2018 Quiz: The Answers


With the deadline for entering now passed it is time to provide answers to the 2018 London Reconnections Quiz.

This is our initial offering of the answers. However so many of you provided so much interesting additional detail, in time we hope to augment the details with some of the information given by those who provided rather more than the bare minimum needed to answer the question.

Question 1

We asked what was common about four events in 2018. This was an opening question designed to get your into the swing of things and everyone seemed to realise that they didn’t happen in 2018 but should have done.

Question 2

The injunction that was lifted in 2018 was for the order for Siemens to provide new trains for Piccadilly line. It has been suggested that the CS11 injunction has also been lifted but, as yet, we have no evidence of this although we do know there was a hearing in October where an application was made to have it lifted.

For information, note that the lifting of the injunction is only for the Piccadilly line order. Any follow-on order (for the Bakerloo line, for example) is still subject to an injunction but there is no urgency to sort this out and a hearing in the High Court will eventually take place to determine whether or not this too should be lifted.

Question 3

The Emirates Air Line (cable car) has satisfaction increasing when the service runs more slowly. Obvious when you think about it although we can see the logic of suggesting it might be the boat service.

Question 4

We asked which TfL service had been closed for around seven weeks in 2018. As expected a lot of people said the Gospel Oak – Barking line but that was in 2017 (and for longer). The correct answer is the Woolwich Ferry which cannot operate whilst they rebuild the approaches to be compatible with the new ferries.

You will not be surprised to learn that the Woolwich Ferry was due to reopen ‘in late December 2018’ but hasn’t yet done so and no date has yet been announced.

Question 5

Harlesden station still has an officially open ticket office on London Underground. When it was announced that closure of ticket offices at London Underground stations would take place, those that also served London Overground were not included in the ticket office closure list. Subsequently, once more advanced ticket vending machines were installed, the decision was made to close these ticket offices as well.

We understand that the problem with Harlesden is that the ticket office floor needed strengthening before a new vending machine could be installed that was protected from the elements so its closure got delayed – though there is considerable doubt as to what its actual opening hours were (if at all). Officially it closes on 2nd January 2019. See this TfL webpage which refers to it closing in early 2019.

Question 6

This was the first of our questions that went beyond ‘London’ – hence the ‘London’ in quotes in question. It is actually (London) Southend Airport station.

Question 7

This was the question were you had to name saints whose name was referenced in a station name. Questions like this are always set with a certain amount of trepidation as we don’t necessarily know all the answers ourselves. On the other hand, we don’t need to know in advance and we learn something.

A quick look under ‘S’ in the ‘Index des stations’ in Carto Metro will give you some answers

St Mary – St Mary’s (former District line station) and St Mary Cray
St James – St James Street and St James’s Park
St John – St Johns and St John’s Wood

Note that you could have also have had Marylebone for St Mary. We haven’t investigated further but two of you suggested that Ladywell was also valid for St Mary.

We specifically included all of London Overground so that St Margaret would be included.

We were really looking for stations located a considerable distance apart but St Paul had different stations in the same locality named after the cathedral that bears his name. They are St Paul’s (Central line), St Paul’s Thameslink (original name for City Thameslink) and St Paul’s (original name for Blackfriars main line station). Please note there is no station at St Paul’s Cray.

We didn’t allow St Quentin. Both Wikipedia and the Disused Stations website regard it as a single station that had two sites. St Pancras (specifically excluded as it was just one big station complex). We certainly did not allow St Victoria as the name Royal Victoria makes it pretty obvious it was not named after a saint.

So, by our reckoning that is a total of five valid answers. Note that you only had to get the saint’s name correct to get the point in each case. We will examine other claims as we encounter them.

Question 8

The event at Clapton we were looking for was the first British powered flight.

There is a plaque commemorating the event and various write-ups including mechtraveller.

Question 9

This is probably a very difficult question if you didn’t get question 8 as it contained the hint that it could perhaps be considered related to the previous one. In fact the thing in ‘qommon’ is that they have IATA codes (which start with ‘Q’). This might not be surprising for Paddington and Victoria which used to have check-in desks for Heathrow and Gatwick respectively but for King’s Cross (and not St Pancras) it seems a bit strange.

Transport Trivia: There is an excellent video by Geoff Marshall on Paddington which include the tunnels related to the check-in baggage at Paddington.

Question 10: the Marmite Question

This question appears to have initially stumped a lot of people until they looked at the question in a different way and saw the answer. There were some clues. We did say in the introduction

Most of the questions are about London but we may stray well beyond that geographically, if not thematically.

