British Steam Locomotives

  • 1 What was the working pressure of Rocket’s original boiler?
  • 2 How many copper firetubes, 3in in diameter, were fitted to Rocket’s original boiler?
  • 3 Who was the famous builder of road coaches who was commissioned by Robert Stephenson & Co to build the tender for Rocket?
  • 4 What was used as a water tank built for Rocket in 1829?
  • 5 What was the maximum speed achieved by Timothy Hackworth’s Sans Pareil in the course of the Rainhill Trials?

British Railway History

  • 6 Who built what was thought to have been England’s first wooden “railway”, from Strelley to Woolaton near Nottingham, in 1603-0?
  • 7 When was the first recorded use of the word “railway”?
  • 8 Where was the earliest railway in Scotland, known to have been working in 1722?
  • 9 When did the first portion of the famous Tanfield Wagonway in County Durham commence operation?
  • 10 Who was the entrepreneur and Post Office reformer who built a wooden wagonway at Prior Park, Bath in 1731?

British Railway Engineering

  • 11 Who was the master mason who built the Tanfield or Causey (Causeway) Arch, the world’s first major railway bridge, on the Tanfield Wagonway in 1727?
  • 12 What is the distance spanned by the Tanfield Arch on the Tanfield Wagonway in County Durham?
  • 13 What is the name of the great bog crossed by the Liverpool & Manchester Railway west of Eccles?
  • 14 Who was appointed as chief engineer of the London & Southampton in place of the original engineer, Francis Giles, who proved totally incompetent
  • 15 After whom was the viaduct on the Great Western Railway between Hanwell and Southall named?

Foreign Railways

  • 16 Which was the first service to be operated by the Compagnie Internationale des Wagon Lits?
  • 17 When was the Compangnie Internationale des Wagon Lits constituted in Brussels by George Nagelmackers, with King Leopard II heading the list of subscribers?
  • 18 When did the civil administration take over from the British Army the operation of the railways in Palestine and Transjordan?
  • 19 Who was the New York inventor who built the vertical-boilered locomotive Tom Thumb for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1829?
  • 20 What is the longest wholly Swiss rail tunnel and what is its length?



21.          Where and which year was Frank Hornby born?

22.          In which year was the first Hornby train introduced?

23.          What was the name of the computerised train control system introduced by Hornby in 1979?

24.          In which month and year did Rovex Models and Hobbies Ltd change their name to Hornby Hobbies Ltd?

25.          When did Hornby move the production of Mecano to Binns Road?


26.          Who wrote Thomas the Tank Engine?

27.          On which locomotive was Thomas based?

28.          Where did Thomas live?

29.          In which year did Thomas arrive in Sodor?

30.          For which purposes did the Fat Controller purchase Thomas?

British Railway History

31.          Which was the first railway to be authorised by an Act of Parliament?

32.          What was the date of the opening of the Stockton & Darlington Railway?

33.          When was the London & Southampton Railway Co incorporated?

34.          How was it possible for the Great Western Railway to be built as a broad-gauge line, despite a Parliament requirement for all railway bills to include a clause requiring the line to be built to standard gauge?

35.          On what date did the Great Western Railway Act receive the Royal Assent?


36.          Which was the first preserved steam locomotive to break the British Railways Board ban on steam operations over BR tracks, in 1971?

37.          What was the main traffic despatched in bulk train-loads from Ashburton Grove yard, near Finsbury Park, to Ayot (Herts)?

38.          In what four locations did the Great Northern Railway operate hotels?

39.          What was peculiar about the 3ft 6in gauge railway operated at Swanscombe Cement Works, Kent, by Associated Portland Cement until about 1928?

40.          Which was the last former Midland & Great Northern Railway Joint Railway locomotive to remain in British Railways service?

Part 3


41.          What were the names of the two engineers who entered Novelty for the Rainhill Trials?

42.          How was T.S. Brandreth’s Rainhill entry, Cycloped, propelled?

43.          What was the name of the engine entered by Timothy Burtsall for the Rainhill Trials and which proved an abject failure?

44.          Which of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway engines was used to convey the injured William Huskisson, MP, to hospital in St Helens from the scene of his accident during the opening ceremony?

