the Scottish Highlands, something that is on many Potter fans’ bucket lists since the journey involves crossing the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct, which is seen in the Harry Potter films


A movie still from "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" where Harry dangles from the flying Ford Anglia over the Hogwarts Express.

In “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” Harry dangles from the flying Ford Anglia over the Hogwarts Express as it crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland.


The fate of the much-loved steam train was put at risk when the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) found “a couple of issues of concern” that put passengers “at serious risk of personal injury,” including the procedures around secondary door locks, which meant that passengers could lean out of the train while it was moving. These concerns led to all trips being suspended, with booked passengers being offered a full refund.

BBC News has now reported that journeys on the Hogwarts Express train can resume until the end of November, thanks to it being granted a temporary exemption to a safety rule. The ORR is happy for the service to resume now that new safety arrangements have been put into place. 

Following an inspection of West Coast Railway Company Limited’s (WCRCL) proposed safety arrangements for the Jacobite service on 8 August , ORR has granted it a new exemption certificate which will allow the Jacobite to recommence operation.

This exemption certificate is required for all train operators who want to use hinged door carriages without central door locking fitted.

This exemption certificate has been granted for the time period of August 8 to November 30, 2023. During this time, the steam train’s claim for judicial review will be determined.

While we are still unsure of the future of the Hogwarts Express train past November of this year, we can only hope that it will be able to continue running since it is such an iconic trip for Harry Potter fans around the world. 

Grace Hurley

I'm an animal-loving Ravenclaw with a Masters Degree in Writing and a passion for the Harry Potter universe since the age of five.