London and South East Region Line Nicknames

Bedpan – Line between Bedford and St. Pancras.
Brain Line – Informal name for the railway that used to link the university cities of Oxford and Cambridge, and a pun on the term main line. qv Varsity Line.

ChEnFord – London Overground’s new Cheshunt, Enfield, and Chingford routes out of Liverpool Street.

Clockwork Orange – Glasgow’s circular subway line, third to open in the world, and which features orange coloured trains that are like ¾ scale versions of London tube trains.

Dangleway – Nickname for the Emirates Air Line Cable Car line.

Discreet Line – District Line nickname, as in the train is never there when you need it.

Drain, the – The Waterloo & City railway/Tube line, so called for its’ narrow, crowded, and oft fetid commuting environment.

GOBLIN – Gospel Oak to Barking LINe.

Harlequin Line – Short lived Network SouthEast name for the Euston-Watford DC line, after a completion for schoolchildren to come up with a name, derived from combinations of Harlesden, Willesden, and Queen‘s Park stations on the route. Alteratively as a portmanteau of HARLEsden and QUeeN’s Park. Abandoned on privatisation. This name begat the Harlequin Centre shopping mall, which is all that remains of the name scheme.

Heineken Line – A hypothetical tube line that would fill in network holes in central London, with its name taken from the 1970s advertising campaign: ‘Heineken refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach’.

Marlow Donkey – Train shuttle between Marlow, Bourne End and Maidenhead.

Marshlink – Railway line linking Ashford with Hastings in Kent through the marshes. Recommended for closure by Dr Beeching in 1963, the route survived various other closure attempts as well. See

Misery Line – Northern Line, for being overcrowded and prone to unreliability, part of which is due to its long history, old infrastructure, heavy ridership, and decades of neglect.

Morgan Line – Hypothetical tube line. See LR article “What if: The Morgan Line”. *** paste in URL

Mudropolitan – original Metropolitan Line nickname, for the muddy fields at the north-west railheads before houses were built.

Push & Pull – Nickname of the short Rominster rail shuttle when it was still steam driven.

Regatta Line – Nickname of Henley-On-Thames branch.

Surrey-in-a-Hurry – Heathrow Terminal Five already has space for two Surrey-in-a-Hurry platforms for a rail connexion to the south of the airport.

Varsity Line – informal name for the railway route that used to link the university cities of Oxford and Cambridge. See also “Brain Line”.

Viking Line – A 1950’s name suggestion for the Victoria Line, being the portmanteau of Victoria and King’s Cross, the line’s 2 major central London stations. Post-war planning had called this Tube line C.

Wimbleware – Wimbledon to Edgware section of the District line. Oft mused to split off from the District as a separate line, but this is greatly complicated by the interlining with other District Line branch operations.

Transport for London’s Lineage

OrganisationBrandReports toDateMetropolitan, Great Northern, and Metropolitan East London RailwaysMetropolitanRailway shareholders1863-1933Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL)
[financed and built Bakerloo and Piccadilly lines]UndergrounD GroupRailway owners (Yerkes et al)1902-1906UERL [acquired Central London and City & South London Railways]UndergrounD Group1906-1914Waterloo & City RailwayLondon & South West Railway (LSWR)LSWR -> British Rail1898-1994London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) London Transport (LT)London County Council (LCC)1933-1948London Transport Executive (LTE)London Transport (LT)British Transport Commission
1948-1962London Transport Board (LTB)London Transport (LT)Ministry of Transport1963-1969London Transport Executive (LTE)London Transport (LT)Greater London Council (GLC)1970-1984London Public Transport Authority (LPTA)London Transport (LT)DoE -> DTp -> DETR1984-2000Transport for London (TfL)London Underground, DLR, London Overground. &cGreater London Assembly (GLA)2000-

Department for Transport’s Lineage

Ministry or DepartmentDateMinistry of Transport‎ (MoT)1919–1941Ministry of War Transport1941–1946Ministry of Transport‎1946–1953Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation‎1953–1959‎Ministry of Transport1959–1970Department for the Environment (DoE)‎1970–1976Department of Transport (DTp)‎1976–1997Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR)1997–2001‎Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR)2001–2002Department for Transport (DfT)‎2002-

Jevon’s Paradox

The effect of technological progress increasing the efficiency with which a resource is used, which reduces the amount necessary for any one use, but the rate of consumption of that resource rises because of increasing demand.

