"The vaults were reached by means of small, goblin-driven carts that sped along miniature train tracks through the bank’s underground tunnels."
—The usage of these carts in Gringotts[src]

A Mine Cart[4] is used to transport customers between the vaults of Gringotts Wizarding Bank. Only goblins employed at Gringotts bank can operate these and have special places for lanterns. They move on specially laid tracks at the bank and are magically operated.[1][2][3]



"Griphook whistled and a small cart came hurtling up the tracks toward them. They climbed in — Hagrid with some difficulty — and were off. At first they just hurtled through a maze of twisting passages. Harry tried to remember, left, right, right, left, middle fork, right, left, but it was impossible. The rattling cart seemed to know its own way, because Griphook wasn’t steering."
—Harry riding one of these carts for the first time in Gringotts[src]

A goblin using a Gringotts cart

Before entering Hogwarts School, Harry Potter and Rubeus Hagrid went to Gringotts to obtain some gold from the vault of Harry's parents and Hagrid got the Philosopher's Stone from vault 713. With the help of the Gringotts goblin Griphook, they used the Gringotts cart passing with the help of railway tracks to go to their desired vaults. The cart seemed to know its own way, because Griphook wasn’t steering. Griphook also claimed the cart only operated in one speed when Hagrid asked him to slow it down due to feeling sick as a result of the cart's speed and twisting movements. They plunged even deeper, passing an underground lake where huge stalactites and stalagmites grew from the ceiling and floor.[1]


In August 1992, Harry Potter entered Gringotts again to access money from his vault, in order to buy his second year school supplies in Diagon Alley. He entered with the Weasley family, and felt guilty when he reached their family vault, considering it had very little money inside it, compared to his own.[2]


"With a jerk the cart moved off, gathering speed: they hurtled past Travers, who was wriggling into a crack in the wall, then the cart began twisting and turning through the labyrinthine passages, sloping downwards all the time. Harry could not hear anything over the rattling of the cart on the tracks: his hair flew behind him as they swerved between stalactites, flying ever deeper into the earth, but he kept glancing back."
—Harry Potter riding a Mine cart in 1998, whilst infiltrating Gringotts[src]

The trio riding a Mine Cart with Bogrod and Griphook, whilst infiltrating Gringotts bank

Harry Potter decided to infiltrate Gringotts to obtain one of Tom Riddle's Horcruxes he believed that was in Bellatrix Lestrange's vault. While in the Shell Cottage, Harry sought for the help of Griphook to assist them to break-in. Later Griphook agreed to help them but in exchange for Godric Gryffindor's Sword because he considered it a Goblin property, claiming that Godric Gryffindor had stolen it from goblin Ragnuk.[3]

To break-in, Harry Potter and Griphook hid themselves using Harry's Invisibility cloak, while Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger used Polyjuice Potion. Hermione disguised herself as Bellatrix Lestrange and Ron disguised himself as an unnamed person but was described as having long and wavy hair, a thick brown beard and moustache, no freckles, a short, broad nose, and heavy eyebrows. Later Hermione named him as "Dragomir Despard" when they encountered Travers, a Death Eater who also intended to go to his own vault in Gringotts.[3]

Harry had to use the Imperius Curse on Bogrod, another goblin, to be able to control him and assist them. Bogrod escorted them using the Gringotts cart but they passed over the Thief's Downfall, a defence that conjures an enchanted waterfall that can wash away all enchantment and magical concealment. This revealed the disguised figure over Hermione and Ron, and returned them to their original state and the Gringotts cart they used was smashed into pieces. Shortly later, when Harry, Hermione and Ron escaped on the Ukrainian Ironbelly, a Gringotts dragon, a part of the mine track broke when the dragon climbed on it with its claws. This caused a cart with several goblins and Gringotts guards to go flying off and plunging down into the darkness, killing them.[3]


Notes and references

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