Unlike Hogwarts 1835 this story includes characters from J K Rowling's Harry Potter books in addition to the village of Hogsmeade and Hogwarts School of Wizardry. But a story set some fifty years earlier will lack some characters from Rowling's work.
Imablack did canon checking for my previous story. She furnished the understanding of Aberforth Dumbledore used in this story. Departures from canon, the meeting of young Lily Evans and Severus Snape, depart from canon in detail but are still consistent with the 'big picture' of canon.
2013 author's note: You might want to try a couple chapters to get into this. It is something like an ensemble television series which looks at the lives of a number of characters rather than focusing on a single protagonist. There are canon characters from Rowling's novels doing what is remembered as history in the Potter books. There are original characters, both muggle and wizard, the details in regard to the war - and life in Britain during the war - is essentially accurate. In a sense you can view this as a prequel to the canon series - but it may take you a couple chapters to adjust to the sprawling nature of the narrative.
The Hogsmeade Parliamentary Train
The idea that Hitler might take Europe to war seemed inconceivable to all who remembered the horrors and devastation of the Great War. The Austrian with the funny moustache was utterly racist, even in an era which accepted racism as normal, but no sane person would provoke the kind of bloodshed the world experienced two decades earlier.
As Germany broke provisions of the Treaty of Versailles the French screamed for its allies to enforce the Treaty. Hitler blandly accused the French of being overly-vindictive in the terms dictated to Germany and insisted the Germans only wanted the same treatment accorded every other nation in Europe. The French had been vindictive in the treaty. And with the stories coming out of the USSR of atrocities committed by Stalin the West might need Hitler in a war against the Russians. Britain and the other allies ignored France's call to punish Germany. No one believed war could happen.
By the peaceful annexation of Austria in March of 1938 political instability in France left the country unable to raise the same level of protest they had earlier managed. The English hoped it represented the end of Hitler's ambition. And no one believed anyone would provoke another war.
In the autumn Germany cast its eyes on Czechoslovakia. Chamberlain, Britain's Prime Minister, flew to Germany to consult with Hitler. The Fuhrer assured him that Germany had no desire for war, and only wished to promote German nationalism. Chamberlain flew home to assure the English that there would be peace, as Germany annexed portions of Czechoslovakia with a large population of Germans, and later reduced the rest of the nation to a protectorate. Germany then cast its eyes on Poland.
Finally accepting the unthinkable, in March of 1939 Britain and France declared they would view the invasion of Poland as an act of war. In the summer of 1939 the two great enemies, Germany and the USSR, negotiated a non-aggression pact. Ostensibly to bring greater peace to Europe, the accord was designed to keep Germany from needing to fight another two-front war. Secret protocols attached to the treaty defined how the two powers would divide Europe between them. As stunned nations watched two countries which had, for years, declared each other the greatest evil on earth sign the pact German diplomats assured allies and neutrals that the treaty merely reflected economic reality and a desire for peace. On August 24th the non-aggression pact was signed. On September 1, 1939 Germany crossed the Polish border to annex its 'share' of Poland.
Also on September 1 the British government implemented Operation Pied Piper. Thousands of young children were evacuated from London and other major cities to the villages and countryside. Between September 1939 and May of 1940, the Phony War, the citizens of Europe held their breaths and wondered what had happened. Was Hitler's thirst for power and territory finally slaked? Would England and France dare attack the more powerful Germany? During the long period of nervous uncertainty most of the children who had been evacuated slipped quietly back to their homes.
On May 10th, 1940 Germany attacked France with unprecedented speed. Thousands of British soldiers found themselves cut off on the Continent. Chamberlain resigned as Prime Minister and Churchill became the leader of the nation. Within weeks France was forced to capitulate.
Servius Fudge reflected on his dislike of Winston Churchill as he waited impatiently in the Prime Minister's office. He had lost two friends at Gallipoli and knew the Prime Minister's views on Iraq, Gandhi, and the widened franchise. Fudge regarded Churchill as a narrow-minded, self-serving war-monger who had no business being an MP, let alone the PM. But he was in Churchill's office on Ministry business and not to offer his political opinions. He reminded himself it was a feather in his own cap to have been selected as liaison to the muggle Prime Minister. He congratulated himself by slipping a half dozen cigars from the humidor on the desk to his own pocket.