45.          What name was given to the first locomotive built for the Canterbury & Whitstable Railway by Robert Stephenson?


46.          Approximately how many bricks were calculated to have been incorporated in the lining of the Kilsby Tunnel on the London & Birmingham Railway?

47.          Who was the architect who designed the Doric portico and Great Hall at Euston station, so tragically demolished in the 1960’s?

48.          Where on the London & Birmingham Railway is the great cutting through the Chiltern Hills?

49.          Between which two points did the Great Western Railway install Cooke & Whetstone’s electric telegraph in 1839?

50.          To what gauge were the first sections of the Eastern Counties Railway (Bishopsgate to Romford and Stratford to Bishop’s Stortford) originally built?


51.          Which was the first \British Railways locomotive to appear in rail blue livery, in May 1964?

52.          To which foreign administration was the Hawker Siddeley prototype HS4000 Kestrel sold, being shipped from Cardiff on 8 July 1971?

53.          To which motive power depot were all the Western Region Hymek diesel-hydraulic locomotives delivered prior to February 1962 allocated?

54.          On which German type locomotive was the design of the Western Region Warship class diesel-hydraulic locomotives based?

55.          Which British firm built MAN engines under licence from the German manufacturers for use on the Western Region diesel-hydraulic locomotives?


56.          The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad was the setting for the first film made with a cohesive narrative. It was made in 1903 by Edwin S, Porter and the words of its title became famous in quite a different context. What was the title?

57.          Who directed the 1924 film The Iron Horse for Fox Studios, recounting the building of the Union Pacific Railroad?

58.          Which historic locomotive was used in an eponymous film starring Buster Keaton, in 1927?

59.          What was the name of the film made at Gaumont-British Studios, |Lime Grove, in 1932, the title suggesting that a journey to a European capital was the film’s subject?

60.          On which part of the Great Western Railway was the 1936 film The Last Journey made?

Part 4

Central Line

61.       When the Central Line first opened, which American writer took a VIP trip?

62.       What was the line used for during the Second World War?

63.       How many stations are there in total along the line?

64.       How long is the Central Line?

65.       What was the nickname for the line when it first opened?

British Steam Locomotives

66.       In which locomotive built by Robert Stephenson & Co for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830 did the combination of cylinders beneath the smokebox and outside sandwich frames first appear?

67.       What was the wheel arrangement of the Stephenson Patentee type locomotive, widely sold at home and abroad?

68.       To which railway did the Liverpool & Manchester Railway sell the heavily rebuilt Rocket in 1836?

69.       Which firm built the famous 0-4-2 goods engine Lion for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1838?

70.       The Stephenson 2-2-2 North Star came to the Great Western Railway as a frustrated export order. For which foreign railway had the engine been originally intended?

British Railway History

71.       What was the name of the stationmaster at Milton on the Newcastle & Carlisle Railway who invented the card railway ticket in 1836?

72.       Between which two points did the first section of the Great Western Railway open to the public on 31 May 1838?

73.       What form of traction was used on the London & Blackwall Railway, opened from Minories to Blackwall in 18409?

74.       In 1840 it was possible to travel from Euston to Glasgow in 20 ½ hours. How was the middle section of the journey covered?

75.       On what date did the Great Western Railway open throughout from London to Bristol?

British Railway Engineering

76.       Who became engineer of the London & York Railway in 1844, following the resignation of Joseph Locke?

77.       Which great railway bridge was opened by Queen Victoria on 1 August 1850?

78.       On which building did Lewis Cubitt base his design for the roof span of Kings Cross Station?

79.       How many tunnels were and are there on the Great Northern Railway between Kings Cross and Hitchin?

80.       What was the major civil engineering feature of the Cornwall Railway?

Part 5


81.       What was the name of the Northfleet Dockyard owner who purchased a second-hand stationary steam engine in 1802?

82.       What was the name of the first public railway company to operate in Gravesend?

83.       What is the length of the Strood Tunnel?

84.       What is the name of the engineer who built / designed the Strood Tunnel?

85.       What was the name of the first locomotive to pass through the Strood Tunnel?

British Railway History

86.       On what date was the rail route from Euston to York via Rugby completed with the opening of the last section of the main line of the York & North Midland Railway between Burton Salmon and Marlborough?

