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 Post subject: Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:05 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
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Inside the magic, a theme park blog, has reported that a new steam train had just been delivered to Universal Studios in Orlanda for the upcoming expansion of Harry Potters Wizarding World.

The article and photos can be found here:
http://www.insidethemagic.net/2013/10/r ... expansion/

This looks to be a large locomotive, I think it's standard gauge. It's a 4-6-0 and looks like an actual steam loco, but this is Universal, so it could be a well crafted steam outline. I do see what look likes it may be power distribution strips along the monorail style track. Note that it definitely is not the nice looking fake that was part of the original build.

Anyone have any details on this loco? New build or existing loco? Steam outline or the real thing?


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 Post subject: Re: Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:15 am 
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Maybe you should ask here: http://burnsland.com/disneyrailroads/index.php?sid=f0387cca4b66bf57ad89b33b375d06ef
I must admit, it really looks good from the photos...

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 Post subject: Re: Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:19 am 
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It does look good, and, dare I say it, it is a real train, but I'm pretty sure it's steam-outline.

Here's the kicker: I don't think that any of the wheels are load bearing. It looks like they all sit just above the rails and that little mechanism under the locomotive actually does the rolling. Also not the lack of an front axle for the pony truck.

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 Post subject: Re: Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:39 am 

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It does look like steam outline, and some other tricks, too:

http://www.insidethemagic.net/2013/05/c ... l-orlando/

http://micechat.com/28887-universal-orl ... gon-alley/

Interesting that apparently the coaches will have some sort of visual device for windows, making it look like you are in Great Britain from inside the train, but in reality running on elevated track through a backlot area. Imagine "running" through Colorado when in reality your track is in a steel mill!

http://www.screamscape.com/html/univers ... lorida.htm

http://www.screamscape.com/html/islands ... enture.htm

http://www.orlandounited.com/forums/sho ... 2?p=345105


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 Post subject: Re: Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:50 am 

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weekendrailroader wrote:
Here's the kicker: I don't think that any of the wheels are load bearing. It looks like they all sit just above the rails and that little mechanism under the locomotive actually does the rolling. Also not the lack of an front axle for the pony truck.


There is definitely a space between the wheels on the lead truck and the rail in this picture: http://www.insidethemagic.net/wp-conten ... 9493_n.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:55 am 

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I think that photo showing the gap pretty much proves the theory that it's just a fancy ride vehicle. I also noticed the drivers looked odd, couldn't make out if they had flanges or not. When I first found this, I was on an Ipad, and couldn't quite make out the fine details.

Guess it's just a nicely done replica, nothing more...

Hey, wonder if they can do a Pennsy T1?


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 Post subject: Re: Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:11 pm 
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Bobharbison wrote:
Guess it's just a nicely done replica, nothing more...
Sure, it's not really steam, but well-done 'fake' steam has to be better than something else, right? I think it shows the public level of interest in steam generally, otherwise they would just make another monorail and put the appropriate paint job on it.
I can't fault them for wanting something more reliable and maintenance-free than a real steam locomotive for a high-traffic people mover, but it's commendable that they built something that looks this accurate.

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 Post subject: Re: Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:19 pm 

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Darn near looks like it came from Swindon Works. Nice job whoever did it.
The red livery is definitely a travesty for any real GWR fan however.

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 Post subject: Re: Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:30 pm 
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W.L.Avis wrote:
The red livery is definitely a travesty for any real GWR fan however.

At the risk of sounding too sarcastic it's not supposed to be a GWR locomotive. It's supposed to represent a fictional (and somewhat unworldly) locomotive, one I would like to think was never subject to crown sheet failures, maintenance problems or 15-year mandated teardowns. So in that sense, this replica is perhaps more 'correct' than it seems on the surface.

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 Post subject: Re: Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:48 pm 

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p51 wrote:
At the risk of sounding too sarcastic it's not supposed to be a GWR locomotive.


Perhaps, but in defense of Mr Avis I would point out that this is quite obviously a copy of GWR "Olton Hall," right down to the number (and apparently even the shed code). The "Olton Hall" was the locomotive used for filming the movies. Universal could certainly have built a fanciful cartoon version of a "magic" locomotive but this looks rather better IMHO.

It would look even better in GWR green though! :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:23 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:48 pm
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Regarding the "tricks": upon reading several of the linked forum threads and looking closely at the undercarriage view of the "locomotive", I'm convinced that the train runs on bogies attached at the front of the engine and the rear of the tender, and a bogie attached between the two (like an articulated unit). The route appears to have a fairly sharp radius curve in the middle which probably would prevent a normally articulated 4-6-0 loco from operating. Furthermore, it appears that only one side wheel on the train is flanged (double-flanged, actually)--the other side is a wide roller. Kind of a clever idea, to me, since the entire line is elevated on a steel support structure; that allows for quite a deal of gauge variance along the entire length. It does have a switch for the "terminal", so we'll have to see how that functions...


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 Post subject: Re: Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:13 pm 

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The ride also passes through the backstage area, so there's more to the story. It sounds like it will be an "experience" rather than just simply a train ride. Not sure how that will work, video projected onto the windows, scenery along the track, a combination, something I haven't thought of.

Also, even thought it's (apparently) a fake, it would be interesting to know how this was created. What methods did they use to make the wheels for example? Could something like this be used for preservation purposes, say to replicate part of an artifact that was damaged or lost?


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 Post subject: Re: Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:36 pm 
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My guess is that there will be two trains, using the same track with the passing siding in the middle. I'm also guessing that you'll never see the other train pass by on the siding, since they'll likely have the sides of the cars with no windows facing each other. That way, you don't see two Hogwart's Expresses at the same time.

As for the double flanged wheels one one side and the wide roller on the other; I bet that it was designed this way specifically to ease the use of the passing siding. I imagine one train set will have the flanged wheels on one rail, and the other train set will have its flanged wheels on the other rail. When Train #1 approaches the switch, there will be no points. The flanged wheel will automatically follow the outer rail, while the roller follows the inner rail of the siding. Train number two arrives, it's flanged wheel (which is on the opposite rail from train #1) automatically follows its outer rail, diverting it onto the passing track, and passing by train #1. When either train leaves the siding, the roller rolls overs small gap in the junction (left there for the flanges for the other train), and back onto the single track.

That's my guess anyhow, but it sure seems like a passing track with no switches to align (or mis-align) would be a big help in keeping your theme park running smoothly.

UPDATE: Here's a "timely" update to the increased safety factor of using double-flanged wheels: http://www.nytimes.com/1865/09/01/news/double-flange-railroad-car-wheels.html

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