Fudge tapped his foot and wondered what was keeping the Prime Minister. Of course, Fudge did not have an appointment and the war demanded Churchill's attention, but he should be able to do some of the work from his office and should have arrived an hour earlier - at least in the wizard's opinion.
The sound of the knob turning caught Fudge's attention. Churchill's distinctive voice could be heard, finishing a sentence, "… what Roosevelt does."
Three men stood in the doorway, surprised to find a visitor in the room. Fudge made a show of looking at his watch, "You're late for our appointment."
"I've no appointment with you," the Prime Minister growled.
The other two men headed for Fudge. The trespasser waved a wand at the pair, "Petrificus Totalus!" The two froze in position, unable to move a muscle. With another wave of his wand the door slammed shut behind the Prime Minster, and locked. "Well, I have an appointment with you," the wizard said. "I'm from the Ministry of Magic and-"
"Magic? Poppycock! I don't believe in magic."
"You might ask if either of these two believe in magic."
Churchill wondered why the two had stopped moving. He cautiously approached them, calling their names and receiving no response. He peered into their faces. "What did you do? Are they…"
"They are quite all right, and will start moving in about fifteen minutes. I know you're a busy man, but I want at least that much of your time."
"What is this Ministry of Magic nonsense?"
"It's not nonsense," Fudge said, and gestured to the Prime Minister to take his place behind the desk. "Wizards have been here as long as there are records. We're as English as you are. I dare say most of us are more English than you are."
"Leave my mother out of this."
"We have been advisors to kings and prime ministers. I am here to inform you of our existence and to introduce myself. My name is Servius Fudge and I have been appointed liaison between yourself and the Ministry of Magic." He offered his hand to the Prime Minister, who did not shake hands with the trespasser.
"I think you're an elaborate practical joke set up by those two," Churchill nodded in the direction of the men standing still. "And it's not appreciated. There's a war on."
Fudge sighed; this would not be as easy as he had hoped. He considered several things he might do, but Churchill would dismiss them as part of a joke. If he cast a Wingardium Leviosa spell on the chair the Prime Minister would look for wires or claim he had been hypnotized to imagine the chair flying. If he transfigured Churchill into a toad, a very attractive proposal, Fudge wasn't sure if Churchill the toad would remember the experience, and the fact it probably required kissing him to break the spell made the option even less attractive. Fudge sighed and wondered if this one might work.
"Why am I in a dress?" the Prime Minister asked.
"It belonged to her late majesty. I borrowed it from the Victoria and Albert."
"But, how did you-"
"I don't believe in magic."
"Says the man wearing one of Queen Victoria's favorite mourning dresses. Even that doesn't convince you?"
"No," Churchill grunted, "but I'll allow for the possibility you're telling me the truth."
"Thank you," Fudge replied. "I am here to tell you of the wizarding world's desire to help in any way we can and give you instructions on how you may contact me."
The Prime Minister looked at his two aides, frozen in place, "Can you teach our soldiers how to do that?"
"Actually, no. Some people have the gift of being able to do magic. Some do not. I fear that muggles, our term for those without the ability, can not be taught to perform magic."
"What can you do? Could I send wizards out with the army? Could you freeze an enemy army? Could you knock German bombers out of the sky?"
"Well…" Fudge hesitated, "yes and no."
"Yes and no? What sort of an answer is that?"
"Back in the days of Merlin and some other wizards who served kings we took a very active role in battles. We played a large part in the Hundred Years War. I'm afraid that some of the carnage of the Thirty Years War must be blamed on wizards. While representatives of the various nations met at Osnabrück to draw up the Peace of Westphalia the wizarding community met at Avignon and swore oaths to never again actively take a role in muggle wars."
Churchill raised an eyebrow, "Not take active roles?"
"There is debate about exactly what that means, some think it allows greater latitude that others."
"And there are wizards from other countries?"
"Yes. If we were to use magic in a visible way I think the German wizards would take an even more active role in supporting Hitler."
"You say the German wizards are supporting Hitler?"
Fudge hesitated again, "There is no proof of that, at the moment. But we think it possible."
"France? Poland? Czechoslovakia? Stalin?"
"We are in communication with French, Polish, and Czech witches and wizards. One of the things we can do in an unobtrusive way is to gather information and communicate in ways which can not be intercepted by any enemies. The Russian wizarding community is currently in a state of collapse. They favored the Whites during the civil war and Stalin has sought to destroy them. We are difficult to root out entirely, but the most of the Russian wizards are in seclusion."
