By Phil Marsh

Hogwarts Castle to go on display

Published: 17th April 2014

X-Men and Virgin team up to create 125mph travelling advert

Two unique rail partnerships have been announced involving the movie industry and both feature red trains.

Star of the Harry Potter films, the Hogwarts Express engine, Hogwarts Castle will be going on display at the Warner Bothers film visitor centre at Leavesden near Watford in Hertfordshire. The engine is being used for a last time on June 7 on a Hogwarts Express special from Carnforth to York and back and then its off to be put on display. The engine is really a Great Western Railway built ‘Hall’ Class engine built in the 1920s and has only been used sporadically over the last few years.

The engine was used in filming on the Fort William – Mallaig line at Glenfinnan viaduct and as far away as Kings Cross usually with a strict no-photography policy. It has been mainly on display at the National Railway Museum at York and Shildon over the last few years and used on internal shuttle trains in school holidays.

The engine is owned and operate by The West Coast Railway Company.

Virgin quest for film and track speed relationship

If you see a futuristic liveried train hurtling past on the West Coast Main Line, explains what you’ve just seen!

In a more modern setting, Virgin Trains has entered a unique partnership with Twentieth Century Fox and has become the official UK travel partner of what they call “the upcoming blockbuster X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST”.

Virgin Trains has redecorated one of its newest Pendolinos, No. 390155 in for three months and will carry the travelling advert until May 22 when the film is released. The train was officially named by two of the film’s characters, Professor Xavier and Wolverine and covering the train in the temporary livery took 160 hours using an estimated 549m2 of film.

The livery will remain until July creating a huge moving billboard running between Euston, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and Wolverhampton. The intention is to showcase the characters with each carriage carrying its own striking character wrap.

They said:

For us it’s all about our relationship with speed”, said Phil Whittingham, Lead Executive at Virgin Trains. “The latest instalment in the X-MEN franchise ties in perfectly with Virgin Trains relationship with travel. Time travel is a key theme throughout the new movie and at Virgin Trains we strive to make sure our customer’s journeys are as quick as possible, as if our trains are time travel devices.”

Adrian Varma, Partnerships and Regions Manager at Virgin Trains said: “We’re always looking for different ways to bring the Virgin Train experience to life for our customers and we’re excited to welcome stars from the film to officially name our Virgin Train ‘X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST’.

The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods. The beloved characters from the original “X-Men” film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from “X-Men: First Class,” in an epic battle that must change the past – to save our future.

Chris Green, Theatrical Marketing Director at Twentieth Century Fox, said: “This is a really exciting partnership for Twentieth Century Fox and Virgin Trains. By commissioning the first ever X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST train we have been able to bring the film to Virgin Train customers and fans across the country in a unique and original way ahead of its release on May 22nd."

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