Champal Junction

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Situated near the town of Champal, this railway junction is an example of what happens when a new line is built at speed by two teams of navigators, in the hope and expectation that good surveying will ensure the two ends meet precisely in the middle, in this case at Champal. One engineering brigade were Quirmians working in from the coast; the other were Ankh-Morporkians working towards the coast from inland. Different units of measurement may have been to blame; or disgruntled locals who didn't want their way of life ruined by a new-fangled railway; or else inquisitive Goblins who didn't quite put the surveying rods back exactly where they found them.

But the two ends of railway line that should have met precisely in the middle at Champal.... didn't. The gap between the two ends was very obvious, in fact, and the two teams may even have overlapped before anyone noticed. Trains now have to stop at Champal, load and unload, then reverse back down the track again for a mile or two and be switched onto a branch line connecting the two main tracks. In Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook , Mrs Georgina Bradshaw concedes that this is not ideal.


The Channel Tunnel was excavated by two engineering teams working simultaneously from the British and French coasts. Using the finest available technology, the two ends should have met about eleven miles between Britain and France with only a few inches/centimetres of error. They didn't. On inquiry, it turned out that both sides had been working quickly, out of national and professional pride, to get to the agreed meeting point in the middle of the Channel so they could down tools, wait for the other to catch up, and ask "what kept you?". Thus the two ends failed to meet precisely and the Channel Tunnel now has this little, unplanned, kink in the middle plus a (sealed) side tunnel used to dump unsalvageable equipment. Naturally those bloody sloppy Frogs/ those perfidious Englishmen were to blame.