"Not that Russians would do any good. As dangerous as Hitler, maybe worse. Unsecured communication channels to individuals with an unknown level of trustworthiness the best you can offer?"
"It is not the best we can offer," Fudge snapped. "I listed it as one way in which we would help our country. We will serve in the trenches like we did in the last war. We will serve in medical units - as we have for years. Those with second sight will-"
"Some are given the gift of seeing parts of the future. Some of us have other gifts. The Ministry wishes to assign three wizards to the unit guarding you. If the German wizards did send an assassin your regular guards would be as worthless as these two," he waved a hand at the still frozen men. "We can work in espionage, we have other ways to offer aid. And if the Germans land on English soil I dare say the wizards shall be there fighting on the beaches. But unless the Germans land on our beaches, or the German wizards are caught openly working for Hitler you should pray to God the wizards stay out of the fighting. There will be enough carnage and bloodshed without our help."
The Prime Minister sat quietly for a moment. "This is a great deal to think about…"
"I know that, Sir."
"You said something about letting me know how I could contact you."
Fudge passed the information on to the Prime Minister, who offered his hand to the wizard as Fudge prepared to leave. As they shook hands Fudge remembered, "Oh, a word of warning. Try and keep Ultra secret."
Churchill's jaw dropped open, "You know about Ultra?"
"How many? That's highest level of secrecy!"
"Yes, Sir, it is. But we know how to keep secrets. We will not make any slips of the tongue and let the truth out. I hope you learned your lesson on Russian code-breaking."
The Prime Minister frowned and Fudge kicked himself as he threw a pinch of floo powder and disappeared into the fireplace. He was not there to criticize Churchill for his past mistakes, he was there to establish a good working relationship with the man, it was what their country needed.
"We shall fight on the beaches," Churchill thought. "I like that line. Need to use it in a speech."
Fudge reflected it would increase his own importance at the Ministry, and cement the primacy of the Ministry in the wizarding community. There were still a few holdouts who recognized the remnants of the old Wizard's Guild and questioned the authority of the Ministry. The Ministry working with the government during the war would… Fudge felt vaguely ashamed of himself for seeing war as something to advance his own career. Too many had died in the last war. He would rather have been transformed into a muggle and given a job emptying dustbins than wish a war on his nation. He wanted his children to grow up in a world where there was real peace.
Anticipating an attack on Britain, the government launched another evacuation and between June 13 and June 18. Tens of thousands of children were returned to the country from London, and thousands more from other large cities. With the German navy ill-prepared to face the British navy the Germans required complete domination of the air to make any hope of an invasion possible. The early Luftwaffe forays across the channel were relatively small, too small to establish the air superiority Hitler's armies required.
The station was crowded with children, each with a bundle of clothing or a suitcase. Cards pinned on the children recorded their names. They carried postcards addressed to their homes which would be mailed as soon as they had a place to stay. Aide workers handed out box lunches.
The cacophony of departing trains, government officials yelling instructions back and forth to each other, children making all the noises children make, and mothers weeping and calling to their children from the other side of the gates was almost deafening.
The officer in charge frowned as a man in some sort of lavender robe glided up to him. "I'm the billeting officer for Hogsmeade."
"Then why the bloody hell aren't you in…" The government agent looked at his list of destinations for departing trains. "What is Hogsmeade?"
"Small town to the north. I'm here to accompany the evacuees."
"Then you stay there and don't add to the confusion here. We'll send them to you. And there's no Hogsmeade on my list of reception points."
"Yes, well that's why I'm here. I-"
A woman in a green garment and a group of children pushed their way towards the officer and the man in lavender - who waved to them. Julian Pilliwickle turned back to the government agent. "I am escorting these children to relatives and will take two hundred children in total."
The government official caught the eye to two policemen. "What is this woman doing here? All parents are to be outside the gate."
"Sorry, Sir. No idea how she got in here."
"Well get her out."
"I am not leaving," the woman in green told them firmly. "Not until my Myrtle and the other children are on the train."
"You'll leave now," one policeman told her firmly, "or I'll drag you off."
"I'm not leaving."
The policeman took her firmly by the arm, and couldn't move her.
"What's wrong," the second policeman asked.
"Little help here, Mate," the first requested. "Heavier than she looks."
