It’s December and that can only mean one thing here at LR Towers – it is time for the world famous (almost) Christmas Quiz!

As always, we’ve tried to make it really hard. As always, you will all no doubt surprise us by getting more answers than we thought.

Prizes are not yet finalised but there’ll be at least a couple of copies of the truly excellent Underground: How the Tube Shaped London up for grabs. As usual, there’ll be more books randomly swiped from our collective bookshelves, and we’ll be trying to bully London’s finest transport providers into sending the winners some unique things as well.

For some inexplicable reason, we also seem to have a box of Overground-branded wallets sitting around in LR Towers, so we’ll be giving five of those randomly to people who enter but don’t win. So however many answers you think you know, it is probably worth a punt.


To enter send your answers to [email protected] by 1st January 2013 with the word “quiz” in the subject line somewhere. In a break from tradition (and because more often than not they’re incorrect and confuse people anyway), we’re going to ask you not to post guesses at answers in the comments this year. If you think you know the answer to a question but don’t want to enter, then feel free to post clues or hints, but actual answers (correct or incorrect) and hints the judges deem too close to the bone will be deleted.

Happy answering, and a very Merry Christmas from all of us here at LR!


Q1: What links, in two steps, this lady’s bad hair day to Sweden?

A Bad Hair Day

A Bad Hair Day

Q2: What links this model to groups of musicians, philosophers, and engineers via a London Transport icon?

A very particular model

A very particular model

Q3: Which six stations are featured in the montage below?

The Tube squared

Q4: If Oliver was 2 and Florence 17, how “old” were John and Sarah (You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to work out the answer but it might help)?

Q5: Which three alphanumeric traditions does the New Bus for London carry over from the last bus London Transport designed for itself (the Routemaster)?

Q6: Other than route 38, which is the only other bus route to have featured the New Bus for London in public service this year?

Q7: Lord Ashfield and Frank Pick aside, who is the longest serving person to have been at the head of “London Transport” (in its original form and its successors)? A bonus point if you can also tell us the last “LT Chief” to be knighted…

Q8: What links an algorithmist, a cartographer, two queens and a Kingdom? Explain your workings – that’s a clue not an instruction…

Q9: The traditional captive locomotive question – where was this engine built? Where is it now?

A lonely little engine

Q10: In what year did the London Underground suffer its first Irish terrorist attack?

Q11: Going back in time, where in London were we in the photo below, and what piece of transport infrastructure would you find there now?

A trip back in time

Q12: In the quote below, who was “Denis” talking to, and what piece of London’s rail network were they building?

[X] said to me, “Denis, this programme is going to have a design committee of two, you and me.” And I said “What are you talking about, [X]? We’ve got LT Standing Orders and we’ve got a design committee with the great and the good on it.” He said, “I know, Denis, that’s exactly what your job is: to keep them off my back while I build the railway.”

Q13: Merchant, ????, Pembury, Billet, Market, Goose, Flower, ????, Station. Which two stations are missing from this London railway line.

Q14: The “name that line” question (also known as “Tingey’s downfall”). Name this tube line:

Guess the line

Guess the line

Q15: A number of TfL services pass beneath the Thames, but how many tunnels do they do it in?

And finally the question that will separate the men (and women) from the boys (and girls)…

Q16: In the car park of which South London depot will you find this rather lonely looking Roundel…

A very lonely Roundel

Happy guessing!

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There are 66 comments on this article
  1. Pete In USA says:

    Whew! I only got two… maybe!

    Of course I’ll very interested in seeing whether I got those two right. And all the other answers.


  2. Ian J says:

    Well I think I’ve got a whole three so far… I’d better start thinking. And a hint about hints for the uninitiated: pay very careful attention to filenames.

  3. Anonymous says:

    And if this quiz proves too easy, you can always push your sanity to its limits with this little Tub station game:

  4. Mwmbwls says:

    This did not make the cut in this year’s Christmas Quiz but just for fun and just for Greg who should know the answer

    Greg’s Personal Christmas Quiz Question.


  5. Pedantic of Purley says:

    I know that heater well. Unfortunately the staff rarely move away from it when its cold. When are they going to finish the rebuilding work? It seems to be going on forever.