87.       Where in London was the original terminus of the Eastern Counties Railway?

88.       What was the name of the railway opened for mineral traffic on 4 January 1841, and for passengers on 30 March, between York and Darlington?

89.       When did the first section of the Bristol & Exeter Railway open between Bristol and Bridgewater?

90.       Which town was reached by the mainline of the Bristol & Exeter Railway on 1 July 1842?

Central Line

91.       Which station on the line was home to the last remaining wooden escalator?

92.       How many stations on the Central Line are situated underground, that have no building above?

93.       Which year did the Central Line open?

94.       What colour is the Central Line

95.       Which member of the Royal Family took a special preview trip , prior to the public opening?

Diesel and Electric Locomotives and Railways

96.       Which was the first type 4 diesel locomotive to be handed over to British Railways under the 1955 Modernisation Plan?

97.       Which was the first of the Western Region D1000 class to be turned out at Crewe Works, in July 1962?

98.       What was the British Railways number of the 4-8-4 diesel mechanical 2,000hp locomotive built by the Fell Locomotive Company which ran on the London Midland Region from 1951?

99.       What was the horsepower of the short-lived Paxman-engined 14 class diesel-hydraulic 0-6-0s, numbered D9500-55?

100.     What was the final total of Brush type 4, (BR class 47) diesel electric locomotive to built for British Rail?

Part 6


101.     What is the length, in miles, of the Channel Tunnel under the sea?

102.     What is the average depth in feet beneath the seabed of the Channel Tunnel?

103.     What is the track gauge in feet and inches of the track in the Channel Tunnel?

104.     What is the name of the engineer who put forward the first serious design of a tunnel in 1802?

105.     What is the date of the breakthrough proper when the British and French service tunnels were joined up?


106.     What was the name of the first locomotive to be tried in steam on the Great Western Railway, on 28 December 1837?

107.     The Stephenson 2-2-2 North Star worked the first train on the Great Western Railway, for the directors, on 31 May 1838. Which engine worked the first public train, four days later?

108.     Who designed the freakish locomotives Hurricane and Thunderer, with engines and boilers on separate chassis, which proved failures on the Great Western Railway in 1838-9?

109.     How did Morning Star differ from North Star and the other ten Star class locomotives delivered to the Great Western Railway in 1839-41?

110.     Which was the first locomotive to be built at Crewe by the London & North Western Railway in early 1845?


111.     Who succeeded Stephens as General Manager of the K & ESR in 1931?

112.     When did the K & ESR open for passenger traffic?

113.     What was the name and date of the Act of Parliament which enabled the K & ESR and other similar railways to be built?

114.     The Cavell Van transported the bodies of which three first world war fatalities from Dover to London?

115.     When did the last regular passenger train run on the line?


116.     On which small railway did the London & South Western Railway take out a lease, for strategic reasons, in 1845?

117.     Which was the first section of the Great Northern Railway to open, on 1 March 1848?

118.     How long did the 10.00 am train from King’s Cross take to reach Edinburgh in 1862?

119.     When did the Great Eastern Railway open the new terminus at Liverpool Street in London to local traffic, main line traffic following two years later?

120.     Which two railway companies jointly owned the Severn & Wye Railway and the Severn Bridge?

Part 7


121.     When did the first Great Western Railway coal train pass through the Severn Tunnel?

122.     In which year did the Great Eastern Railway’s Harwich Continental services become a Royal Mail route?

123.     In which year was the first section of the London & South Western Railway electrified on the third rail system, as later adopted by the Southern Railway?

124.     When did the Brighton Belle, the only electric multiple unit Pullman train in the world, make its last run between Victoria and Brighton?

125.     In what year did the Grand Junction Railway make the first Travelling Post Office experiments with a converted horse box fitted up for the sorting of mail en route?


126.     Where did the Midland & Great Northern Railway have its locomotive workshops until their closure for all but minor repairs in 1936?

