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I was just reading "Why was a regular train used to transport students to Hogwarts?" and it made me think.

If the Muggles can't see the train, why has nobody stolen the train tracks (metal is very expensive), and sleepers are really popular with gardeners. Why hasn't anybody built on it?

Why hasn't it been decommissioned (tracks removed) and turned into a cycle route, which has happened to most of the other unused train lines?

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    Did you read the question you link where it states : Where exactly the Hogwarts Express came from has never been conclusively proven, although it is a fact that there are secret records at the Ministry of Magic detailing a mass operation involving one hundred and sixty-seven Memory Charms and the largest ever mass Concealment Charm performed in Britain. – TheLethalCarrot Apr 25 '18 at 10:30
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    Also who's to say the tracks aren't used by other trains? Not everyone is a thief too (though I live near a decommissioned line and those tracks disappeared quickly). – TheLethalCarrot Apr 25 '18 at 10:31
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    Is there any reason to believe that someone would come along and steal a well kept track? I assume the MoM keeps it refurbished, clean and up-to-scratch. Secondly, do you really think they'd have built the train line through someone's farm? Finally, you're witnessing a classic example of "fans digging deeper than they should to solve problems that really aren't there". The train line also doesn't need to be hidden, merely the train does. – Edlothiad Apr 25 '18 at 10:40
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    @Edlothiadyes there is, people steal metal roofs off buildings in use, stealing the lead of church roofs was a very popular hobby in the 1970s. somebody stole the lead off a roof of a local well maintained folly near our house last month. – WendyG Apr 25 '18 at 10:42
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    @WendyG well I remain surprised that I've never seen "Train derailed because of stolen track" appear in the news. – Edlothiad Apr 25 '18 at 10:43
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The article for the train on Pottermore seems to indicate that the track has been hidden by a concealment charm. However, it isn't entirely clear if this is the whole track, parts of it or the charm was used in the operation to get the train.

A daring and controversial solution to the thorny problem was finally suggested by Minister for Magic Ottaline Gambol, who was much intrigued by Muggle inventions and saw the potential in trains. Where exactly the Hogwarts Express came from has never been conclusively proven, although it is a fact that there are secret records at the Ministry of Magic detailing a mass operation involving one hundred and sixty-seven Memory Charms and the largest ever mass Concealment Charm performed in Britain. The morning after these alleged crimes, a gleaming scarlet steam engine and carriages astounded the villagers of Hogsmeade (who had also not realised they had a railway station), while several bemused Muggle railway workers down in Crewe spent the rest of the year grappling with the uncomfortable feeling that they had mislaid something important.
Pottermore, The Hogwarts Express

Using some reasoning though I think it to be possible that the start of the track is concealed which then joins onto a normal muggle track through a concealed junction. A similar situation would then occur at the end point. Of course this is just speculation and the above quote could mean that the whole track is in fact under the concealment charm.

  • The concealed branchs and existing train line is the only sensible solution. But this must get harder and harder in London with GPS and every inch of land being worth oodles. – WendyG Apr 25 '18 at 10:53
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    @WendyG electronics do not work when magic is involved (mentioned in GOF, discussing Rita Skeeter bugging someone to find their secrets). So when someone with a GPS approaches a hidden magical object or area of concealment, their GPS device will fail, or display wrong information. Another example (also in the books) is that muggle repelling charms will make the area very unwelcome and repulsing (dangerous, unstable looking ruins with a "Danger! Keep out! sign, dense forest, etc). – TimSparrow Apr 25 '18 at 10:58
  • @TimSparrow Until the time where by someone wants to build a road across where the railway line runs. The act of trying to hide the line now highlights its very existence. – Peter M Apr 25 '18 at 11:21
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    @PeterM: One would imagine that the Muggle repelling charms would lead to surveyers marking the area as "inappropriate" or "dangerous" based on what's projected to them. Add that the Wizarding government probably monitors the situation to some degree and uses memory charms to reinforce the "this is a bad place to put a road" idea. – FuzzyBoots Apr 25 '18 at 11:50
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    The thing that would concern me is that if the Hogwart's Express uses the regular railways, then there had better be someone seeing to it that there's no conflicting regular traffic on the rails at the same time. So, somebody has to be working with the british rail authorities to keep the schedules straight. – JRE Apr 25 '18 at 12:13

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