It's not the Hogwarts Express, but it's close
It's not the Hogwarts Express, but it's close Bosnian worker Sefik Salihovic drives the steam engine at the coal mine of Oskova in the Bosnian town of Banovici, 87 north of Sarajevo (AP photos)
It's not the Hogwarts Express, but it's close
Lexile: 890L

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You can't board these trains in London and get off at Hogwarts. But their engines looks pretty much the same as in Harry Potter. And if you're a steam train enthusiast, the ride is almost as magical.

Every day, steam engines more than 60 years old defy their age and pull wagons of coal from Banovici's coal mine to nearby towns. Banovici is in the country of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the summer, the engines become the only tourist attraction the town has to offer. The mine allows visitors to take a ride on the narrow-gauge line. The rails are only 30 inches apart.

The coal mine planned to replace the old engines after Bosnia's 1992-95 war. But the sudden arrival of steam train enthusiasts inspired a change of plans. The company began to service the steam engines and put them back to work.

"About a thousand steam train fans come here every year," said Dzevad Hodzic. He is the coal mine's technical director.

Aside from those built in 1948 and still hauling coal, the most popular engine is one built in the Czech Republic in 1925. It stood for 35 years as an exhibit on a side track. Then management decided to restore it to service. The little train carries up to 50 tourists in its two carriages. It winds 6 miles through Bosnian mountains at a maximum speed of 50 kilometers per hour. A ticket costs about $12.40.

The engine is the only one of its type still running in the world, Hodzic said.

He hopes the tourism business will expand so the Banovici coal mine can put several more refurbished steam engines to work next year.

Critical thinking challenge: Why cant the most popular train carry more passengers?

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Assigned 108 times

  • kadenl-Eic
    12/09/2014 - 10:47 a.m.

    That is cool.I think it is cool how they aren't going to change the old engines into new ones because i think it is better with old ones it makes it cooler and it is probably better.

  • gracieb-Eic
    12/09/2014 - 11:31 a.m.

    Wow cool!! I love Harry Potter and that does look like their steam engines!! I would want to ride on that it looks old but sounds fun. And only $12.50 per ride it's not that much and it would be worth it. I wish I could ride it.

  • 09Garrett-May
    12/09/2014 - 02:24 p.m.

    I like steam trains and i would really want to see one. I am suprised that people are still using them. But i am happy steam trains are still being put to work. :)

  • ScarlettR-1
    12/09/2014 - 07:42 p.m.

    I read the article "It's Not Hogwarts Express, but It's Close". This article is about a Bosnian coal mine keeping their train's alive. About 1000 train enthusiasts come every year to go on the steam train. The small train carries up to 50 tourists in its 2 carriages. The engine is the only type still running today. I hear people say that this ride is magical. I hope one day I can go to Bosnia and ride it.

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    12/10/2014 - 01:51 a.m.

    I think it is cool to see an old steam train still operating today. Also, it is the only train that still operates with a steam engine. That is a cool fact to know about. It also looks like the train in the Hogwarts Express, with the steam engine. I wonder what happened to the other steam engines. I think they were replaced by newer and more modern trains. I think this is very confusing. If the train is a coal mine train, then why would it be carrying people? I think this is because the tourists are viewing coal mine as a tourist site.
    Critical thinking challenge: Why cant the most popular train carry more passengers?
    Answer: The most popular train cannot carry more passengers because the people can make the train heavier and the train is weak. They would all know that.

  • Eric0221-YYCA
    12/10/2014 - 02:24 a.m.

    Well, it looks like some people must have gotten the wrong answer, but a close one because the steam engine has the same engine as the Hogwarts express, the train, well it surprises me that that steam engine train has a exacted engine being used by today. This also reminds me book #1 of harry potter is when harry had his first time going on board in the Hogwarts express. Well then, it looks like there must be doing a tour around for the people to be in interest while on board.
    Critical thinking challenge: Why can't the most popular train carry more passengers?
    Answer: The steam engine has two carriage carts, each carts can carry 25 passengers, so that is why the popular train can't carry more passengers at once.

  • Jason0421-YYCA
    12/10/2014 - 03:07 a.m.

    I think that it is amazing for someone to almost replicate the train that goes to Hogwarts. I think that this is very convenient too because its able hold 50 people in 2 carriages. This would mean that many people can get on the train to see the coal mine. I think that this is an amazing train which leads to a wonderful "coal mine".
    Critical thinking challenge: Why cant the most popular train carry more passengers?
    Answer: The most popular train can't carry many passengers because there is a certain width and height which a train can fit through a coal mine.

  • Kamal-Abd
    12/10/2014 - 08:34 a.m.

    Yes, it does look the same as it did on Harry Potter. But one thing, not a lot of passengers can get on. Otherwise, the whole thing is the same. This is pretty cool. That is the only flaw, the passengers.

  • cm2001KING
    12/10/2014 - 08:37 a.m.

    This is so cool I would love to go here its like a real Hogwarts and plus im a big harry potter fan so this would be so fun to go experience

  • SA2001orange
    12/10/2014 - 08:39 a.m.

    The train can't carry many people because it uses up most of its room to carry coal. The train is only able to carry 50 people at a time.

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