Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

All aboard the virtual Hogwarts Express as fans celebrate special day online

Vick Hope (Ian West/PA)
Vick Hope (Ian West/PA)

A virtual version of the Hogwarts Express has departed King’s Cross as part of the first online Back To Hogwarts Day.

Fans traditionally gather at the London station to mark the train’s departure from the fictional Platform 9¾ but were this year asked to stay away due to Covid-19.

Instead, a Twitter livestream saw the train depart virtually, taking students to the school of witchcraft and wizardry for another year.

It also featured appearances from stars of the films including James and Oliver Phelps, Jason Isaacs and Bonnie Wright, who took part in quizzes and answered trivia questions from fans.

Presenter Vick Hope kicked off the event, saying: “For years fans have gathered at King’s Cross station to celebrate Back To Hogwarts and we wanted to make sure that this year is equally special.

“Because everything is a little bit different in 2020 – let’s face it – and we are all spending more time at home, we decided to bring the magic to you.

“So wherever you are in the world, this is your chance to get involved.”

The cast of the Harry Potter And The Cursed Child stage show, which played on Broadway and in the West End, described how they were celebrating the day.

In a series of pre-recorded messages, they thanked fans for being “such a very special part of the wizarding world community” and promised they would return following the pandemic.

They also encouraged students to have a “highly safe, fun and socially distanced Back To Hogwarts”.

Fans submitted their photos for a digital mosaic which will grow throughout the day so they can show off their costumes.

The pictures will also be displayed inside King’s Cross so enthusiasts can have a virtual presence in the station.

A message on the website said: “Though this year may look a bit different than in the past, the time has arrived to pack your trunk, ready your school supplies and prepare to go Back To Hogwarts – virtually!”

The livestream also supported Potter author JK Rowling’s Lumos charity.

Already a subscriber? Sign in