Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 22 March 2024

Lunatics running the asylum: Harry Potter’s ‘Hogwarts Express’ SUSPENDS operating amid health and safety crisis over bid to ban slam doors on its 1950s carriages – as owners claim that no service would cost them £50m

A train service made famous by Harry Potter has been suspended amid a health and safety row over its use of 1950s doors on its carriages.

The Jacobite train – popularly known as the Hogwarts Express – has stopped its services with immediate effect while it waits a verdict on whether it can continue to use hinged-door carriages.

West Coast Railways (WCR), which operates the service in the Scottish Highlands, has previously run it with an exemption from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), as these types of doors are not usually allowed.

However, it lost a High Court challenge against the ORR over the safety of doors on its carriages in December after claiming it would cost too much to replace them.

Now the firm, which says the suspension of the service could cost it £50million, is waiting to see if a last gasp plea for another exemptions from the ORR has been successful.

The train, which was immortalised on screen in JK Rowling‘s fantasy series, is supremely popular with tourists, who ride it from Fort William to Mallaig, including over the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct.

WCR, which is the UK’s largest main line heritage rail operator, has operated it for more than 30 years under an exemption that allows it to run with hinged-door carriages on the main lines, which is typically not allowed.

WCR has submitted an application to renew the exemption, and made a request for a temporary exemption to operate while the ORR makes its decision.

WCR – which also runs the Flying Scotsman – lost a High Court challenge against the ORR over the safety of doors on its carriages in December.

The company had complained that the multimillion-pound cost of having to retrofit central locking could ‘destroy’ its business and it argued its door systems were just as safe.

As it owns 60 per cent of Britain’s heritage trains, WCR feared that this rule could wipe them out and force them off the UK main line.

But a judge dismissed the operator’s case and concluded the ORR had taken a ‘justifiable’ approach.

Speaking about the suspension, James Shuttleworth, commercial manager at WCR, said: ‘We are disappointed to have to suspend this service and we are sorry for the inconvenience caused to our customers who have booked trips.

‘We again appeal to the ORR to reconsider our request for a temporary exemption.

‘The Jacobite service is enjoyed by thousands of customers every year. It boosts the local economies of Mallaig and Fort William and brings an estimated £20 million into the UK’s tourism sector.

Read More: Harry Potter’s ‘Hogwarts Express’ SUSPENDS operating amid health and safety crisis

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