The Hogwarts Express is a magical train that carries students non-stop from Platform 9¾ at King's Cross station in London to Hogsmeade Station, near Hogwarts. Prefects of the school ride in a separate carriage near the front of the train. The compartments on the train appear to be lettered; in Half-Blood Prince, the "Slug Club" meets in compartment C. In Philosopher's Stone, Harry meets his two best friends, Ron and Hermione, on his first ride on the Hogwarts Express. In the books, he has been on the train ten times: twice each in the first, third, fourth, and fifth books, and once in the second (in which he and Ron arrive instead in the flying car) and the sixth (which ends before Harry leaves Hogwarts).
The steam engine used in the film adaptations in the GWR 4900 Class 5972 Olton Hall, but it was not the first locomotive to be disguised as the Hogwarts Express. To promote the books, the Southern Railway locomotive Taw Valley was repainted and renamed temporarily, but was rejected by Chris Colombus as looking "too modern" for the film. Filming locations for the Hogwarts Express sequences include Goathland on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Kings Cross railway station and the route of the Jacobite Express which follows the West Highland Line from Fort William to Mallaig in Scotland, as it crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct.
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