  6. Greg Tingey says:

    I note you don’t asy “Bus” or “Tube” depot!

    I suspect, as usual, I’ll come 4th or 5th, because my google-fu isn’t up to it!

  7. Littlejohn says:

    @Greg Tingey 09:22AM, 12th December 2012

    Buses have garages (at least in LT terminology). Trams, trolleybuses and trains have depots. Is there a hidden clue here? Will it help me improve on my annual 2 correct answers?

  8. Pedantic of Purley says:

    I am sure that “depot” was used as a generic term to cover bus, tube or possibly tram. It is also sufficiently vague when applied to buses to possibly refer to garages or something that is not a garage.

    There is no intended clue in the above and I didn’t set the question but believe that I know the answer.

    On the subject of Google, I strongly suspect that the questions have been carefully worded to make them “ungoogleable” so don’t worry unduly about your internet searching skills.

  9. PhilD says:

    While I remember, I never got my prize from last year’s quiz 🙁
    But looking forward to this one, looks a real challenge 🙂

  10. John Bull says:

    Drop me an email Phil – thought we got receipt confirmations for everything, but maybe we missed something. If so we’ll send you something off the bookshelf!

    And yes, “depot” is intended to be deliberately generic, so consider Mr Tingey’s comment a hint.

  11. Greg Tingey says:

    The heater HAS to be … Blackfriars.
    The “50% longer” poster on the temporary hoarding is the give-away!
    I suspect the answer to No 1 is the Euston Tap, because of the destinations-list on the porticoes, but I’ll have to check…..

    Meanwhile, are clues (at least) to the asnwers contained in the past year’s posts, or not?

  12. Pedantic of Purley says:

    At least one is (assuming I am correct).

  13. Mwmbwls says:

    Well done Greg – Pneumonia Central it is

  14. Anonymous says:

    Well, with a trailing wind I’ve got one and possibly two…. wonderful gents, thanks very much. Happy Crimble to you and yours at LR Towers!

  15. timbeau says:

    I can think of at least three possible answers for Q14, depending on the date of the map.

  16. John Bull says:

    If you compare the width of the blue bar to annual average Thames levels since the mid-19th century then you should be able to work out the year.*

    *I may or may not be joking

  17. Fandroid says:

    In researching Q7, it’s educational to see that LT started under local control and was then nationalised twice and denationalised twice! What fun our politicians have had!

  18. Pedantic of Purley says:


    The date of the map is 2012. What year it represents is another matter. For clarity, this tube line carried passengers – it was not mere speculation. And obviously a tunnel that people walk through would not count. Without knowing your possible answers I cannot state definitively but I believe that anything other than the correct answer would not be entirely consistent with this diagram.

  19. Mack says:

    Ah I remember that heater well. Kept me warm for many an hour while working. I did prefer the box that came with it when first installed.

  20. timbeau says:

    Past tense, and a tunnel. That rules out two of my possibilities.

  21. Ian J says:

    @timbeau – so what tube lines cross the river not in a tunnel, but with only one station on each side? The diagram would fit the dangleway but, while it is on the tube map, that is supposedly an “Air Line”.

  22. Greg Tingey says:

    Re the very short tube line …
    It WAS a tube line.
    The tunnel still exists.
    It was NOT electric or (direct) steam traction – think “Clockwork Orange” or London & Blackwall for haulage method ….
    There, that should help you!

    I Stll have not definitely worked out some of the Q’s, & some are quite entertaining: …
    1: I’m guessing the answer at present.
    3. part 3 has (I think) two possible answers
    4. part 1 has more than one correct answer, by the way.[ But I have got them ]
    5. Only partly correct so far.
    8. Obvious, once I sit down with a map, I think.
    9. This really anoys me & googling gives me spurious references to a certain minature railway, grrrrowl.
    13. Had me in fits of laughter – I think, btw, the answer to the first station is “blank” but the penultimate should say “Oak” (come out of the station on the East side, turn R-&-L – away from the LC – go one short block, it is in front of you)…
    14. See answer given above!
    16. AAAARRRGGGHHH! I suspect you will either “know” this one, or not. I don’t.

