I am a Harry Potter fan. Yes, I am one of them book lovers who even made a Book of Spells collecting all the magic mantra’s that J.K. Rowling had conjured in the collection!
It’s been a while since I re-read my favourite series and I am definitely not the number one know-it-all at the moment. But none of that could sustain or simmer the ecstasy I felt last year when I had the wonderful opportunity to not only visit the Harry Potter store at King’s Cross Station but also take a whole day trip on the train Mr. Potter got aboard to & from his school!
The Jacobite is a steam engine train that is now solely used for tourism purposes. It was first introduced in 1901 with the intention of connecting the rural regions of the Scottish Atlantic coast. In 1967, under the British Rail Modernization Plan, all the steam engines were replaced by diesel run machinery that put an end to the commercial uses of the West Highland Railway Line. A couple of decades later British Rail restarted a portion of the line for tourists. It then acquired the names West Highlander & The Lochaber. It was named The Jacobite in 1995 after its operating license was given to the West Coast Railway Company.
It makes a trip from Fort William to Mallaig and back. It traverses over the Glenfinnan Viaduct – the very bridge on which Ron and Harry ( in Mr. Weasley’s bewitched Ford Anglia) were almost run over by The Hogwarts Express! This very train and route was used in the Harry Potter films.The interiors of the carriages weren’t as in the movies of course. They had 4 seater tables by each window. Each of them a gateway for breath-taking scenery whichever way you turned to see! They even had a small compartment where they sold a few Potter merchandise.
The Jacobite makes roughly an hour pit stop at Port Mallaig. It a quiet village with barely two hotels, two gift shops, two groceries, two banks and a few guest houses. We had a long wait for lunch at The Tea House so we went across the street to have hot chocolate with marshmallows at The Fish Market Coffeehouse!
Photo reference: India has no shortage of trains or even bridges as such. Sticking your body out of the window as far as you can go at the right moment of the curve to get the whole length as well as the steam blowing engine is absolutely thrilling! Having practiced such moves during my train ride to Vasco da Gama, Goa – getting this shot was Déjà vu of that journey! This was taken enroute Mallaig. The most beautiful part of the entire trip was the multiple rainbows we witnessed on our ride back to Fort William. I’ve attached one of the best shots below: