Earlier in the year I built a MOC of King’s Cross station. When displaying it, I thought it would be good to have Hogsmeade station as well. I had recently bought a great MOC of that from my friend Russell and it then became the centrepiece of my latest display piece. Read on to hear the story behind, and see how the display ended up looking…
Setting the scene
Imagine the train conductor’s voice yelling “Next stop, Hogsmeade. Travellers to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry should get off here”.
The rumbling train comes to a screeching halt and the students exit the train with all their belongings. Among the noise from the students you hear the familiar voice of Hagrid yelling: “Come on now, firs’ years, don’t be shy. Right then, this way ter the boats. Come on now, follow me”…
Below you can see the scenery from the movie, which you may have been visualising reading the section above. The station at Hogsmeade is the topic of this post.
The real-life station
Before discussing how to build it in LEGO, let’s revisit the actual location used for Hogsmeade station when the first movie was made.
Goathland railway station is a station in North Yorkshire, England along the heritage North Yorkshire Moors Railway. The station buildings date back to 1865 with the last recorded change (apart from renovations) being in 1908.
Given its original old appearance, the station and its surroundings (the picturesque North York Moors National Park) have appeared in various TV productions including Heartbeat (as Aidensfield station) and All Creatures Great and Small. But most importantly, it featured in the first Harry Potter movie as Hogsmeade station.
If you are travelling along the East coast of the UK, it is definitely worth a stop. Four years ago, I was touring around England and Scotland and this was one of the many Harry Potter sights I managed to add to the program. Below, you can see some of the photos I took when visiting.
The photo above shows some of the station buildings, with the small side buildings on the decline really giving it character. The red “thing” in the middle is a so-called water crane (to use the English terminology – in the US and Australia, it is known as a water column), which is used to fill up the tank or tender of the steam locomotives with water.
Apart from the buildings, one of the most recognisable parts of the station is the red pedestrian bridge across the tracks. You can see that on the photo below.
Finally, as the Harry Potter nerd I am, I had of course brought a couple of minifigures that I needed to get in one of the shots…
Hogsmeade and our large LEGO Harry Potter layout
Back in 2018, I teamed up with my good friend Russell to build a very large Harry Potter display. Hogwarts would be a key feature, but we also wanted the railway line allowing the Hogwarts Express to take students from London to Hogsmeade. So we needed the station at Hogsmeade – and while I was busy building Hogwarts, Russell built this marvellous model.
On the photo below, you can see it from another angle – with the Hogwarts Express parked in front. To the right, some of the train loop is visible, including the big viaduct.
This picture below gives a better impression of the layout, with the viaduct at the front (which real-life location is at Glenfinnan in Scotland). As seen, the Hogsmeade station building sits in the middle of the table and is hard for spectators to see well.
So when asked to display some LEGO Harry Potter earlier this year I thought, why not bring this model by itself, so people have a better opportunity to see it close up.
Displaying Hogsmeade station by itself
Even though our Harry Potter display used 96 baseplates, it was still hard to fit everything so approximations had to be made. Displaying it by itself was a good opportunity to think about whether any additional detail could be added.
Going back over my photos from visiting Goathland, two things came to mind. Firstly, I wanted to add the water crane, which was shown further up in the photos. It is one of the things I remember best from my visit, and its shiny red colour fit the overall architecture well. And since I love technology (both old and new) selecting this was pretty obvious.
The other thing I wanted to add was the footbridge across the tracks at the other end of the platform. Overall, that meant small extensions to both sides and hopefully, they would nicely complement the buildings themselves when displayed separately. The extensions cannot be used as part of the big layout, but there is plenty to see there anyway.
Here is the first extension – the water crane.
It goes on the right hand side of the station as seen below. Sirius Black is peeking around the corner, staying concealed for now.
I’ve got heaps of the early flesh coloured Harry Potter figures (from around 2004), so I’ve used those for the setup for consistency.
For the other side, I only had time (and bricks) to build a small extension of the platform and a tree for the first display opportunity.
Presenting it together with my King’s Cross station was a big hit.
Subsequently, I got the bricks needed for the footbridge. Below you can see that added – though I still hadn’t had time to complete the platform on the other side.
Now I finally have had the time to complete everything I wanted to add. Here is the setup including the arriving Hogswarts Express.
And here, you can see it from the front (without the train).
I’ve added a bunch of other photos below from different angles and both with and without the Hogwarts Express.
That was all for today.
I’ll surely use it as stand alone display more regularly now as I’m really pleased with the outcome. But as I do have quite a few models to choose from, it wont be something I bring every time. I also do LEGO Train displays and it may feature in those on occasions too – for example with my King’s Cross station MOC.
But now, I will get back to the build table as I have a big review coming up. It is not the new Hogwarts Express (yet), but the 2018 Hogwarts Castle. That will be fun! Watch out for review posts in the coming weeks.
Till then, Build the Magic!