  23. Pedantic of Purley says:

    It couldn’t have been the dangleway as, apart from not being a tube line, the diagram would have had to have included the rather dubious connections at each end. I didn’t say it was a tunnel only that a tunnel that people walked through didn’t count – but it could be a tunnel. I referred to the past tense simply because I was referring to the time in question. The intention was not to suggest it does not carry passengers today – which it may or may not do.

    I realised afterwards that I did unintentionally give a strong but subtle clue that, if you were in any doubt, would eliminate any other possibility.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I did find the extraneous details in the picture useful for Q9. Now I’m wondering why the engine is where it is.

  25. Greg Tingey says:

    Yes, it tells you which London Borough it’s in, hence my “grrowl” comment, but I still can’t find any other details, at present….

  26. timbeau says:

    By googling an unlikely (but plausible) word I found it as the top hit! I don’t know why it’s there either, but I can hazard a guess as to why it was removed from its previous home. There has been discussion of connecting the area to a TfL service, but there is a techniocal reason why it is highly unlikely this lonely loco far from home will ever run on it.


  27. timbeau says:

    Q14 yes I did miss “tube” in the question, but given the poor connections I don’t think its in inaccurate representation of the Dangleway.

    Moreover, no-one has actually confirmed that the blue bar is what we probably all think it is! I can think of at least two stretches of water (and a mountain range) that would fit. Even if it is what I think it is, it COULD be London Country’s short lived cycle-transporting bus service through the Dratford Tunnel! (That’s a tube!)

    But I think it’s none of the above.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Greg, it was what I could see not just the info you found. But maybe I was lucky.

  29. Whiff says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds the quiz entertaining but challenging. I would complain about the number of clues people are giving but none of them have helped me yet!

  30. Anon in NZ says:

    @timbeau at 18.36

    This may not (or may!) be relevant to the Christmas quiz, but the cycle-transporting double-decker bus that I used through the Dartford Tunnel was some years before London Country was formed – about 1963, I think. There’s more info at

  31. timbeau says:

    @anon in NZ
    My mistake – at the time it was still the Country area of London Transport

  32. Fandroid says:

    I went through the Dartford Tunnel in around 1965 on a small single-decker bus. It was part of an (unsuccessful) attempt to get all the way round London on green buses in a single day.

  33. Anon in NZ says:

    @Fandroid @ 1741

    I made the round-London attempt with a Green Rover several times, heading for the Tilbury Ferry (which had standard BR-style signage in Russian, I remember), but never quite made it… Getting round west London was much easier than the far east! It would have been easy with a Golden Rover, but too expensive (and no challenge).

  34. Greg Tingey says:

    Well, I now have two possible answers for Q1 – I’ll have to check
    Two alternatives (both or either true?) for Q 3/3
    Like I said before, there is more than one correct answer for 4/1
    Q’s 5 & 6 I have partially, at least.
    Q’s 7 – 15 are sorted.
    Which leaves Q 16.
    Oh dear.

  35. stevekeiretsu says:

    I think I’ve got one third of a point.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Not sure if it’s allowed to ask for clarifications, but worth a shot. (Or maybe someone else can help me out…)

    In Q4, is there any significance to the order of ‘Oliver’ and ‘Florence’, and ‘John’ and ‘Sarah’?

  37. Sunny Jim says:

    Great quiz, very challenging. Just a quick point of clarification: on Q15, does a rail line that passes under the Thames several times over a number of miles count as one tunnel, or do you want us to treat each crossing as a separate tunnel?

  38. John Bull says:

    Each point a tunnel crosses the Thames counts as a separate “tunnel” for the purpose of this exercise.

  39. Ian J says:

    Does a tunnel with two separate bores joined by arches count as one tunnel or two?

  40. Greg T ingey says:

    Anon @ 15.45

    Sunny Jim
    I suspect it counts as a different tunnel?
    As, Yes, JB says so ….

    Ian J
    The ELL, the Brunel masterpiece is always called “The Thames Tunnel, not “tunnels” for instance.

