Jon and Helen Cluett and their four young children were rowing across a remote bothy in Lochaber when they realized their canoe had been swept away by a river. Their boat was moored in a little burn behind the bothy, tied to a wall, and pulled high out of the water before the river snatched it away.
“The burn was overflowing. The entire area was underwater. The rocks I’d tied to the boat were pulled apart and the boat was gone,” said Mr. Cluett. After calling the police, the family was in for a magical surprise.
They arranged for the steam train used in the Harry Potter movies to come and pick them up. The Hogwarts Express, also known as the Jacobite train, is used for excursions on the West Highland Railway Land. The family realized they had to call the police when their only options were either walking three miles on boggy land or aside the railway line. Both of these choices seemed too perilous for their children, aged six, eight, ten, and twelve.
The Hogwarts Expressed happened to be the next train that ran down the nearest line.The family quickly packed their belongings and rushed to the railroad, about 400 meters away. Then their scary experience turned into an adventure straight out of a Harry Potter movie.
“The train is getting closer, we’re running down, stuff bouncing everywhere, big smiles on the kids’ faces. It all started to be fun at that point,” said Mr. Cluett.
He thanks everyone for their help and said it has been an adventure for all of them. The only thing preventing this story from being perfect is that their canoe still has not shown up, but the family is hopeful that it will eventually.
“I’m slightly sad because I’d lost my boat- but the kids, when they saw the steam train coming, all sadness left their little faces and was replaced by excitement and fun- just the real joy of having an adventure and having the train stop right next to them,” he added.