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Last Updated: Friday, 19 September, 2003, 19:23 GMT 20:23 UK
Hogwarts engine gets clean-up
Vandalised coaches of the Hogwarts Express
The vehicles were vandalised near Scarborough
If Harry Potter and his wizard pals were around they would probably cast a spell to clean up the damage.

But the owners of the famous steam engine from the Harry Potter movies have been forced to spend 3,000 re-painting it after it was daubed with graffiti by vandals.

Hogwarts Castle - which pulls the Hogwarts Express - was attacked earlier this month near Scarborough Railway Station, in North Yorkshire.

Two coaches were spray-painted after the train had been on public show.

Police are convinced the vandals knew exactly which train they were attacking, because of its world-wide fame.

Hogwarts Castle, which pulls the Hogwarts Express
The number 5972 is well-known by Harry Potter fans

The number 5972 is instantly recognisable with fans of J K Rowling's books.

Its owners, the West Coast Railway Company (WCRC), have brought it back to their base in Carnforth, Lancashire, to repair the damage.

James Shuttleworth, of WCRC, said: "It's cost us probably 3,000 to re-paint the vehicles which didn't need it, they were in perfectly good condition.

"The vandals probably don't realise quite what a spell Hogwarts casts on its fans."

The train is used during the summer by tourists travelling between Scarborough and York.

It is hired out to Warner Bros for the Potter films and was used in the film Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets.

The BBC's Peter Holland
"They built hundreds of Hall-Class locomotives, but only one was destined to become a movie star"

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