127.     Where was the first set of water troughs out of King’s Cross on the Great Northern Railway main line?

128.     What is the longest tunnel on the Southern Region?

129.     Where did Sir Edward Watkin commence the construction of a tower to rival the Eiffel Tower in Paris?

130.     What was the name of the viaduct by which the Barry Railway crossed the valley of the River Taff at Taff’s Well?


131.     The first railway in \Holland opened between Amsterdam and Haarlem in September 1839. What was its gauge?

132.     When was the line over the Semmering Pass between Gloggnitz and Murzzuschlag in Austria opened?

133.     Who drove the last spike at the ceremony to mark the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway on 7 November 1885?

134.     Which was the last former Prussian P8 class 4-6-0 to run in regular service on the Deutsche Bundesbahn on 22 May 1971?

135.     On what date did the first Orient Express depart from Paris for Vienna and Constantinople?


136.     Which station on the Basingstoke and Alton section of the Southern Railway appeared as “Buggleskelly” in the film Oh! Mr Porter in 1937?

137.     In 1862 the London & North Western Railway took out a lease on a railway company in Wales with three towns in its title. What was its name?

138.     Two 14XX class 0-4-2Ts appeared in the Titfield Thunderbolt in 1952. The most frequently seen engine was no 1401. Which other engine was stolen by Hugh Griffith and Stanley Holloway?

139.     Who was the French author of the novel la Bete Humaine, a psychological study of Jacques Lantier, a homicidal engine driver on the Paris-Rouen-Normandy route?

140.        For what purpose was N7 0-6-2T No 69614, built at Stratford in 1923, kept especially clean between 1956 -60?

Part 8


141.     When did the line officially open?

142.     Which stations does the line run between?

143.     What is the location of the abandoned Jubilee Line station, also used for the filming of Skyfall?

144.     Why is the line coloured silver?

145.     Which station on the line is designed so that natural light males it way all the way down to the platform level, 10m below the entrance?


146.     Which was the first locomotive to be built entirely at the Great Western Work’s at Swindon, in 1846?

147.     Who designed the 2-2-2 Cornwall, with 8ft 6in driving wheels, built at Crewe in 1847?

148.     The Southern Division of the London & North Western Railway had two large Crampton-type locomotives, London, built by Tulk & Ley in 1847, and Liverpool. Which firm built Liverpool in 1848?

149.     The first engines delivered to the Bristol & Exeter Railway in 1849 were essentially a small version of Gooch’s Iron Duke class on the Great Western Railway. Which Bristol firm built the first ten Bristol & Exeter engines?

150.     Which Great Western Railway Iron Duke class 4-2-2 by Gooch was exhibited at the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park in 1851?

Diesel and Electric Locomotive and Railways

151.     The English Electric 2,750hp gas turbine, GT3, was built on a pair of spare frames for which class of steam locomotives?

151.     What was the number and name of the Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Co prototype locomotive on which the design of the Brush type 4 (class 47) locomotive was largely built?

152.     Which was the first ac electric locomotive to run on British Railways in 1958?

153.     Which British Rail works carried out a programme of refurbishment on the London Midland Region 25kV ac class AL4 (later class 84) locomotives between 1970-2?

154.     Which foreign railway was the recipient of the first post-war export order for British 25kV ac locomotives in 1968-9


155.     Which locomotive builder constructed a 2ft 6in gauge 0-4-2ST for the Indonesian Forestry Commission in 1971?

156.     Garganville, a redundant French marshalling yard near Paris on SNCF’s Easter Region, was largely blown up on 31 March 1964. Why?

157.     For the summer service of 1929, the Great Western Railway accelerated the Cheltenham Flyer to make it the world’s fastest service train on start to stop timings. What was its average speed?

158.     At he maximum extent of the system, how many steam locomotives were employed on the 18in gauge internal railway at Horwich Works on the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway?

159.     Which English minor railway was using one of the London & South Western Region’s royal saloons of 1848 as a first-class carriage as late as the 1930’s?

Part 9


160.     How many stations are there on the line?

161.     Which station on the line has more escalators than any other station on the network?

162.     In 1999, an extension opened. Where did the line extend from and to?

163.     What makes the Jubilee Line unique compared to the rest of the underground?

164.     Which station has the shortest escalator on the network, with a vertical rise of 4.1m?


165.     What number was carried by the large 4-2-2 engine built by R.W. Hawthorn for the Great Northern Railway, to the design of Archibald Sturrock, with a view to the inauguration of a service from Kings Cross to Edinburgh in eight hours?