Never overlook the innocent-seeming first few paragraphs prior to the questions.

There were other clues. We referred to Regents Park not Regents Park. And, more obviously, we referred to Kings Cross whereas the previous question had referred to Kings Cross.

Note the apostrophe

For those who still haven’t realised, we described a sequence of journeys that could take place in Sydney, Australia, on a dry day at the height of summer. So there was plenty of opportunity to describe the clothing in a manner which would make it obvious you realised we were talking about location where the temperature at that time of year would be expected to be really hot (average 26°C).

Sydney’s suburban network

Question 11

We expected the partially blanked-out road sign to present more of a problem than it did. The problem was that the one road was marked as banned for motor vehicles except for access.

Most people recognised the layout as the junction at the east of Westminster Bridge which used to be a roundabout and in now a ‘peninsula’. We get the impression most people just ignored the issue of ‘except for access’ which was caused by the City of Westminster conducting trail boreholes in Bridge Street outside the Houses of Parliament.

The sign is located outside St Thomas’s Hospital on Lambeth Palace Road.

Original sign as taken from Westminster Council website

The image had a name beginning with PieChartPolulariser and was a reference to Florence Nightingale. The Florence Nightingale museum is located at the hospital.

Florence Nightingale was an educated well-connected statistician who did a lot of analysis on treatment of soldiers injured in the Crimean war to discover the best, most effective medical treatment to promote recovery. To present the figures in a meaningful way she used pie charts – an invention generally credited to Lord Playfair but often mistakenly attributed to Florence Nightingale. She was also a nurse.

Question 12

Like question 10, King’s Cross wasn’t the King’s Cross you were expecting it to be. This was yet another King’s Cross. This one was a port on the Isle of Arran also known as King’s Cross Point and the Duchesses in question were ships, specifically paddle steamers, that would have docked there. The shipping service was run by railway company.

Question 13

The bus routes in question were

  • 98 from Willesden Garage to Holborn
  • 153 from Finsbury Park to Finsbury Square
  • 312 from Norwood Junction to South Croydon Garage
  • 521 from Waterloo Station to London Bridge station

The common feature is that all these routes have electric buses on them. In the case of route 98 it is only a small portion of the total service but for the others they are entirely operated by electric vehicles.

Transport Trivia: According to Diamond Geezer, in times gone by, Finsbury Fields (in the vicinity of where Finsbury Square is today) was commonly used for duels. Mistakenly this has been confused with Finsbury Park which has led to the Victoria line platforms at Finsbury Park station having a motif of two duelling pistols.

Question 14

We were surprised some people seemed to find the connection between ‘The King of Love’ and ‘A London Omnibus’ hard to find. A quick web search reveals that ‘The King of Love’ (my Shepherd is) is a hymn based on the 23rd Psalm if you didn’t already know that. A scan of the words of the hymn has only one reference to transport in any context

Thou spread’st a table in my sight;
Thy unction grace bestoweth;
And oh, what transport of delight
From Thy pure chalice floweth!

A search of Transport of Delight will reveal that this is the title of a song by Flanders and Swann about … a London Omnibus.

Question 15

Clad in iron at the home of tin, a small piece of me can still be found….

You have our editor to blame for the corny pun. You need to realise that the home of tin refers to Canning Town. This will help you identify the object as Iron from HMS Warrior.

Question 16

This year’s quiz included a return to a minimal diagram question – this time with two locations.

The first location, a yellow circle near the Doric Arch (symbolising Euston) represented Richard Trevithick’s circular demonstration railway in the area of Gower Street. It was variously known as ‘Catch-Me-Who-Can’, Euston Circus or Steam Circus. The clue in the image name was NoClowns.

The second location, on the north bank of the Thames SSE of Heathrow Airport represents the current day remnant of the Metropolitan Water Board railway at Kempton. See the Hampton & Kempton Waterworks Railway website.

Question 17

The location is Hammersmith Underground station. The image is a reflection of Hammersmith Bridge.

Question 18

No-one was fooled into thinking we were talking about Heathrow Express when we referred to a non-stop train between Paddington and Heathrow. Until 8th December the 04:56 from Paddington (Mondays to Fridays) ran non-stop to Terminals 2 & 3. The timetable is still available on the TfL website.

Because the journey a user would go through the ticket gate at Paddington before 06:30 off-peak fares apply so, with an Oystercard, the fare would be £10.10. A surprising number of people got this part of the question wrong.

