- Operator says it will be forced to pay £7million if they need to modernise doors
- Hogwarts Express temporarily suspended over summer after concerns raised
- Heritage trains such as Flying Scotsman at risk of being wiped off UK main line
The operator of the Hogwarts Express and the UK’s rail regulator are in court battle over safety regulations due to its slam doors.
West Coast Railway (WCR) has been granted a judicial review in a bid to keep the traditional slam doors on their 1950s carriages.
The Office for Rail and Road (ORR) said train doors should have a modern central locking system in line with regulations that were put into action 20 years ago.
If they are forced to modernise their doors for safety reasons then it will cost £7million and the operator argued that it will wipe out their profit for a decade.
The WCR has been operating with an exemption to this regulation since 2005, but it expired in June.
As it owns 60 per cent of Britain’s heritage trains, the WCR fear that this rule could wipe them out and force them off the UK main line.
This includes another Harry Potter classic, the Jacobite steam train and the Flying Scotsman, which is a century old and the first train to reach 100mph speeds.
The Hogwarts Express service was temporarily suspended over summer after a safety examination raised concerns about secondary door locks
The Office for Rail and Road (ORR) said train doors should have a modern central locking system in line with regulations that were put into action 20 years ago (stock image)
King Charles travelled to north Yorkshire in June in a royal train which was pulled by the Flying Scotsman to celebrate its hundredth anniversary
Trains like the Flying Scotsman (pictured) is at risk of being taken off the UK main line
King Charles travelled to north Yorkshire in June in a royal train which was pulled by the Flying Scotsman to celebrate its hundredth anniversary.
This comes after a clampdown on older carriages, amid fears that younger passengers are unfamiliar with them.
There have also been cases where train doors have been unlocked when the locomotive was in motion.
The Severn Valley Railway’s health and safety manager, Richard Morris, said ‘There have been some events where the Great Western carriage doors have been found to be open on arrival at stations or mid-section (while train is moving).
‘Lack of awareness from a younger demographic of visitor and ever increasing pressure from the rail regulator means the railway has to be proactive.’
Some heritage trains still use old-fashioned bolt systems above each door in the carriage.
The Hogwarts Express service was temporarily suspended over summer after a safety examination raised concerns about secondary door locks.
Passengers were ‘at risk’ of falling from their carriages or being hit whilst leaning out of their windows, according to the ORR.
An ORR spokesperson said: ‘As the rail regulator our role is to ensure that Britain’s railways are run safely.
‘There has been a regulation in place since 2005 which prohibits the operation on the main line of carriages with hinged doors for use by passengers.
‘The majority of charter heritage operators have either complied with the regulation by installing central door locking or have a plan in place to do so. Services can operate with compliant carriages.’
The WCR have been contacted by MailOnline for comment.
A decision is expected next year.