New ropeways

Funicular with a difference for Harry Potter fans

Universal Orlando Resort now has a new attraction in the form of the Hogwarts Express. For the system knowhow and technical competence, Universal placed its trust in the Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group.

Since July 8, 2014, the Hogwarts Express – comprising two trainsets – has been running between Universal’s film studios and the nearby Universal Island of Adventure, the world’s technically most advanced leisure park. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, with its various shops, restaurants and attractions, is a real crowd-puller. Visitors can immerse themselves in the young wizard’s world of fantasy as developed by Universal’s creative team.

The Hogwarts Express created by Universal Orlando Resort in collaboration with the Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group is a modern funicular in the style of the iconic steam train from the Harry Potter films, in which Harry and his friends travel from London King's Cross to Hogsmeade.

The task of engineering a faithful reproduction of the 70 m long train, comprising a steam engine, a tender and three carriages, was entrusted to CWA Constructions S.A. of Olten, Switzerland, and the coach-builder, which is part of the Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group, did an excellent job. For the lightweight design, CWA’s engineers employed aluminum and glass reinforced plastics. The finished product was then subjected to a special aging process to achieve a realistic effect for a historical train. The interiors of the 42 compartments are equipped with best-in-class audio-visual entertainment systems for an exciting program of images and sound with the very best acoustics. Careful attention was also paid to optimum lighting and air-conditioning for the carriages.

With regard to the funicular ropeway engineering, the Hogwarts Express is a world first. In comparison with a conventional funicular, the design engineers had to handle a number of challenges like the very tight radii of the curves, the overall weight of the train and very high rope tension. Railway operation is fully automatic.

The Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group is proud to have mastered the challenges in creating a product that fulfills all the customer’s wishes in terms of technology and design.

[Translate to English:] Der Hogwarts Express in der Station Hogsmeade

TECHNICAL DATA: Hogwarts Express funicular

  • Line length 676 m
  • Gage 1,800 mm
  • Diameter of haul rope 46 mm
  • Diameter of counter rope 46 mm
  • Diameter of line sheaves 400 mm
  • Drive (North Station).
  • rated output cont. 215 kW
  • rated output peak 636 kW
  • Number of trainsets 2
  • Weight of locomotive 13 t
  • Weight of tender 15 t
  • Weight of carriages 27 t
  • Line speed 3.4 m/s
  • Year of construction 2014

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