Hogwarts Express steam train cancelled over safety issues

BBC News

Services on the “Hogwarts Express” steam train have been cancelled in the Scottish Highlands over safety issues.

The popular tourist train The Jacobite was made famous by its appearances in the Harry Potter films.

Safety inspectors said door locking issues put passengers at risk of falling from carriages or being hit while leaning out of windows.

Thousands of Potter fans visit every year to ride the train and witness it crossing the iconic Glenfinnan viaduct.

The train operates on the West Highland Line between Fort William and Mallaig.

It relies on an exemption granted by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) that allows the continued use of heritage rolling stock.

Operator West Coast Railways said all services had been suspended while it reviews concerns raised in the ORR report.

The train has been out of action since the weekend and West Coast Railways had hoped to resume services this week.

However, the operator said an unannounced visit by ORR inspectors found “a couple of issues of concern”.

The ORR highlighted problems with procedures around secondary door locks and found West Coast Railways were putting passengers “at risk of serious personal injury”.

Its report, seen by BBC News, stated that train stewards were not preventing passengers from operating the door locks.

The ORR also found that stewards were not stopping passengers from leaning on train doors or hanging out of open windows while the train was moving.