The second policeman took her other arm. Both were visibly straining. And Charity Pilliwickle didn't move a fraction of an inch.
A third policeman came to help his comrades. He took hold of the woman's waist, and accomplished nothing along with the other two.
"It's quite hopeless, you know," Julian commented to the government agent. "My brother says that when his wife makes up her mind she is completely immovable."
The government official's face was purple with anger, "This is absurd. I have a job to do and-"
"And you will not get it done by arguing with me or my sister-in-law," Julian told him. "Here is the copy of my paperwork. I am trying very hard to escort evacuees to a designated reception point and you are keeping me from it. Call your supervisor if you have any questions."
The government agent almost dropped from apoplexy, "BLOODY HELL, MAN, I-"
"Watch your language," Charity told him sharply. "There are children present."
The man glanced down and noted the children. He then closed his eyes and counted slowly to ten. "Honestly, Julian," Charity complained, "are all muggles this incompetent?"
He did not know what a muggle was. He had always taken pride with the efficiency with which he accomplished the tasks given him - and he had been chosen for this thankless and impossible job because of how well he handled thankless and impossible tasks. He counted an extra ten. When he opened his eyes he told two of the policemen to make sure the man in lavender received the full contingent of evacuees his village had been assigned, and see that the woman in green left the station.
"Come along, children," Charity told the Diagon evacuees. "Myrtle, watch Cedric and tell him to stop picking his nose. Augusta, please take Millicent's hand."
The policemen led the Hogsmeade contingent to a crowd of children waiting to be placed on trains. "How many ya takin'?"
"Charity, how many are here from Diagon?"
"Well then," Julian mused. "Since we're to receive two hundred in total I need another one hundred and seventy-nine."
"Excuse me sir," a girl with brown hair and sallow complexion standing at the edge of the group said, "but you mean a hundred and sixty-nine."
Julian took offense at the effort to correct him. "I can count, you know. Three and seven make ten. So one hundred seventy nine with thirty one equals two hundred."
One of the policemen looked thoughtful, "She might be right."
"Nonsense, she's a child."
"You add the last digits, Sir, and carry the one," the girl explained.
"Leave math to adults," he told her. "Now, as I was saying, we-"
"She's right, Uncle Julian," Myrtle told him.
"Will you stop interrupting me? Look, I write the numbers down on the paper and…" He looked at the young girl. "It is very rude to correct your elders. You need better manners." He turned back to the policeman, "One hundred sixty-nine more children, if you please."
To Julian's displeasure the girl who corrected him was among those placed in his care.
An hour later the frustrated government agent noted one of the policemen he had assigned to the Hogsmeade evacuees. "Did that odd man get off with the children?"
"The odd man… The man what was here in lavender?"
"Yes. I sent you with him to see he departed and to get that woman out who was not supposed to be here."
"You sent me?" the policeman asked, clearly puzzled.
"Yes, I sent you!" the agent snapped. "You and Gordon. You left here with them."
"I don't remember that, Sir. Maybe you have me confused with another officer."
"Where have you been!"
"Well, Sir, I was here when that peculiar group was makin' all the trouble and… and…" He hesitated and glanced at his watch, "I don't right remember where I went. I'm not sure what happened to me."
The government agent cursed the police officer for being a fool and then, having no time to waste, returned to his job. He was conscientious enough to make a note and later verified with the office in charge of evacuees that the children sent to the mysterious Hogsmeade were reported to have arrived safely.
The children assigned to the Hogsmeade train were fortunate in many ways. Most of the trains departing London were filled with children squashed tightly together. At reception points along the way a certain number of children would leave the train, until gradually there was room enough for the remaining children to travel in comfort. The Hogsmeade train was an express and didn't suffer from crowding.
At sixteen Augusta Madley might have stayed with her family in Diagon until the start of Hogwarts, but for safety her mother wanted her to spend the war with her aunt, Victoria Oliphant, in Hogsmeade. Her cousin, Alice, had sent an owl saying the family would take in an evacuee and begging Augusta to find someone pretty and sweet-tempered. There was a common perception that muggle children were dirty and poorly behaved. Augusta walked through the train, until she found a girl who looked about Alice's age and who was better dressed than most of the evacuees. Augusta slid the door to the compartment open and went in to introduce herself.