One responder suggests, with evidence, that the Working Timetable shows the train in question actually stops at Hayes & Harlington. What we don’t know is whether passengers were able to board or alight or whether the stop always took place. Regardless, from a passenger perspective, it would normally be treated as a non-stop train.

Question 19

The connection between the locations in black and locations in blue is signal boxes (or ‘cabins’ in American-based London Underground speak). Or, more precisely, signal frames. Hence the clue in the image name of ‘You have been’ (framed). Even more precisely, as some people pointed out, the connection was Westinghouse signal frames with one entrant even listing the individual type of frame in each case. This is well beyond what we were expecting or required.

The blue location was the original location and the black location is where the signal frame is preserved. This would be Beckonscot model village at Beaconsfield, the railway museum at Kidderminster on the Severn Valley Railway or National Railway Museum at York.

Covent Garden signaller’s panel at Kidderminster

The intended answer for the ‘odd one out’ was Borough Market as the entire box has been preserved rather than just the frame. However, unlike ‘Have I Got News For You’, any good well-reasoned answer will be accepted. Any answer that names Borough Market and alludes to the box itself being preserved (unlike the other examples) will get the point.

For more about the preserved Borough Market signal box see a recent article by IanVisits.

We hope to update this with one or two of the excellent alternative answers.

Question 20

The railway with the large female intake was the Sodor Railway – best known for Thomas the Tank Engine who runs on it. We were thinking of the locomotive department (the locomotives themselves) when considering equality but others have pointed out that controllers (having gone from one to two) could also be argued to have achieved equality. It does not matter which it is – we only asked for the name or a description of the railway.

Question 21

The former Feltham Marshalling Yard no longer has the hump and will see class ten class 701 trains stabled there in the next couple of years. Meanwhile, at Feltham station, the level crossing is disappearing meaning motorists will have to use the nearby bridge and pedestrians will no longer be able to cross to get to the town centre without having to climb the steps of footbridge. Cyclists will also be inconvenienced.

Two answers put forward a persuasive case for Ripple Lane Yard and the extension of the London Overground to Barking Reach. This is being considered.

Question 22

This was about platforms.

a) In 2018 the Jubilee line increased the frequency of trains to Stratford. To accommodate this the ‘stepping back’ procedure was introduced at busy times (most of the day) so drivers take out the following train to the one they came in on at any given platform. To implement this most trains now arrive and depart from platforms 14 and 15 and platform 13 at Stratford is little-used. A similar situation has happened at Morden on the Northern line when 30tph to Morden was introduced.

Extract from preamble from the 2018 Jubilee line Working Timetable

We will also allow North Greenwich platform 2 as it is clear that it has been grasped that we are referring to the updated timetable on the Jubilee line. However, the service at North Greenwich, when measured in tph at the station, hasn’t improved. It is just more trains are through trains so fewer terminate at platform 2.

b) Tottenham Hale is expected to get an extra platform which logically ought to be platform 0 so that gets the point. It was pointed out that one could reasonably expect the same scenario to occur at Northumberland Park so that will also accepted as a valid answer.

However, we had completely overlooked these two obvious answers and were looking for something more obscure. What we were actually looking for at the time the quiz was set was Elmers End on the basis that it was originally expected that a second tram platform would be built next to the current tram platform which is designated ‘platform 1’ – so logically should be platform 0.

As it turns out, there appeared to be a delay to the tram platform construction for which “funding is committed” so the 2019 date was in doubt. And, more recently, it has gone very quiet with all reference to the new platform removed in the Mayor’s revised draft budget issued after the full financial consequences of the Crossrail delay was known. So it was probably just as well that alternative answers to the one we intended presented themselves.

As is well-known, King’s Cross has a platform 0 currently in use.

c) Paddington no longer has a platform 13. Nothing to do with superstition, platforms 13 and 14 were short and would have been fairly useless once 8-car GWR class 387s and TfL Rail class 345 trains were introduced. It was decided to abandon platform 13 in order that platform 12 could be lengthened. The only real use for a short platform was for the short train used on the Greenford service – now cut back to West Ealing.

Analysis, winners, etc.

It is going to take a while to sort out the winners and we have a couple of articles to publish shortly that can’t be left for too long so please be patient. Early indications are that no-one has got every question correct but that quite a lot of entries have very few questions wrong or incomplete (one, two or three incorrect or unanswered ones).

Written by Pedantic of Purley