  41. timbeau says:

    But the Dartford Tunnel and Channel Tunnel are also referred to in the singular, despite having two (or more) bores.

  42. Fandroid says:

    Stop this ‘clarification’ debate. I don’t want to count those tunnels yet again!

  43. John Bull says:

    This is actually one of the questions where the answer is already in an LR Article. You just need to think about which one might be relevant to the topic!

  44. Lazarus says:

    That’s one question I ought to get right, then.

  45. Bob says:

    In question 6 do each of the stations count as one mark or 1/6th of a mark?

  46. bob says:

    also in q7 does ‘chief’ mean Chief Executive?

  47. Anonymous says:

    The Thames Tunnel is a bad example because it was dug as a single, erm, tunnel (by hand) and then separated with arches (so not totally separated) later.

  48. Mwmbwls says:

    Happy New Year Dave – Make sure your entry is in by tomorrow.

  49. timbeau says:

    When will we be told the answers? Since I only knew (or knew how to find out) the answers to half the questions (plus half of a question), I didn’t get round to entering. Nevertheless, I’m intrigued to know what the answers to the other questions were:

    For the record, I was stumped on 1, 3b-d, 5, 7, 8, 12 ,13, and 16.

    (I was rather pleased to find the answer to Q9 so easily though)

  50. Greg Tingey says:

    My (provisional) answers were …..

    1. POSSIBLY:Liverpool St – Harwich; Harwich – Esbjerg
    But I’m not sure…
    2. Model is “Great Bear” – the Churchward pacific. So – “Great Bear” tube map tribute/spoof/repro. ….. giving: Musicians on the “Met”, Philosophers on the Circus oops, circle, & Engineers on the Bakerloo!
    3. L-R, top to bottom: Baker Street; Lords, Met line; St John’s – or – Colliers Wood; Gant’s Hill; Holloway Road?; Charing Cross.
    4. John Lyon, No 1; John Milton, No9, John Wycliffe No19, Sarah Siddons IS No 12.
    NOTE THE THREE “John’s” !
    5. Numberplate corresponding to serial no / Model number / trail Route Number (?)
    6. Route 9 or 73, probably 9.(?)
    7. The current holder, Hendy @ 6 years & 10 months (!) – & Sir Malcom Bates 2001-3
    8. District Line Victoria, Boudicca’s statue by Westminster, RGS @ South Kensington etc ….
    9. Built by Oy Tampella Ab, 1925, Blumson’s woodyard, Barking. IG11 0DN
    10. 3rd February 1939, Tottenham Court Road & Leicester Square stations.
    11. Now ELL extension, between Dalston Jn & Haggerston – the view is looking South
    12. Denis is: Tunnicliffe, MD of LUL 1988-98, chair to 2000, so it has to be the Jubilee line extension, & the other speaker is almost certainly Bob Mitchell.
    13. It’s the Chingford Branch! So the missing stations are Bethnal Green & Highams Park.
    14. Looks remarkably like the Tower subway to me! Opened 1870, IIRC.
    15. Running East to West.
    DLR Woolwich; Jubbly N Greenwich; Jubbly N Greenwich AGAIN; DLR Greenwich; Jubbly Canary Wharf; The Thames Tunnel; Northern London Bridge; Drain; Bakerloo & Northern Waterloo (count 2); Jubbly Westminster; & Victoria line … making:
    12 in total.
    HS1 doesn’t count, not being a TfL service!
    16. Not a clue!

    Tell us the missing answers & where I’ve got it wrong, then?

  51. Anon in NZ says:

    I’ve no reason to argue with Greg’s answers (mostly because I haven’t a clue), except:

    3 Top middle: Leicester Square rather than Lord’s
    8. Not the District Line – they’re the people Crossrail’s TBMs are named after
    10. I think 1883 rather than 1939, at Praed St & Westminster on 30 October – the Fenians were at it a long time before the IRA.

    And only late entrants (or those in the know) would have got the supplementary in 7!

  52. John Bull says:

    Official answers will be up tomorrow evening at this rate. I’m about half way through scoring all the entries.