In 1865, English economist William Stanley Jevons observed that technological improvements that increased the efficiency of coal use led to the increased consumption of coal, in a wide range of industries. He argued that, contrary to common intuition, technological progress could not be relied upon to reduce fuel consumption.

This is similar to the Braess Paradox, which we explained in a previous Miscellany edition.

Marchetti’s Constant – Corollary

Average walking speed increases, according to the power law, with the size of the city.

Marchetti clarified the model by determining that the total travel time includes errands, walks, jogs etc.

New Pandemic Airport Codes

LVG – living room

DNR – dining room

BKY – back yard

BAL – balcony

MBR – master bedroom

KTN – kitchen

WNC – wine cellar

Lord Dawlish’s Column

Lord Dawlish, career civil servant, Renaissance man, and occasional commentator on London Reconnections, has graciously provided his favourite terms and sayings:

analepsis – Commonly referred to as retrospection or flashback, the opposite of prolepsis. Plural is analepses. See also prolepsis.

Chthonic – underground, with obvious references to railways.

Diderot Effect – Named after the French philosopher Denis Diderot, who described buying a new possession which often creates a spiral of consumption which leads to acquiring more new things. As a result, we end up buying things that our previous selves never needed to feel happy or fulfilled.

Dis aliter visum – the Devil saw it differently.

efletus – a word found in the Book of Common Prayer, meaning a fart. (There used abusively to describe Catholic doctrine). (Lord D comments: “better English useage would be to spell it with a double f, but the Oxford – pause for sneer – dictionary will have it so”).

escutcheon – a shield or shield-shaped emblem, displaying a coat of arms.

Ibid. – Latin word, short for ibidem, which means the same place.

ludic – playing games, spontaneous playfulness.

Marmon-Herrington – an American manufacturer of trolleybuses – what a distinguished sounding name! (Combined with Ohio brass fittings to give a near perfect system).

mondegreen – the mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase, giving it new meaning, ie song lyrics and station announcements.

monoglot – person who speaks only one language.

nadsat – Russian word for teen, and is the version of English spoken by the teen subculture in Anthony Burgess his novel A Clockwork Orange. The distopian estate block in which Kubrick filmed his 1971 movie is Thamesmead, hitherto still without decent public transport to London and the surrounding region.

omnishambles – prospects of London public transport in 2050.

passim – Latin meaning ‘here and there, everywhere’ (not the Beatles song) but to indicate that a word or passage occurs frequently in a cited work.

pelf – money gained in a dishonest or dishonourable way. Of late Middle English origin, as in pilfered property, from a variant of Old French pelfre meaning ‘spoils’, and from whence we get the English word ‘pilfer’. In modern use, slang for cash/negotiable lettuce/dosh.

pettifogging – placing undue emphasis on petty details.

post hoc ergo propter hoc – Latin phrase that means “Since event Y followed event X, event Y must have been caused by event X”. In other words, correlation does not mean causation.

prolepsis – the representation of something in the future as if it already existed or had occurred. Plural is prolepses. See also analepsis.

pro tem – short for the Latin phrase Pro tempore meaning ‘for the time being’.

quintessentially – a sort of literary cough whilst gathering one’s thoughts and also to lend a kind of bogus distinction to what one says next.

Ronseal Test – does it do what it says on the tin? From the UK advertising slogan for woodstain and wood-dye manufacturer Ronseal starting in 1994, which became a common phrase.

sui generis – Latin for ‘in a class of its own, unlike anything else’.

Tellurian – earthbound, unlike Volk’s sea-going tram.

ususfruct – a right in Roman-based civil law that provides temporary right to the use and enjoyment of the property of another, without changing the character of the property. Originally from the interests between a slave held under a usus fructus (Latin for “use and enjoyment”) bond and a master.

Correct at the time of writing.

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