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Friday, 28 December, 2001, 12:47 GMT
Potter studio derails train plan
The Hogwarts Express
The Hogwarts Express departs from platform 9
A plan to turn the Harry Potter train, the Hogwarts Express, into a tourist attraction appears to have been thwarted by the threat of legal action by Warner Brothers.

The train is kept at a shed at the historic Carnforth station in Lancashire, where it was given a new red livery for use in the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.


I would have liked Warner Bros to have seen the potential for promoting ourselves, and them

Peter Yates, Carnforth Station Trust
But plans to exhibit the train at the station have run into opposition from the film studio, according to the chairman of the Carnforth Station Trust, Peter Yates.

"I rang Warner Bros and suggested using the Potter train and renaming the platform 9 , to make it a tourist attraction," Mr Yates told BBC News Online.

'Goodwill'

"I was looking for anything that would improve the station.

Carnforth Station
The station was used in the classic Brief Encounter
"Warner Bros immediately said, 'No, if you try to use it in any way we'll sue you'."

Warner Bros have declined to comment on the issue.

Carnforth station is famous for being the location of key scenes in David Lean's 1946 film Brief Encounter, and has recently been the focus of a 1.9m regeneration project.

'Potential'

The station is now attracting tourists who believe they can see the Hogwarts Express - but the train is currently locked away, and Mr Yates has said that Warner Bros will not allow the train to be seen with the Hogwarts Express nameplate.

Hogwarts Express
The train was repainted for use in the Potter film
"I would have liked someone at Warner Bros to have seen the potential for promoting ourselves and them at Carnforth," said Mr Yates.

"Especially as we're just about to open phase one of our rebuild, on 14 February."

Warner Bros has been quick to move against what it perceives as potential copyright infringements of the Harry Potter brand.

Recently the studio told Potter fan Owen Rickards, from Gwynedd, that he could not up his own fan website - because Warner Bros already owned the rights.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling will be discussing the Potter phenomenon on BBC One on Friday at 1900 GMT.

See also:

28 Dec 01 | Arts
Potter's final chapter written
13 Dec 01 | Wales
Harry Potter fan's website row
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