The girl with the unhealthy complexion and ability to add was tall for her age, and some of the smaller children had gravitated to her. She felt as lost and uncertain as any of them in regard to what was happening, but spent her time telling them everything would be fine and they had nothing to worry about.
Six East End toughs tried to hide their fear of the unknown by taking over a compartment for themselves and telling off-color jokes to pass the time as they traveled to their unknown destination.
In another compartment a boy asked his lame older brother for the fourth time if his leg was comfortable. A boy with dark curly hair sat alone on the seat opposite the brothers, but never spoke a word to them, nor did they speak to him.
The Diagon Alley children were seen by the others as somehow special, they knew something about the village where they were all traveling. But other than Augusta the Diagon youth kept to themselves and said nothing about Hogsmeade to the larger group. Most of the London children were frightened by the talk of war they heard from radios and their parents. They were frightened to be sent away from their parents, and frightened of the unknown prospects which awaited them. Several of the London youth had left with Operation Piped Piper, but returned home during the Phony War. A few had stories of how nice their hosts had been. Most really had nothing definite to complain about, separation from their families had been their greatest cause for unhappiness with their hosts. Two had horror stories to tell the others of ill-treatment, and even those who had been treated well had heard of children who had been beaten, poorly fed, or forced to sleep in drafty attics or dank rat-infested basements.
The Hogsmeade station usually only saw such a crowd twice a year, at the beginning and end of the school year for Hogwarts. The weather cooperated for the evacuees that Midsummer's day as the train came to a stop and children began hopping off. A large number of villagers waited to see the children. Many had agreed to serve as hosts. Some were simply curious. It was the largest number of muggles in the village since it had been attacked centuries earlier. At the edges of the crowd a few dour individuals predicted that letting London send the scouring of its sewers to the village would be the end of them all.
The children blinked in surprise at those there to greet them. Some would have not been out of place on any street in London. Others wore garments curiously out of date or fashion. And others made the outlandish attire of the lavender-robed Julian Pilliwickle look conservative for the colors and styles they wore.
The billeting officer pointed to The Three Broomsticks, the most prominent building visible near the station. "Come along children, sorting ceremony in… I mean, your host families will choose you over there."
As they trudged to the public house some children could see the lake behind the crowd of villagers, and the sprawling ruins of some ancient stone building on the other side. Those who saw the school shivered. Surely no one would be sent to that uninhabitable pile of rubble.
The tables in The Three Broomsticks had been stacked in one corner of the room, and the muggle children stood nervously in the center of the room. The Diagon children had been claimed by their friends and relatives, and Augusta Madley had linked arms with the younger Victoria Leffington and asked her aunt to take the girl in.
In some villages across the country the residents simply claimed evacuees in a wild scramble. But the Hogsmeade Evacuee Committee had used a lottery system to assign the order in which villagers would select children.
Pericles Hart nudged the woman standing beside him with an elbow to move her aside so that he could have a better look at the evacuees.
The more attractive children were selected first, but what made a child an 'attractive' choice could vary in the eyes of the beholder. Some wanted younger children, and some villagers preferred older children. Some would only accept boys, and others would only consider girls.
Julian Pilliwickle stood to the side with a clipboard, carefully recording the names of children and host families, and seeing that the postal cards addressed to the parents were collected after being filled out with information on where the children would be staying.
Portia Higgs, elderly and eccentric, claimed the ability to read character. She chose early and picked Shirley Agar, perhaps the smallest child there but a beautiful little girl. "You'll be a right charmer," Miss Higgs said. She stared at another young girl, Judy Gumm, who seemed plain standing near the adorable Shirley. "I've not seen any with talent like you have, come with me." The elderly witch looked the children over, "And I need a dependable girl to help me with those two…" She pointed to Mary Fisk, the girl who knew how to add, "You, child, come along now."
Late in the selection process Pericles Hart took the half dozen rough looking boys out to his farm. Other villagers had avoided the East End lads, but he saw potential in the youths.
The children were selected more quickly than most had anticipated, with many families who accepted evacuees taking more than one. Some who had agreed to accept children began to slip away as the number of children dwindled and they didn't see a child they wanted to host.
A middle-aged couple stood to the side waiting their turn, "We should leave," he suggested.
"We agreed we could take two," she reminded him.
"We said we could take two girls. If you look you'll note there are only boys left."
"We could host two boys."
