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All aboard the Hogwarts Express? Train drivers needed


Whether you’re a Harry Potter fan or not, you can probably picture the Hogwarts Express and its iconic journey to the wizarding school.

it winds through the Scottish countryside, filled with green rolling hills and forests and of course the curved bridge, or viaduct, the train crosses as it approaches Hogwarts.

And now you too could drive trains through this iconic scenery — even if it isn’t using the actual Hogwarts Express.

Scottish train operating company ScotRail is looking for trainee drivers that will likely cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct, which is featured in Harry Potter frequently.

The job posting went live earlier this week seeking trainee drivers — so no previous experience as a train driver is required. Instead, successful applicants will embark on a training course that may take up to two years to complete and includes practical and theoretical instruction, as well as time spent in train simulators.

Train drivers will travel to the UK’s most remote railway station, Corrour.

Peter Carruthers | Istock | Getty Images

Trainee drivers will be paid £32,968 (around $40,414), but their salary is expected to increase steadily when they become qualified. The initial pay raise is worth almost £13,00, with further, smaller bumps after six and nine months on the job. Over time, drivers could earn as much as £58,028.

One downside is that shift patterns could be difficult as trains run from the early morning to late at night, with the job ad saying “you’ll need to be happy working a variety of shifts over seven days.”

Prospective drivers can start training at 20 years old and have to pass a health screening before they can begin. The ad also mentions communication skills, being focused and motivated, problem-solving abilities and flexibility as requirements for new joiners.

While no train driving experience is necessary, ScotRail do prefer applicants who have had similar levels of responsibility in previous roles and have worked in jobs where safety is essential.

The rocky summit of The Cobbler, which can be seen from the West Highland Line.

Matthew James Turner / 500Px | 500Px Plus | Getty Images

Besides the iconic Harry Potter viaduct, the West Highland Line, which the future trainee drivers will likely travel across frequently, includes several famous natural landmarks and locations. This includes the U.K.’s most remote train station Corrour, which was featured in the Scottish classic movie Trainspotting, and The Cobbler, a distinct mountain in the region.

The trainee drivers will be based in Fort William, a town with around 10,500 residents in the West Highlands above major Scottish cities Edinburgh and Glasgow. Edinburgh, for example, is a three-hour-plus drive or a four-and-a-half-hour train journey away — but the gig does come with discounted rail fares, so even if it is far, it won’t be too expensive to get to for a city escape.

And you might not even miss the city. Loch Ness is just over an hour away by car, as is the Cairngorms National Park — and the foot of Scotland’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis, is right there in Fort William.



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