The train that was used to film the Hogwarts Express — the real one that’s in Scotland and sadly doesn’t actually take you to Hogwarts — was used to perform a rescue mission when a family was stranded in the Scottish Highlands.
The Cluett family — Jon, his wife Helen and their four children that range from 6 to 12 years old — were vacationing at small cottage at the shore of Loch Eilt when a storm washed their canoe away into the river.
“The burn was overflowing,” Cluett told BBC. “The entire area was underwater. The rocks I’d tied the boat to were puled apart and the boat was gone.”
With no other way to return to their car other than to walk miles through the marsh, Cluett phoned the police to see if they could be rescued. And, to their luck, the Jacobite train — the very same train used in the Harry Potter films — was running not far from where they were stuck.
“The amazing thing was it wasn’t just any train,” Cluett said. “The next train that was passing was the Jacobite steam train – the Harry Potter, Hogwarts Express steam train that goes up and down that line.”
The train was able to make an unscheduled stop and pick up the family. Talk about a magical rescue. While the circumstances may not have been ideal, who hasn’t dreamed of riding the Hogwarts Express through the Scottish mountains and imagining that your being taken off the the infamous school of witchcraft and wizardry?
“I’m slight sad because I’d lost my boat,” said Cluett. “But the kids, when they saw the train coming, all sadness left their little faces and was replaced by excitement and fun – just the real joy of having an adventure and having the train stop right next to them.”
The family was dropped off at Lochailort and were eventually able to retrieve their car. Despite the lost boat, they all hold the memory in high regards.
Oh, and if you see a meandering canoe bobbing around Loch Eilt, let Mr. Cluett know.