Hogwarts Express Train: andy Young/ZBP/ZUMA Press/NewsCom
Gary Susman
September 03, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Harry Potter has taken on all manner of monsters and magicians, but his latest enemy is a gang of graffiti taggers, the aptly named Slobs. That’s the name found sprayed on the side of the real-life train that appears in the ”Potter” movies as the Hogwarts Express. According to England’s The Sun tabloid, the vandalizing Muggles covered entire sides of two carriages with silver and green paint on Wednesday night while the famous steam engine was parked in a railyard. The taggers were spotted before they could finish the job and dispersed without getting caught. Said one railway worker: ”It?s just a shame Harry is not around at the moment to turn them into frogs.”

When it’s not stopping at the imaginary Platform 9 3/4 at London’s Kings Cross station to whisk the student wizards off to school, the steam engine has a day job, shuttling summer tourists between York and the seaside resort of Scarborough. The vandalism, which will cost an estimated $5,000 to clean up, ”is heartbreaking and has made me and the rest of the staff very angry,” said James Shuttleworth, of the West Coast Railway Company, which operates the train. ”The people who did this are mindless toerags. This will horrify the millions of Harry Potter fans.” We don’t know what ”mindless toerags” means, but it sounds like a curse worthy of an angry wizard.

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