Here’s all you need to know about Harry Potter’s love affair with trains and stations
J.K Rowling’s connection to King’s Cross Station
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has a fond spot for King’s Cross station because her parents met her on a train bound for Scotland. Not surprisingly then, in her Harry Potter novels, she created a portal at the station that takes Harry and his friends to their school Hogwarts.
‘King’s Cross has a very personal significance for me, because my parents met on a train to Scotland which departed from this station, she says. ‘It has such an evocative and symbolic name and I knew this would be the location of the portal that would take Harry to Hogwarts.’
Today you will find half of a luggage cart in the western departures concourse and a sign that says Platform 9¾ which is perfect for the ultimate Harry Potter selfie. You will also find The Harry Potter Shop at Platform Nine and Three-Quarters on the concourse. ‘There is a real trolley stuck halfway out of a wall in King’s Cross now, and it makes me beam proudly every time I pass,’ says J.K. Rowling.
Interestingly, the exterior shots of the station you see in the Harry Potter movies are actually those of nearby St Pancras which has a fantastic Gothic style, more suited to J.K Rowling’s vision of the station.
The Real ‘Hogwarts Express’
Keen Harry Potter fans will jump for joy when they see West Coast Railways’ famous Jacobite Steam Train. This was the inspiration for the famous Hogwarts Express and the steam engine and some of the carriages of the train were used in the Harry Potter films included The Philosopher’s Stone.
Now Harry Potter fans can enjoy a memorable ride on this historic train and travel along the line used in the films. As well as enjoying the train, on the way you will see the famous Glenfinnan viaduct, an unmistakeable landmark for all Harry Potter fans.