Later today, we’ll be walking along Platform 9 ¾ at the brand new exhibit at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The making of Harry Potter but before we do, Mark Williamson (Mr. Weasley from the Potter movies) got to experience it before anyone else!
Following the official announcement in January, work has continued to ensure this new, permanent 20,000ft2 expansion is ready for opening on Thursday 19th March. This new area will offer a glimpse into how some of the films’ most iconic scenes were created as well as give visitors the chance to climb aboard the train’s carriage and to pose with a luggage trolley as it disappears through the platform wall.
Today Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter has offered a sneak peek at its Platform 9 ¾ expansion, including the original Hogwarts Express steam train. The 78-year-old red engine has returned to the series’ production home, displayed on a realistic set of tracks with steam billowing ready to greet visitors later this month from the 19th March.
Here’s the first-look images. We’ll have our own photos and an interview with Mark up on the site later today.
Here’s some info on the train:
The Hogwarts Express was portrayed by the Great Western Railway 4900 Class 5972 Olton Hall 4-6-0 locomotive and coal tender. The numbers “4-6-0” refer to the wheel configuration: four front wheels, six central, and in this case, no rear wheels.
The working steam train was orginally built in April 1937 at the Swindon railway works in Wiltshire, and remained in service until December 1963.
The Olton Hall locomotive itself weighs 75 tonnes and the coal tender weighs 46.7 tonnes.
The students heading to Hogwarts were going away for quite a while and required a great deal of luggage. The Set Decoration Department created luggage trolleys with personalised trunks for each of the main characters (embellished with their initials and the Hogwarts crest). The team also scoured pet shops for a animal cages in different sizes – to carry owls, rats, cats and toads.
The production team wanted to take advantage of the impressive architecture at King’s Cross so, as platforms 9 and 10 are not in the main building, they used platforms 3 and 4 for filming instead. Filming at King’s Cross took place on a Sunday because it was the least busy day at the terminal.