Hogwarts Express Rescues a Stranded Family

October 14, 2017 Updated: October 16, 2017

One family had an unexpected magical experience when they found themselves stranded in a remote part of the Scottish Highlands.

Jon and Helen Cluett and their four young children were rowing across Loch Eilt in Lochaber and canoed to a bothy for shelter. But on Thursday, Oct. 13, they realised their canoe had been swept away, reports said

The stranded family called the police, who then informed the coast guard.

To the family’s surprise, they decided to send the train that features in the Harry Potter films, to come and pick them up.

“They were quite near the railway line so the Jacobite steam train was contacted and they picked them up and took them to Mallaig,” a spokeswoman for Stornoway Coastguard told The Herald Scotland.

“They were well after the Harry Potter train came to their rescue,” she said.

Glenfinnan viaduct
The Jacobite, or “Hogwarts Express”, came to the rescue. (“The Jacobite on Glenfinnan viaduct” by Mark Sykes/Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0 (ept.ms/2utDIe9)])
The Jacobite steam train runs for 41 miles and travels over the arches of the Glenfinnan Viaduct, creating a dramatic backdrop in the Harry Potter films when the young wizard travels to school.

The magical solution came as a relief to the family, who were faced with either a 3-mile walk on boggy land or next to the railway line. Both options seemed too dangerous.

jacobite steam train
The Jacobite steam train at Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. (“The Jacobite Steam Train” by Christoph Strässler/Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0 (ept.ms/2utDIe9)])
“We threw all our stuff into some bags and boxes and ran out of the door of the bothy at the same time as the train is coming around the tracks,” Jon Cluett told the BBC.

“The train is getting closer, we’re running down, stuff bouncing everywhere, big smiles on the kids’ faces. It all started to be fun at that point,” he said.

He added, “I’m slightly sad because I’d lost my boat – but the kids, when they saw the steam train coming, all sadness left their little faces and was replaced by excitement and fun—just the real joy of having an adventure and having the train stop right next to them.”