It is well known that Hogwarts' students have to get through a barrier between Muggle Platforms Nine and Ten in order to reach the magically concealed train Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station and gain access to the Hogwarts Express.

I have detailed all Harry Potter movies, and I haven't seen anyone crossing the wall without the clanky luggage trolley.

It is understandable for freshmen to use the luggage trolley as they face the apparent brick wall since clinging to the handles and leaning low behind the bulky trolley provides confidence and a form of protection in case something goes wrong. One may also argue that trolleys are useful when carrying heavy trunks and cages, as Hogwarts students do, and that they serve to mask the casual vanishing act from Muggle eyes by looking like you are simply wheeling the trolley with your luggage along.

Perhaps I'm answering my own question with my conjectures, but I wonder if there is a canonical answer about the trolleys being absolutely necessary or not to get through Platform 9 3/4 in order to reach the Hogwarts Express, at least -of course-, if Dobby doesn't block the magical barrier.

Still image from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

Iconic Harry Potter luggage trolley at real King's Cross Station. UK (2021)

  • 17
    related: why don't they just slowly walk through it, why do they have to do the scary dramatic running at a brick wall? Commented Sep 27, 2023 at 21:05
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    @user253751 State of mind. Someone not convinced the barrier will yield will find it not yielding. (To avoid muggles "falling through" by accident.) That is why Molly suggests Harry to do it "at a bit of a run" if he's scared, to convince himself it will work. (Cannot look up the exact wording ATM.)
    – DevSolar
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 13:24
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    @user253751 that is answered directly by my interpretation: To block the muggles out, the wall lets anyone through that REALLY wants to go through it (instead of leaning against it or stumbling etc.). This also explains the trollies: Having a physical momentum towards it makes it far easier for kids to "pull through" mentally the first couple of times
    – Hobbamok
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 14:00
  • In Cursed Child they also use the cart
    – TheAsh
    Commented Oct 2, 2023 at 4:03

2 Answers 2


No, it isn't, no.

Once inside the station they lingered casually beside the barrier between platforms nine and ten until the coast was clear, then each of them leaned against it in turn and fell easily through on to platform nine and three-quarters[...].


'Oh good,' said Mrs Weasley, sounding relieved, 'here's Alastor with the luggage, look ...'

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - p.165 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 10, Luna Lovegood

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    Au101 and Valorum's responses are helpful in finding my solution. I accept Au101's answer because it is the first and mentions the earliest known evidence in the books and films (and canon) that address my inquiry. I also want to emphasize that, in my opinion, the Luggage Trolley is still an iconic instrument that is especially valuable for first-year students. Thank you for your research efforts, Au101 and Valorum.
    – Bingo
    Commented Oct 1, 2023 at 21:20
  • @Bingo - The bounty is much appreciated. I always need the rep :-)
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 8, 2023 at 19:43

Ginny and Lily Potter come through the barrier without a trolley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.

enter image description here

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    …and we have reasons to assume that all parents/family members did so, when they are standing on the platform and waving goodbye.
    – Holger
    Commented Sep 27, 2023 at 12:07
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    In the very first film we see that Molly and Ginny managed to get through without a trolley as well. Even if it wasn’t directly shown on screen, it happened fast enough I think it fair to not conclude that they had to hunt one down in the short minute they made it happen.
    – Dúthomhas
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 22:51
  • @Dúthomhas - I like this example better because you don't need to assume anything, but you're not wrong
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 22:52

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