Julie Walters Rides the Hogwarts Express

Nov 24, 2017

Posted by: Kim McChesney

Actor Interviews, Films, McCrory, News, Television Programmes, Walters, Walters Interviews

During all the visits Molly Weasley made to Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station with her seven children, do you think she ever thought about boarding the Hogwarts Express herself to head back to the Britain’s finest school of witchcraft and wizardry?

Molly may never have had the chance in the Harry Potter series, but Julie Walters, the beloved British actress who played the magical matriarch in the films, now has the chance to ride the same route in that iconic red steam engine.


Beginning this Sunday, November 26 at 8pm the actress will host the new four-part series from UK’s Channel 4 Coastal Railways with Julie Walters, which follows her as she takes some of Britain’s most scenic rail trips, stopping in various towns to meet the locals. The featured train in the first episode is none other than the Jacobite, the actual steam train Warner Bros cast to transport Harry and friends to Hogwarts every September 1 in the films. The familiar red locomotive is used for excursions on the UK’s West Highland Railway Line.

Walters spoke to the TV Times recently about her experience making the series and said this about Potter fans riding the Jacobite,

“Yes, and there were a lot of people dressed in costume along the way, which was lovely to see. Just being there, it did make me feel proud to have been part of the films that reinvigorated interest in this beautiful steam line.”

She also says this about her own experience finally riding the Hogwarts Express,

“I was denied that experience when I was doing the films! There’s the amazing crossing of Glenfinnan Viaduct, which is the one you see in the shot of the Hogwarts Express in the films. Before we set off, I went up to the footplate and had a bacon roll made with bacon cooked on a shovel over the coals in the engine. I’d heard about that happening on old steam trains, but I’d never seen it and it was a nice treat!”

We were hoping Walters might have a few chocolate frogs along with her snack but it seems that bacon will have to do.

Julie Walters

Julie Walters

Along with this latest project, Walters has been busy filming the sequel to the hit film Mamma Mia as well as the upcoming comedy-drama Country Music. She recently wrapped up filming the highly anticipated Mary Poppins sequel Mary Poppins Returns and her latest film, Paddington 2 is currently in theaters.  

As if all of that wasn’t enough, Walters was officially named Dame Commander of the British Empire, an endowment which was first announced in June as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours, along with fellow Potter alum Helen McCrory, (Narcissa Malfoy) who was presented with the Order of the British Empire (OBE) at the same ceremony. Check out Leaky’s coverage of the event here.


Cheers to Julie Walters on her recent honor, her projects and finally getting her turn on the Hogwarts Express–which was probably much more enjoyable now without all those kids in tow–especially without a couple of twin pranksters we know. Have you taken one of these beautiful train excursions across Britain? Let us know!


The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.