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Everyone familiar with Harry Potter is likely familiar with the Hogwarts Express, the direct line from Kings Cross station in London to Hogsmeade. But being a direct line, this would seem to require everyone who wanted to use it to first travel to London.

Assuming Hogwarts is the only school for students aged 11+ local to England (i.e. Hogwarts isn't just for London locals), are there alternative conventional (Muggle) means of getting students from other parts of the country to Hogwarts or Hogsmeade?

marked as duplicate by SQB, Moogle, Rand al'Thor Mar 9 '16 at 13:51

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  • Besides the various modes of teleportation? – Blazemonger Jan 30 '12 at 20:52
  • @mblase75 - "alternative conventional (Muggle) means" – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 30 '12 at 21:00
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    Re: "But being a direct line, this would seem to exclude most of England from using it": Or at least, it would seem to require that they travel to London to use it. – ruakh Jan 30 '12 at 21:10
  • @ruakh that is true, and teleportation makes the location of the start point near arbitrary. If that should be the case then I imagine the answer will be "No.", with hopefully a little more elaboration. – Xantec Jan 30 '12 at 21:17
  • @ruakh In cooperation with my other comment, for Muggle born students it would be seemingly cruel to expect someone in the north of England to travel to London to get to Hogwarts. – Xantec Jan 30 '12 at 21:20
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How about the the Knight Bus? Apparently it does travel to Hogwarts, because Ron and Hermione used it to get back after the Christmas break.

I imagine that for a wizarding community of many thousands (there are at least several hundred if not more than a thousand Hogwarts students, going by the movies' banquet scenes), they must have some non-muggle transport just because magic tends to foul up muggle tech. Even with apparating, floo powder, and portkeys, they probably have some actual (if magical) transport.

  • If not the Knight Bus specifically I suppose they could have one or more school buses. – Xantec Aug 10 '12 at 15:48
  • Exactly! This is such a systemic problem that I'd be shocked if there wasn't a solution. – rsegal Aug 10 '12 at 16:02
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    Hmm, the Knight Bus isn't a conventional muggle mode of transport, is it? Doesn't this go against the OP's question (even though they've accepted it!)? – Nick Shaw Sep 20 '12 at 15:04
  • I understood the question to be "not purely magical means of transport". Strictly muggle transport can't get near Hogwarts at all! It probably can't even go to Hogsmeade too much without breaking down. Therefore, I assumed that all "conventional" transportation had to be at least partially enchanted, e.g. the Knight Bus. – rsegal Sep 20 '12 at 16:19
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    @rsegal In that case the Ford Anglia could be included. – Möoz Apr 1 '14 at 21:17
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Surprisingly, perhaps not.

The Pottermore article about the Hogwarts Express (transcript) ends with this passage:

Many pure-blood families were outraged at the idea of their children using Muggle transport, which they claimed was unsafe, insanitary and demeaning; however, as the Ministry decreed that students either rode the train or did not attend school, the objections were swiftly silenced.

The same article explains the problems the Ministry and the school faced when a large number of students travelled by magical means, including:

  • The risk of accidents when carrying trunks or pets (brooms)
  • Unspecified problems when trying to apparate into the Hogwarts grounds
  • “Portkey-sickness” among young children

Even if the Ministry decree was lifted in later years, these problems would persist. I’m inclined to think that they didn’t, given that proud pure-bloods like Malfoy still ride on the train.

However, worth noting that @rsegal’s suggestion of the Knight Bus is entirely plausible given the above. From the Pottermore article about King’s Cross Station (transcript), we get approximate dates for when the Hogwarts Express entered service:

It was Evangeline Orpington, Minister from 1849–55, who hit upon the solution of adding a concealed platform at the newly (Muggle) built King's Cross station, which would be accessible only to witches and wizards.

Sometime in the early 1800s. (It’s not clear where the train departed from before they constructed the concealed platform at King’s Cross.)

Also from Pottermore, we learn when the Knight Bus (transcript) was first used:

Finally, Minister for Magic Dugald McPhail hit upon the idea of imitating the Muggles’ relatively new ‘bus service’ and in 1865, the Knight Bus hit the streets.

So there had been at least ten years of Hogwarts Express-only transport to Hogwarts before the Knight Bus came into play. The Ministry may have relaxed the decree for the Knight Bus, although I don’t think many people would have used it – far too uncomfortable, if nothing else.

