A family stranded in the Scottish Highlands was rescued by the Hogwarts Express, and I honestly defy you to find a more delightful headline from this past weekend.
Family Of Six Stranded In The Highlands
Jon and Helen Cluett were on vacation with their four children, ages 6, 8, 10, and 12, camping on Loch Eilt. When Jon woke up Friday, he found that their 16-foot red canoe had vanished, most likely swept away by the river. He told the BBC, “The entire area was underwater. The rocks I’d tied to the boat were pulled apart and the boat was gone.”
The family’s car was three miles away, too long of a hike for the kids, and too treacherous through such a marshy area. While train tracks ran through the area, walking along them also seemed too dangerous, so Jon did the only logical thing: he called the police.
Now here’s the thing about those particular railroad tracks, Potterheads. One of the trains that runs on that set of tracks is the Jacobite, an old-fashioned steam train, familiar to fans as the Hogwarts Express, the train that takes young witches and wizards to school every year. Warner Bros. chose a Jacobite train to play the role of the iconic mode of transportation and even filmed along its route from Fort William and Mallaig. While the actual train used in the Harry Potter movies is in Los Angeles, other Jacobite trains look identical.
The Hogwarts Express To The Rescue
A fun bit of trivia, maybe, but probably not the first thing on the Cluett family’s minds when they found themselves stranded in the Highlands. So when Jon Cluett made that phone call to the police, he got a pretty amazing response.
“The policeman said, ‘We’ve arranged for the next passing train to stop for you, and you’re not going to believe this, but it’s the Hogwarts Express steam train.’”
Quickly throwing their things into some bags, the Cluett children went running out the door, their black robes billowing behind them, I like to imagine, just in time to see the train coming around the tracks.
“The train is getting closer,” Jon described to the BBC, “we’re running down, stuff bouncing everywhere, big smiles on the kids’ faces. It all started to be fun at that point.”
The train dropped the family off at the next stop, where they had arranged for a ride to take them to their car.
While this vacation disaster turned into a memorable adventure, it didn’t have a completely happy ending, Jon points out: the canoe is still missing.
“I think it’s still bobbing around in the loch somewhere. A big red canoe—so if you see it, that would be helpful.”
Come on, Jon. All you have to say is Accio canoe!