Jacobite steam train to run seven days a week for entire 2021 season

The Jacobite steam train draws tens of thousands of visitors each year to Glenfinnan to see it cross the famous viaduct. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, The Write Image. NO F26 jacobite steam train 01
The Jacobite steam train draws tens of thousands of visitors each year to Glenfinnan to see it cross the famous viaduct. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, The Write Image. NO F26 jacobite steam train 01

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The popular steam-hauled Jacobite train – the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films – is to run seven days a week for its entire seven-month season next year.

The service between Fort William and Mallaig has only operated from Monday to Saturday for much of the season in previous years, with some whole weekends at the end of the season.

But such is the demand for seats on what has been voted the world’s greatest railway journey that it will also run on Sundays from Easter until the end of October next year.

For much of the new season there will be two trains a day – one in the morning and the other in the afternoon.

A spokesman told the Lochaber Times: ‘Unfortunately because of Covid-19 we could not operate for much of this year’s summer.

‘But we are hoping that things will be getting back to normal by Good Friday, April 2, when our first train of 2021 is scheduled to run.

‘For the time being, though, we intend to carry on taking comprehensive anti-Covid measures, both on the train and at the stations.

‘The safety of our passengers, staff and local residents remains paramount at all times and we will do nothing to endanger any of them.

‘That means, among other things, we will continue with social distance both at stations and on the train, face masks must be worn while boarding, tickets will be issued electronically, and there will be a comprehensive and thorough cleaning regime.

‘This summer, because of Covid, the train did not stop as normal at Glenfinnan and Arisaig stations. We will make a decision later about what will happen next year.’

Tickets will cost £46 return in standard class, and £69 in first class, for adults. Children will pay £48 or £28.