"We don't know anything about raising boys. We understand girls," he protested. "At least to the extent anyone can understand women."
"You were a boy," she reminded him. "And I'm rather partial to the way you turned out. Certainly you remember something of being a boy."
"Exactly, my dear, and that is why I want nothing to do with them."
"It is our Christian duty, and duty as citizens, to help. I should be very disappointed in you, Aberforth, if I believed you seriously meant that."
"Yes, Ellie," he smiled, and silently hoped that all the children were selected before their number to chose came up.
But the two families with numbers before the Dumbledores had left as the number of children needing hosts grew smaller. And when Julian Pilliwickle called their names Eleanor nudged Aberforth to send him up. There were three boys left. One, a likely looking lad, had steadfastly refused to leave his older brother, whose cane branded him a cripple in the eyes of potential host families. Aberforth appreciated loyalty to family. He would ask the brothers to come home with him. Before saying anything he glanced at third boy. He didn't look English. The dark curly hair, heavily-lidded eyes, and hooked nose said Eastern Europe - perhaps already a refugee from Hitler on top of being an evacuee from London.
The lad looked frightened, unsure if anyone would select him. Aberforth glanced around the room, now largely empty. A couple of Hogsmeade's more notorious gossips were there to watch the proceedings and gather information, and families who had already made selections were talking with friends and relatives, but he saw no one there waiting to host evacuees.
Aberforth turned to the Billeting Officer, "I'll take all three, Julian," he grunted. He was afraid to turn and face his wife; they had agreed to take two evacuees, not three. He should have consulted her first. Julian hastily finished the paperwork and collected the postal cards to send home to the boys' parents.
"Get your truck, lads," he told the boys, who quickly gathered their belongings. The dark boy had a small suitcase and a pasteboard box. Most of the clothing for the brothers had been stuffed in two pillowcases. He finally risked a glance at this wife, fearing a look of displeasure. But when he looked at his wife Eleanor gave him a smile that made up for the extra trouble - at least for the day.
He offered her his arm and she took it, then glanced behind them at the boys. The younger of the brothers struggled with his belongings and those of his older brother. Eleanor gave her husband a look of reproach. "Here, lad," Aberforth sighed, "let me help you with those." He grasped both pillowcases stuffed with clothing in one hand and put a parcel under one arm before turning back to his wife. "Satisfied, Dear?"
She kissed him on the cheek. "I can always count on you to do the right thing. Sometimes you just need a little reminder."
"Sometimes I'd be happy if a little reminder were all you gave me," he thought - but wisely said nothing as they left the Three Broomsticks and headed home.
In a few weeks the station would see another crowd as new and returned students arrived for another year at Hogwarts.
The German air raids grew in size and intensity over the summer. On September 7, 1940, the attack on the docks east of London by three hundred and fifty German bombers took the Battle of Britain to a level known as the Blitz.
The USSR denied the existence of the secret protocols in its non-aggression pact with Germany until 1989. They insisted the supposed protocols were a Western fabrication, part of Cold War anti-Soviet propaganda, until Gorbachev declared that the Soviet Union needed to deal honestly with its history.
England 'winning' the war helped create the popular image of Churchill as a hero for many who survived the war and wrote the histories afterward - very much like the memory of Stalin in the USSR glossed over his other actions to emphasize the fight against Hitler. Many Brits had not voted for him, regarding him as a typical slimy politician, bigot, and man who had made poor decisions - such as the disastrous Gallipoli attack. And his loose talk was blamed for the Soviets learning that England had broken their codes - which caused them to change them.
Some words are simply understood, such as the Victoria and Albert (Museum), (the Palace of) Saint James, Notre Dame (Cathedral), or Guinness (Draught/Original). Guinness Red or Guinness Bitter might need explanation, the word Guinness, alone, requires none.
With help supplied by Poles before the Nazis invaded their country the Ultra project broke the codes used by the Germans with their Enigma machines.
Churchill delivered his, "We shall fight on the beaches," speech on June 4, 1940.
The Railway Regulation Act of 1844 set standards for rail safety and required a certain number of reasonably prices tickets be available. Parliamentary regulations also required a certain number of runs along a rail line to demonstrate it remained in service. Trains sent out to fulfill the requirements were termed Parliamentary trains. Over time, however, some spur lines have become largely abandoned with the Parliamentary runs largely a legal fiction to claim the line remains open.