What Harry Potter fan hasn't dreamed of dreamed of riding the Hogwarts Express at one point in their lives? The magical locomotive is how students travel to Hogwarts in the Harry Potter books and movies, riding in luxurious cabins while exclusively eating sweets. It's kind of a kid dream, and it's in no small part thanks to the real-life train used during filming. The GWR 5972 Olton Hall was once a real working train in the 40s and 50s and if it weren't for the Harry Potter franchise, it would be scrap metal right now.
The train used for the Hogwarts Express has almost as sad an origin as Harry Potter himself. Rather than growing up under the stairs, the GWR 5972 Olton Hall spent a fair amount of its time rusting away in the scrapyard. Built over 80 years ago, the Olton Hall was one of the many trains that operated in south Wales during the 40s and 50s. The steam-powered train was eventually a victim of the times as trains were transitioning to electric. The Olton Hall was officially decommissioned in 1963 and sold to a scrapyard. The train remained there for 18 years until it caught the eye of some train enthusiasts.
The Olton Hall was purchased in 1981 by a private buyer and the restoration work began. It took a small army of volunteers 16 years to restore the train back to its former glory, as cataloged by BBC. The train was put back on commission running small trips in the north of England, and it eventually got the attention of Warner Bros. The studio was looking for an authentic steam train to use for scenes in its first Harry Potter movie and with a few aesthetic modifications, the Olton Hall fit the bill.
The train was used in all eight Harry Potter movies and now sits as a permanent display at Warner Bros. London location. Of course, Hogwarts Express exist in other places too. A replica serves as a major piece of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, where people can actually ride the train. It's quite the story for just one train built decades ago. Please stand by while we try to learn the origins of Ron's flying car.
We can't say for sure if the Hogwarts Express will be in the movie or not, but the Harry Potter franchise isn't over yet. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is fast approaching and will be arriving in theaters on November 16, 2018. Hogwarts is in the movie, so who's to say that the train can't stop by as well. To learn more about the movie, here's everything we know so far.
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Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.