  • (+1, but) why not change those Wikia links into direct links to the Pottermore articles themselves? – Rand al'Thor Mar 9 '16 at 13:50
  • @randal'thor When I wrote this, Pottermore was still protected by logins. – alexwlchan Mar 9 '16 at 15:36
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    So wait a second, if someone lived in Hogsmeade they would be required to go to London and get on the train then? – Probst Mar 10 '16 at 16:25
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I believe that considering the fact that Hogwarts is such a secretive place that they have put a unplottable charm around it, i feel that there shouldnt be any "conventional" means to reach it. I mean that obviously the magical community wont want muggles taking Buses from London/ or some other city to Hogwarts. Come to think of it i dont even think i have heard of any local transportation(like a daily Buse service :P) between Hogsmeade and Hogwarts, and they are not that close too(it took harry an hour almost to reach hogsmeade through the tunnel on marauders map - Prisoner Of Azkaban).

So i believe that the whole idea behind this is to make sure that only magical people can reach Hogwarts - floo powder, Apparition, Brooms, Flying Cars, Hogwarts Express. And mind you you cant even figure out the way to Platform 9-3/4 if you are a muggle.

So this all points to the fact that it has been designed in such a way not to allow any "conventional transports" to reach Hogwarts.

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The students buy their schoolbooks, potion ingredients, robes, and other items necessary for school in Diagon Alley, which is in London. It seems likely that almost all students would need to go there every year, because they need schoolbooks at least.

This means every student would have to travel to London before school anyway, so it's enough to have a train from only there. The question now is how students far from London get to Diagon Alley in first place, but I suspect most would just use the Floo network.

  • The floo network is not quite a conventional style mode of transportation. – Xantec Sep 23 '12 at 14:17
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According to the Harry Potter Wiki for Hogwarts,

Term begins on 1 September. Students usually reach Hogwarts via the Hogwarts Express, which leaves from Platform 9 3/4 of London's King's Cross Station at 11 a.m. sharp. There seemed to be other ways of entering the school, such as via brooms or Floo powder, or simply Apparating to a nearby location such as Hogsmeade.

  • Sorry but the question asks about "conventional". Your quote doesn't address that AT ALL. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Feb 10 '12 at 18:05
  • Yes, you're right. But if Hogwarts is unplottable how would any kind of Muggle transportation get there? Why would it even be necessary to use conventional transportation to get there? Since it is a wizarding school, why wouldn't wizards unable to get to London for the train use an alternative wizarding method? Additionally, what is stopping a car from driving into Hogsmeade? I don't remember reading anything about Hogsmeade being unplottable. – KatieR Feb 10 '12 at 22:19
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    How? (1) Wizards CAN drive Muggle transport! (2) Muggels can STUMBLE upon it (without aiming to get there with a map). Unplottable!=unreacheable. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Feb 11 '12 at 1:11
  • Also, some students have muggle parents. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Feb 11 '12 at 1:12
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    Techinally Muggles can't "stumble" upon Hogwarts. All they see when looking at Hogwarts is a moldy old ruin with a sign saying "Stay out" according to Hermione in Book 4. – Anne Doe Aug 10 '12 at 14:06
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Totally stolen from @lorna mcavoy: "So I wondered whether there are other stations in the UK which have a barrier between platforms 9 and 10, that when the pass through it, it transports them to platform 9 and 3/4 in London. Obviously there wouldn't be many of these barriers, probably 5 or 6. At least one each in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland."

This would solve some of the problems with having the train depart only from London, if the platform can be reached equally well from Dublin, Cardiff, etc.

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    Where is that quote from Lorna McAvoy taken from? Could you add a link back to the source? – Niall C. Sep 20 '12 at 14:59
  • It was from her answer to another question. I'll see if I can find it. – Ze'ev Felsen Sep 23 '12 at 15:32
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As I think, there is no actual reason to do that.

One line is easier to hide from Muggles and secure from potential magical threat. Students who live far from London can easily get to the station using magical fireplaces or anything else, so it is not supposed to be a problem.

Why exactly train? Maybe building a new line is much more expensive than maintaining the existing railway. By "expensive" I do not only mean money, magicians should set all charms up to hide and secure the students' way. For instance, imagine, how difficult it is to set up a plane flight, keeping it as secret as possible, and the same time, making it not interfere Muggle planes.

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