2017 Quiz Answers


Here are the answers to the 2017 quiz. We were surprised by how well people did and the number of answers with almost all the questions correct.

Question 1

We asked what was wrong with the diagram on the front page of a South Western Railway timetable. The answer was that the positions of Clapham Junction and Woking were transposed. We really hope everyone got this question correct.

Question 2

We asked you to complete a plausible headline for October 2017 about the Waterloo & City line concerning it being extended. You had to complete ‘Waterloo & City line: Extended …

The answer we were looking for related to time not space as the latest working timetable came into operation on 9th October 2017 to be ready for the opening of the new Bloomberg Building. To quote from the timetable “Passenger services have been revised to start earlier at 06.00 from Waterloo and 06.06 from Bank”. So we were looking for something relating to Extended Hours of Operation or extended hours of peak operation or something similar. Other imaginative ideas either not specific to the Waterloo & City line or to the month of October were rejected.

Question 3

We asked about a square that was round and contained a park with no trees or grass. We stated it was due to have the traffic flow around it changed in 2018. The date was significant because this correlated with the proposed road changes in the Oxford Street area ready for pedestrianisation of Oxford Street by the time the Elizabeth line opens. The answer was Cavendish Square which has a subterranean car park.

Question 4

We asked you to fill in the dashes in _ _ _ _ h h _ _ _ _     _ _ _ _ _ _ to give a street name. The only clue was that it was not a million miles away from the location in question 3. We expected the question to be hard because it was difficult to find the answer by searching – unless you took a database of street names and wrote a computer program to give you the answer.

In fact the answer was Weighhouse Street. At the junction of Weighhouse Street and Davies St the new Elizabeth line station at Bond Street is starting to take shape.

Weighhouse Street must be the street with the most street signs per unit length of road in Britain. It is only a short street yet every junction seems to have copious signs giving the road’s name.

Briantist has pointed out that alternative valid answers are Smithhills Street, Southhouse Avenue and Southhouse Square – all in Scotland.

Question 5

In a similar vein the railway family with the surname given by _ z _ _ _ _ _ is Szlumper. There are Wikipedia entries for James Szlumper and Alfred Szlumper. Other Szlumpers are available.

In London, Alfred is probably more famous having been a prominent engineer on Southern Railway (and before that on London and South Western Railway).

Question 6

For the first part we asked for a station in the London area that at December 1st 2017 had just one TOC serving it yet was not managed by either that TOC or Network Rail. The only station that fits this category is Abbey Wood. TfL Rail had recently taken over the running of the station in preparation for the Elizabeth line. This was done early so that TfL Rail managed the new station building from the day it opened.

For the second part of the question we asked for the name of any other station within the M25 for which this was now also true. Subsequently, TfL Rail had taken over some future Elizabeth line stations to the west of Paddington on 10th December but most of them are currently served by both GWR and Heathrow Connect (which is a joint venture). So the only valid correct answers therefore are Acton Main Line or West Drayton.

Question 7

This was the question where you had to name the station for which “if the ‘e’ were an ‘o’ it would be the name of an engine”. There was a clue in that the station and the engine were in some way related to films. Another clue was that there was some kind of connection with Question 6.

Boxhill (courtesy National Railway Museum) and Ivor the Engine

Congratulations to Briantist and StephenC coming up with a steam engine called ‘Boxhill’ so the station Bexhill would be a valid answer. The engine even gets a mention in a Thomas the Tank Engine book so could potentially be in a Thomas the Tank Engine film.

The answer we were actually looking for was Iver – the first TfL Rail managed future Elizabeth line station outside the M25 – so it didn’t qualify as a valid answer to question 6. Iver is, of course home, to Pinewood studios and Ivor the Engine was the title of a number of television series made by Smallfilms featuring the engine of that name. As the name suggests, it was set in Wales.

Question 8

We showed a picture of a TfL Roundel used by the LT museum on a plaque commemorating a visit by Friends of the LT Museum and asked where it was located. The date and reference to an extension were a bit of a clue as was the picture of an American locomotive. The link to question 7 should have also helped.

In fact, it was a station on the Brecon Mountain Railway. There are only three stations and one of them Torpantau, is windswept, exposed and devoid of any buildings – or even a bench. That left Pant and Pontsticill and Pontsticill is the likely and correct answer because it has a small museum. For those struggling to chose between Pant and Pontsticill, the title of the image referred to the English translation of Pontsticill.

Question 9

We had a sequence sequences of numbers and asked for them to be identified. They were a list of terminals at Heathrow Airport. We had to name the first one ‘1’ etc. until they had official names. We then relied on the Piccadilly line station names to determine the continued sequence.

The next expected sequence of numbers is debatable. The answer was intended to be 2,4,5 allowing for Terminal 3 to be either closed or subsumed into a further- expanded Terminal 2. As this plan seems to have been delayed we also allow a sequence assuming Terminal 6 is added next so 2,3,4,5,6 We will also allow other variations if a sensible rational explanation is given for choosing it.