166.     In 1859 the London and North Western railway, as successors to the Liverpool & Manchester Railway, sold

the 0-4-2 Lion. To whom and for what purpose?

167.     How many of John Ramsbottom’s DX class 0-6-0 goods engines were built at Crew between 1858-72?

168.     For which English railway did Robert Stephenson & Co build two 4-4-0 locomotives, Broughton and Lowther with large, side window cabs and other modern features in 1860?

169.     For which British railway were W. Fairbairn & Sons still building the archaic Bury type 0-4-0 tender locomotives as late as 1861?


170.     When was the first proposal for a horse-worked railway between London and Bristol, made by Dr. \James Anderson?

171.     What was the furthest point south reached by the Croydon, Merstham & Godstone Railway, an independent extension of the pioneer horse worked Surrey Iron Railway?

172.     When did the Oystermouth Railway near Swansea officially open to passengers?

173.     Who was the great Quaker entrepreneur active in the promotion of the Stockton & Darlington Railway?

174.     Who was the chairman of the Stockton & Darlington Railway at the start of construction?


175.     Which was the first railway to introduce automatic apparatus for the exchange of Tablets at speed on single lines?

176.     The construction of which standard gauge railway was supervised by I.K. Brunel simultaneously with the building of the Great Western Railway in 1836-41?

177.     Where was the locomotive works of the Brecon & Merthyr Railway?

178.     Who designed the viaduct at Cefn, carrying the former Great Western main line over the River Dee?

179.     Where were the first water troughs installed by John Ramsbottom on the London & North Western Railway in 1860?

Part 10


181.     How many of Stirling’s famous 8ft Singles were built for the Great Northern Railway between 1870-95?

182.     Which were the first 4-4-0 locomotives to be built in the United Kingdom with inside plate frames and inside cylinders, the genesis of a bred of locomotives recognised as characteristically British?

183.     Which was the first of William Stroudley’s famous London, Brighton & South Coast Railway A1 class 0-6-0 tank engines to enter service in October 1872?

184.     In 1873 David Jones rebuilt two old Highland Railway engines, Nos 7 and 10, as 4-4-0s. Which famous class was developed from these rebuilt engines?

185.     Which was the first locomotive with Walschaert’s valve gear to run in Great Britain?


186.     Which town was linked to Stratford-upon-Avon by a horse-worked standard gauge tramway in 1826?

187.     On what date were both the London & Birmingham and Grand Junction railways incorporated?

188.     Pending completion of Kilsby Tunnel between which two points on the London & Birmingham Railway were passengers ferried by road coaches?

189.     Where was the first place at which the broad gauge Great Western Railway came into contact with a standard gauge railway, causing transhipment problems?

190.     In what year did the South Eastern Railway acquire a lease on the Canterbury & Whitstable Railway?


191.     Which locomotive engineer invented the automatic tablet exchange apparatus, generously refusing to patent his invention?

192.     How much was the prize money offered by the Liverpool & Manchester Railway committee for the most satisfactory locomotive at the Rainhill Trials?

193.     What method of traction was recommended for the Liverpool & Manchester Railway in the report submitted by Rastrick and Walker on 9 March 1929?

194.     When was Kilsby Tunnel on the London & Birmingham Railway opened to trains?

195.     On what date was the meeting of the shareholders of the Stockton & Darlington Railway at which George Stephenson was appointed engineer to the company at a salary of £600 pa?


196.     What was the name of the railway terminus on the Scutari (eastern side) of the Bosporus in Istanbul

197.     In what year were CIWL luxury sleeping car services instituted in Egypt between Alexandria, Cairo and Luxor?

198.     Where was the first railway in Greece, opened on 10 March 1869?

199.     Which Khedive of Egypt entered in negotiations with Robert Stephenson in 1951 for the construction of a railway from Alexandria to Cairo? 200.     What is the name of the bridge over the Manam Chao Phraya at Bangkok in Thailand which connects the northern and southern networks of the Royal State Railways