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Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Railway

Model Railway Advice



The Hogwarts express is one of the highlights of the Harry Potter films and with the Locomotive and carriages as well as platform 9 and three quarters being produced by Hornby it is very easy to produce a model railway that has all the feel of the world of Harry Potter. This page will advise you on what types of scenery you should use, The rolling stock you should buy along with general model railway advice.


Hornby Harry Potter Train Set R1053


The Stations


In the film King's Cross Station in London plays home to the magical platform 9 and three quarters, which can only be accessed by running trough the wall between platform 9 and 10. Kings cross station is the London terminus for the east coast mainline which is severed by the Great North Eastern railway (GNER).


Hornby who have bought the rights to produce Harry potter railway models have built and sell a model of platform 9 and three quarters (R8204) based loosely around one of their earlier model railway station packs without a station building, made up from their model railway station system. I would not recommend buying this on its own as it is not long enough to hold the Hogwarts express locomotive and its 3-4 carriages and it is not an end of the line terminus station. By buying some extension station sections (R460 RRP £2.75) you can extend it to a more appropriate length. You can also add a station building to it, positioning it so that it turns the station into a dead end.

Hornby Harry Potter platform 9 and three quarters (R8204)


Hogsmead Station which serves Hogwarts School is a small local station with two tracks running through it. The station is open with only a small station building on the platform. From the film it is difficult to know whether this station is a terminus or not. For the purpose of your layout it would be easier if it were not as you can position it on a long straight section of track which makes up part of your oval. I would recommend buying the Hornby country station (R8000) pictured below to represent Hogsmead station. It will need extending due to the length of the train It can be positioned to fit into one of the corners.


Hornby country station (R8000)

The Hogwarts Express Model Train


The Hogwarts express is a great western Hall class locomotive (class 5672 Olton) and lives at the North Yorkshire Moor Railway where some of the filming also took place. Hornby who produce the Hogwarts express (R2378 or R2491) for some reason decided to base their model on the castle class.


Hornby Hogwards Express (R2378 or R2491)


An accurate Hogwarts express train consist of the Hogwarts Express locomotive (R2378) pulling 4 carriages consisting of, 3 composite (R4219A) and one brake coach (R4220A) at the back all in a maroon colour. To accompany this train at kings cross station you can also buy the modern GNER Class 92 225 train (R2427 or R2427A) which is also featured in the films in the background.

Composite Coach R4219A


brake coach (R4220A)



(Positioning the track and designing the layout)


Before you start laying the track you will have to build a baseboard. To get advice on building you baseboard click here

To get advice about model railway track click here. To get advice on building and designing a layout click here


The Hogwarts express weaves its way through the British countryside between Hogsmead, the station that serves Hogwarts school, and King's Cross station in London.


As discussed Platform 9 and three quarters is a terminus station and Hogsmead station is probably a though station. Bear this in mind when you are designing your layout. I would recommend you either position Kings Cross station in the centre of the layout, or you position it on one of the sides. You will have problems having a dead end station as you will have to reverse the train in or out. That is unless you position some points at the end of the station to allow you to uncouple the locomotive and manoeuvre it on to the second platform and around the coaches to couple it up on the other end before departing. This is not a problem for the GNER as it has a driving position at both ends.


Harry Potter Model Railway Scenery


The Hogswart express is pictured in the films travailing through hilly terrain with few trees around the bottom of hills and  around lakes as well as crossing a viaduct. All this can be achieved on your model Railway layout.


Hills can be made in a variety of ways from papier-mâché to polystyrene and polyfiller. If you are planning to build this with your kids I would recommend the papier-mâché as it is the easiest and most fun. Click here to find out how.


The viaduct is more difficult to do as unless you have a large board you will not have enough room for the incline and dissent ramps. If you do have enough room the viaduct can be made using multiple arches as seen below.


Lakes and water effects can be made by using glass or plastics or by buying some special model water forming compounds. It can also be achieved by using layers of clear varnish.



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