The 2016 London Reconnections Christmas Quiz


It’s that time of year again. 2016 has been quite a busy year transport-wise with plenty of opportunities for questions.

In case some are new to the Christmas quiz here is a bit of background:

The Christmas Quiz is intended to test not only your transport knowledge but also your ability to think laterally. Questions are intended to vary between easy and very difficult but not impossible – or at least not impossible to have a plausible guess at (perhaps with a bit of creative searching).

We try not to ask trick questions, but won’t hesitate to put you off the scent occasionally. For once there is not a single question about Metropolitan Railway locomotives – either steam or electric – and if it were not for this comment Sarah Siddons wouldn’t get a mention. Equally, we often try to include subtle cryptic clues. Regular participants will know that the filename of a picture will give a bit of a clue to an answer.

Prizes on offer so far include several copies of the magnificent high specification reproduction of the iconic British Rail Corporate Identity Manual. This is an absolute work of art, and we’re very grateful to Wallace Henning for volunteering a few copies from his limited print run as prizes. We’re also on the lookout for more prizes, so if you, or your company, wishes to donate to the prize pot then just email us.

As always though, the real prize is the opportunity to demonstrate your superiority over the LR Towers brain trust and your fellow readers. For this reason, please be aware that any answers (or clues we think are too obvious) will be deleted from the comments.

The closing time and date is 23:59 on New Year’s Eve. We aim to publish the answers at 00:01 on New Years Day. Rest assured we will not be relying on the time taken from the London Reconnections website, which in St Pancras Clock railway tradition, is always slightly fast. Sometime after that but, not too long we hope, we will publish the winners, identified by a suitable pseudonym agreeable to them, and an analysis of how people, in general, got on – in a break from previous years this will be done by myself, so that it doesn’t get lost in the editorial mix.

Each question or part of a question normally carries one mark, although some questions are worth two. It is relatively obvious where this is the case. Please send your answers to [email protected] with the word “quiz” in the subject line.

Side note: If you’re looking to run an office or Christmas party quiz this year, we’ve put together a pack containing a “best of” selection of questions and answers from earlier years. Simply email us at [email protected] and we’ll send you a copy free of charge.

As always, thank you all again for reading throughout the year. Without you all, writing LR would be a far less enjoyable experience. So from all of us here at LR Towers…

…Merry Christmas!

Now Let’s begin with an easy question…

Question 1

In 2016 two long-prepared timetables finally came into use in London.

The coming to fruition of which project enabled this to happen?

Question 2

In 2014 we posed a question about a coat of arms. For 2016, here is the coat of arms of The Duke of Burgundy (courtesy Wikipedia).


Coat of Arms of the Duke of Burgundy

Why should the Duke of Burgundy be grateful to Network Rail for the East-West rail project?

Question 3

Time for a really hard question.


What is the link between the address shown in the picture and the railways?

(and it is nothing to do with Crossrail)

Question 4

On which TfL service can you pay with Oystercard but not with any other form of contactless payment?

Question 5

What have the following all got in common?

  • The mandatory overrun section between the final stop light and the buffers at Bank station on the Waterloo & City line platforms
  • The crossover tunnel just north of Aldwych station used to enable trains to transfer from one running tunnel to the other at the terminus
  • The train heaters on the Victoria line

Question 6

The classic ‘guess the station’ question: What is this station called and where is it?


Question 7

This sign correctly points in the direction of Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, although the quickest route you can actually take to these locations is not as direct as the sign suggests.

If a gentleman was so inclined, where might he find this sign?


Question 8

On an annualised basis, Diamond Geezer reports that Sudbury and Harrow Road station is the least used National Rail station in London. What constitutes a “least used” station is based on annual statistics for each National Rail station.

If the statistics were compiled on a monthly basis, however, then one station would probably stand out this year for one particular month as being the least used – because trains only called at it for 2 days out of the entire month.

Name the station and the month?

Question 9

Which two, two-word Underground or underground stations could you reasonably associate with this?


Question 10

This is a slightly unusual challenge. We are going to provide the answer and it is up to you to provide a plausible question. So, please provide a question for which the answer is:

17 miles 528 yards

Question 11

Regulars will know we have a bit of an obsession with tunnelling shields and Tunnel Boring Machines when it comes to quiz questions.

It is possible to see the cutting edges of a tunnelling shield at Rotherhithe. But to be specific, where would we have to go to take a picture of this?

Question 12

Who or what connected London and Greenwich and is immortalised in connecting SELCHP Energy Recovery Facility (by Bermondsey Diveunder) and Silwood Sidings?

Question 13

If we include all forms of road, rail and light rail services, and if we treat all Overground lines as separate services, then on how many TfL services MUST you push a button once the vehicle has stopped in order to alight?

Question 14

Most of London Overground’s East London Line operations are based at New Cross Gate. But a team member (or three) bridge the gap between Overground and other services elsewhere. On an average working day, Where will you find the permanent ELL operations staff based furthest from New Cross Gate?

Question 15


Where might you find the button in the picture? Why might you legitimately push it?

Question 16

What transport item might you relate to two contenders for the America’s Cup in the 19th Century, a pub at Rotherhithe and, very indirectly, to the musical “My Fair Lady”? For the opera buffs amongst you, a musical work by Handel can be substituted for the latter.

Question 17

What were the first stations on the Underground (or its predecessors) to have driver-only-operated trains?

Question 18

P was rather anxious for T’s wife to meet R. As recalled by P:

Then I noticed J (P’s wife) talking to T who had characteristically turned up to the party self-propelled, or to be precise, in an experienced-looking station waggon loaded with his golf kit. ‘He’ll take us,’ J called to me, and I saw her helping to make room by swinging a suitcase off the back seat which was covered in not-very-new tufted nylon. T … sped through the formal checkpoints and manoeuvred nimbly through the string of black limos which had been slowed to the pace of dignified hippos. He rounded the awkward driveway … ‘Told you I’d do it for you,’ he said to me, tossing the keys at an amazed commissionaire, and so he had.

a) Who is T?
b) Who is R?

Question 19

Betjeman called me an expression of blighted hope. Certainly by the time he visited I was well out of the League. Even Barry left me in the end, although a little piece of him will always remain. They all thought me terminal but they were wrong. Today I’m more popular than ever.

Which station am I?

Question 20

Apart from (potentially) stopping a train, what is so important about the buffer stops at Ongar?

Question 21

A pair of platform questions to terminate with: Which London terminus has a platform zero, and from which terminus are trains sometimes shown as departing from platform A at that station – even though there is no such platform there?

Thanks to those who have contributed with questions or ideas. For the moment they shall remain nameless.

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Written by Pedantic of Purley