  53. John Bull says:

    And yes – the correct answer to the Q7 bonus differs, depending on whether you submitted your answers before or after the Honours were announced!

  54. Sunny Jim says:

    Unfortunately I completed most of the quiz quite early but held off submitting it until the last day in case I got some last-minute inspiration on the questions I couldn’t answer (I was basically stumped by 1, 2 and 8). And I completely forgot to check the New Year Honours. Anyway, this was the first LR quiz that I’ve done and I found it great fun. Well done to JB and co.

  55. John Bull says:

    I wouldn’t worry – in reality I’ve been accepting both “correct” answers, regardless of date submitted.

  56. timbeau says:

    Greg – I don’t think your No 5 can be right – since 2001 no British numberplates have had a numerical part except for the year identifier (e.g. LT 12 HHT), which only changes twice a year, so could only match the fleetnumbers in 600 buses if they took 300 years to deliver!
    (although I note that the first part of the reg – LT – is the same as the class designation, which is, I think, a first: maybe it’s that?).

    6 – One of them worked the 23A Warminster to Imber service on June 4th, alongside several Routemasters. (This service only runs once a year, as Imber is a ghost village in the middle of an MoD firing range)

    15 – you’ve missed a lot – all but one of those have separate north and southbound tunnels, (there was some discussion about whether the Thames Tunnel was also actually two separate tunnels) and, although there is no longer a service through the tunnel between Rotherhithe and Limehouse, you’ve also missed thetwin tunnels between Poplar and North Greenwich, so I think the answer is 25

  57. Greg,

    The second comment included the advice And a hint about hints for the uninitiated: pay very careful attention to filenames. In our Christmas Quiz you have to look everywhere for clues. If you put the name of the file in Q1 (adding spaces) into a search engine you get a famous Swedish pop-group. So that gives you the second step. Now all you have to do is relate the picture to the pop-group in question. But in general an impressive set of answers – better than I could do.

    Q14, Yes, opened (and closed) in 1870. I did write in a comment What year it represents is another matter which suggests there is only one year for which the diagram could have been representative.

  58. Sunny Jim says:

    Re Q5, I thought the point about registration numbers was the inclusion of the letters ‘LT’. This was done on most of the early Routemasters and on the New Bus. In both cases, the letters come from the geographical identifier part of the registration number.

    Re Q15, I also included the two bores of the Blackwall Tunnel as the 108 bus uses this (the question says “TfL services”, not just railways), but I ended up with a total of 25 anyway, so maybe I missed something else.

  59. Greg Tingey says:

    I counted all the tunnels as “SIngles” not “Doubles” if you see what I mean i.e. One line = one tunnel, not one line = 2 tunnels.
    Bugger – forgor Blackwall & ROTHERHITE tunnels. so that’s another TWO (not three by my recknoning), making ….14….
    I think the two foot-tunnels are council property though?
    I submitted before New Years’ Honours …..

  60. timbeau says:

    Sunny Jim

    I was trying not to be too obvious, but my reference to the ” tunnels between Poplar and North Greenwich” was indeed meant to imply the Blackwall Tunnel.

    All but one of the first 1600 Routemasters did indeed have *LT registrations, and all RMs from RM5 onwards had numbers that matched the fleetnumber SLT56 – 59, VLT5-300, WLT301-999, (100BXL), 1 – 600 CLT, 601DYE etc

  61. timbeau says:

    Greg – the Rotherhithe Tunnel has not seen a TfL service since the demise of the 395 in 2007. (There is currently noi TfL service through the Datrford Tunnel either)

  62. Julia says:

    timbeau: the NBFLs can’t match the numeric part on their registrations in the obvious way, but they do it more subtly: LT1 is LT61*A*HT, then B=2, C=3, D=4, etc.

  63. timbeau says:

    That’s great news! Given that the letter “I” (and Q) is not a valid letter for registration marks, that means there can never be more than eight of these over-engineered, noisy, claustrophobic monstrosities (or, at most, 24) !

  64. Leytonstoner says:

    Q9 – how dense can I be? I’ve finally twigged it’s location after all this time. I parked my car next to the lonely loco on more than occasion whilst purchasing materials from the yard that is now its home.

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