Christmas Quiz – the answers

I We hope that you found the Quiz somewhat diverting and took your mind away from the truly awful telly offering. Inevitably, there are some debatable answers – but here goes with the “official” version. You will recall that the task is determine if the place is real or fictitous; if real – where? If Fictitous – where does it appear?

 1.  North Pole – a real place. Formerly the depot for Eurostar, it has now been taken over by Hitachi for maintaining the new InterCity Express trains. The depot is located alongside the Great Western mainline just outside Paddington. The depot was built on the site of North Pole Jcn, which formerly linked the GW mainline with the West London Line via Kensington Olympia. The junction itself was originally named after a local pub.
2. Lake, The Lake and Lakeside Loop (three places) – all three real. Respectively, on the Isle of Wight, one the North Warwickshire Line (Birmingham to Stratford) and the Rudyard Lake Railway.

3. Crouch End. An interesting one! The intent of the question was that it was a fictional place, and was the tube station shown in “Shaun of the Dead”. However, there WAS a real station, on the line from Finsbury Park to Alexandria Palace. The platforms still exist, and the footpath is worth a visit!

4.    Hobbs End. Fictitious – this was the station used for Quatermass and the Pit (what ever happened to B&W telly??).

5.    West Ashfield  – fictitious. This is a mock-up station used by LUL to train staff. It is located in Ashfield Houe in West London. It is astoundingly life-like.

Bonus question:- 4 & 5 can be found in close proximity. Where? The answer is derived from the fact that Hobbs End is also one of the station names used on a model railway used by LUL to train staff, and is also located in Ashfield House.

6.    Junction Road Junction. How could that be anything other than Real? On the Gospel Oak – Barking line near Gospel Oak (north London), provides a link to the Midland Main Line.

7.    North Haverbrook (bit of a clue – not actually a railway as such….). This was the town in The Simpsons episode “Marge vs the Monorail”. An object lesson in urban transport planning for us all. It was a documentary – right?

8.    Westbourne Oak. Fictitious – a tube station used in the film version of Paddington.

9.    Mobil Avenue. Also fictitious – an american transit station used in The Matrix Revolutions. The name is an anagram of Limbo, and hence will be familiar to any commuters on the Brighton main line.

10. Bungalow – real, on the Snaefell Mountain Railway. Frequently seen in videos of the TT races just before the crash and the subsequent air ambulance bit.

11. Gorsafawddacha’idraigodanheddogleddoll├┤npenrhynareurdraethceredigion. Real – sort of. A commercially-inspired re-name of a station on the Fairbourne railway. Wikipedia tell us that it translates to the Mawddach station and its dragon under the northern peace of the Penrhyn Road on the golden beach of Cardigan Bay. 

Bonus question:- What would this score in Scrabble? This question caused some head scratching. There are several versions of the correct answer.

Nil – because the word is far too long. Good answer to a daft question.

Nil – because the word has too many “D” letters to be played. Also true.

108 – a good answer in the spirit of the question.

But it was then pointed out that as this is a Welsh place name, the Welsh scrabble set should be used. The word is still far too long, and cannot be played (but this time because you run out of the letter G). The score would, I believe, be 103, but that is open to some debate depending on how the various digraphs are counted. However, this news story would seem to suggest that not many Welsh scrabble sets have been sold. 

12. Milford. The intent was Fiction, it’s the station in Brief Encounter (filmed, as everyone knows, at Carnforth). However, it was overlooked that it’s also a station on the Portsmouth Direct line near Guildford. I wonder if that station is also in black and white and populated by people with smuts in their eyes?

13. Hatley. Fiction – the station used in “Oh Mr Porter”, shot on the Severn Valley Railway.

14. Hollerton Junction (which is also served by which heritage railway?). Fiction – The Archers, and it’s served by the Blackberry Line. Young Henry has been taken for a trip on the Blackberry line and sadly was not pushed under the wheels of the train.

15. Grumbly – Fiction. The headquarters of the  Merioneth and Llantisilly Rail Traction Company Limited, who operated Ivor the Engine. 

16. Pen Cob. Real – a short lived station on the Ffestiniog Railway near Boston Lodge.

17. Decoy. Real – a still extant set of sidings just south of Doncaster. Allegedly got its name because it was intended as a “decoy” to attract enemy bombers from the main marshalling yards. Since it was very close to the main yards, and WW2 bombers counted “in the same county” as a direct hit, it is unclear how much of a decoy it really was.

18. Arlesburgh West. Fiction – the terminus of the Arlesdale Railway on the Isle of Sodor (where Thomas lives).

19. Vauxhall Cross. Fiction – seen in the Bond film “Die Another Day”.

20. Mornington Crescent. Obviously fictional, unless one is in Nip, in which case……I will offer a relatively safe Gants Hill.

So, a winner? Not an easy one. Mr Alan Fryer, the Trust PWay Engineer was the first person with a nearly full set of answers. But Mr Geoffrey Ingram raised the issue of Welsh Scrabble. So I’m going to call them Joint Winners. Well done, chaps and a (serious) thank you to those who also entered. Sadly, I do not have a picture of Mr Ingram, but Alan can be seen in characteristic pose explaining reality to a buffer stop.