Fans of the Harry Potter franchise are thrilled to know that the real-life Hogwarts Express rescued a family who were stranded in a remote area of the Scottish Highlands in Scotland after their canoe was swept away. The BBC reports that Mr. and Mrs. Jon and Helen Cluett and their four children, ranging from 6 to 12-years old, were faced with the prospect of walking three miles in a bog with young children when their canoe floated away during a freak flash flood overnight. So, their father Jon used his magical wand/cellphone, called the mountain rescue, and The Jacobite, also known as the Hogwarts Express, showed up to rescue them. The Hogwarts Express saved the family from the selkies and grindylows and other horrors that may dwell in large pools of the Scottish water.
The family stayed in a small hut before contacting police late last week, who then alerted the coastguard. The entire area was reportedly underwater when the train came to the rescue. Jon Cluett told the BBC, "We threw all our stuff into some bags and boxes and ran out of the door of the both at the same time as the train is coming around the tracks." As it turns out, it wasn't just any old steam engine train, it was the Hogwarts Express and the Cluett children were very excited to be able to hitch a ride on the magical train from the Harry Potter franchise.
Sadly, this was not the exact Hogwarts Express since Warner Bros. is currently in possession of the actual locomotive that was used in the movies, but it is owned by the same company which, makes it just as cool. The train portrayed as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter movies is actually a vintage steam train called The Jacobite, which is an old steam engine train. West Coast Railways provided Warner Bros. with the train used as the Hogwarts Express, and allowed them to use the entire Jacobite route for Harry Potter filming.
The train runs from Fort William in the Scottish Highlands to Mallaig, a small fishing village on Scotland's Western Coast. The route is more commonly referred to as the West Highland Line, often earning accolades such as the most beautiful railway route in the United Kingdom. From 2009 to 2013, Wanderlust magazine voted the West Highland Line the top rail journey in the world. Sometimes fans can even meet real characters, as Gringotts goblins actors Michael Henbury and Brian Wheeler are often on hand to sign autographs in the carriage where Harry met his new best friends Ron and Hermione in the first Harry Potter movie, The Philosopher's Stone.
The Cluett family was able to gather all of their belongings to board the Hogwarts Express where they rode it until the next stop. The family received a very magical rescue and will not be forgetting it any time soon, but Jon Cluett is a bit bummed out that he lost his canoe. You read more about the Cluett family adventure courtesy of the BBC.