A recreation of Platform 9 ¾ complete with the original Hogwarts Express steam engine is being unveiled in March at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.
Part of a 20, 000 sq ft expansion, the new attraction will give visitors the chance to climb aboard the iconic train and sit in the original interior carriage set with ‘windows’ that demonstrate the process used to create iconic scenes such as the escape of Harry’s first Chocolate Frog and the Dementor attack.
The 78-year-old engine, no.5972 ‘Olton Hall’, has featured as the Hogwarts Express throughout the Harry Potter film series. It will be displayed on a realistic set of tracks, with steam billowing as visitors step onto the platform.
“We can’t wait to open our first expansion, Platform 9 ¾, just before the Studio Tour’s third anniversary in March, ” reports Sarah Roots, Vice President of Warner Bros. Studio Tour London. “The Hogwarts Express had a starring role in the films so we’re excited that it will be taking centre stage in the new area. It’s the piece that visitors have most requested to see and we’re expecting a fantastic response.”
Platform 9 ¾ will be painstakingly reassembled by many of the crew members who worked on the film series. Oscar® and BAFTA winning Special Effects Supervisor, John Richardson, will rig the locomotive with special effects steam.
“The Hogwarts Express was the setting for many iconic scenes, from Harry, Hermione and Ron’s first meeting in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to the moment the trio’s children embark on their first journey to school 26 years later, ” explains Stuart Craig, Production Designer on all eight Harry Potter films.
“The wizarding world doesn’t have a need for modern technology so we knew a traditional steam engine would make the perfect school train. Before we began filming in 2000, we scoured the country and found ‘Olton Hall’ at a preservation centre in Lancashire; realising pretty quickly that it was exactly what we had been looking for.”
The attraction will officially open on March 19th.
Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.