Question 10

We asked where the man in the picture was going. An intelligent guess based on the uniform would suggest that the answer may well be Crimea and that is, in fact, the correct answer. We also accepted ‘Balaklava’ and alternative spellings of it. The picture is entitled ‘Farewell to the Light Brigade’ and can be seen in National Railway Museum at York.

Question 11

Tower Hill – east end of platform 2

We asked which stations had, has or will have the depicted track layout. The answer is Tower Hill. The situation occurs because under Four Lines Modernisation (resignalling) it is vital to have the final track layout ready in advance of the resignalling. Under the plans platform 2 at Tower Hill will not normally be used as a reversing point during the day but will be used as an emergency reversing point at times of disruption – from both directions. Currently, under the old signalling, it is only signalled for arrival from and departure to the west.

Tower Hill on Carto Metro

Question 12

A very cryptic question. What we were looking for began with ‘M’ but the answer didn’t. The critical link was ‘mill’ and it helps if you realised it was about station names.

The elevated one on Thameslink is Mill Hill Broadway. The same one but closer to the Orient on the Northern line is, of course, Mill Hill East. Pudding Mill Lane is named after a Mill which, unusually, was said to resemble the shape of a pudding. Acton Town was originally called Mill Hill Park.

The answer is easier to find if you realise that ‘closer to the Orient’ refers to ‘East’. There are only two stations on the Northern line with ‘East’ in the title. Alternatively, this question is one of those that may be easier if you work backwards. There aren’t that many stations on the Piccadilly line that were originally called something else.

Question 13

We asked ‘According to a source close to the TfL main offices, how many babies have been born on the Underground?

We have taken TfL headquarters main offices to be Palestra which is just opposite Southwark tube station. Within the tube station entrance hall are various large information boards with facts about the Underground. That is the source close to TfL main offices. One of these boards states that five babies were born on the Underground.

Question 14

A question about the heraldic symbol for the London Borough of Sutton which was created in 1965. A stylised picture of a plane above Croydon Airport is shown. It is true that Croydon Airport was in the current London Borough of Sutton but Croydon Airport closed in 1959 so the image pre-dates the existence of the borough and no longer existed when the borough was formed. At the time of the creation of the borough it would be hard to imagine that those involved in the coat of arms were not aware the airport had been closed for a number of years.

Question 15

A question about places shown where you can get to from the DLR with one change. Note we did not state one change of train. Once you realise that then a sensible guess the second mode of transport is fairly obvious. So the places involved all have the common factor that they are cities with airports. Anything that recognises this (eg airports) will be accepted.

Airport departure screen located at Canning Town DLR

The displays can be seen on the DLR platform at Woolwich Arsenal and at the north end of the eastbound DLR platform at Canning Town.

Question 16

The sign which we blanked out states it is a Taxi Rank

Question 17

We asked where you could see a man smoking on the Underground. This maybe should more properly be part of question 20. The obvious answer is Baker Street with its depiction of Sherlock Holmes with a pipe in his mouth but no obvious sign that he is smoking it – definitely on the Underground though.

A less obvious alternative is the eastern entrance to Leytonstone station with its mosaic of a scene from Hitchcocks’s ‘The Wrong Man’ with the subject having a lit cigarette in his mouth. Whether this qualifies as ‘on the Underground’ or not is less clear cut.

Question 18

This refers to a London Reconnections quiz favourite. The names are ones given to areas of the war time shelters purportedly built as potential running tunnels for a future Northern line bypass route. The locations refer to the branch of the Northern line they were on.

There was also one shelter on built on the Central line. The areas here were named after politicians so we will accept any two valid names of politicians.

Question 19

This is a picture of Liverpool Street station. It is hanging in the National Railway Museum at York. Its sister picture (more or less a duplicate) was hanging at No 10 Downing Street. The prime minister at the time, Margaret Thatcher rather liked and admired the artist, Marjorie Sherlock.

Question 20

We asked for the less-obvious answer to various questions

a) the Jubilee line connects Baker Street & Waterloo

b) the Barking Reach Riverside Extension (London Overground) will go to the site of a former power station beginning with the letter ‘B’

c) Marylebone is named after St Mary (St Mary’s at the Bourne)

d) The Post Office Railway or Mail Rail connected Whitechapel and Paddington

e) Cannon Street Road station contains the words ‘Street’ and ‘Cannon’

f) The FA cup final used to be played at the Oval

g) The famous 19th century engineer who built at tunnel under the Thames at Rotherhithe was Richard Trevithick and this is just one of his largely-forgotten achievements. He started at the south (Surrey) bank and succeed in building a two foot wide pilot tunnel all the way to the low tide mark of the north bank before the tunnel collapsed. He was confident he could repair the damage and finish the job but his investors had lost confidence in him.

We hope to announce the winners and have general comments about which questions were found to be easy and which ones caught people out in the not-too-distant future.

Written by Pedantic of Purley