The Tube Challenge
I'm the current Guinness World Record Holder for travelling around the entire London Underground network in the fastest time possible (16 hours, 20 minutes, 27 seconds), held with my friend Anthony.
I held the record once before back between 2004-2006, and now again with my 25th attempt made in August 2013.
I've made 26 attempts in total at going round the whole network, and they are all documented here with write-ups, photos and videos of them all.
We have so much information, facts, travels tips and hints about the London Underground that we thought we'd do something useful with it. 'We' is myself and Matthew Frost who have created Station Master - an App for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
It tells you which is the best carriage and door exit point for every station, tells you what facilities (e.g. toilets) are at each stations, had accessibility information, and best of all - had 3D maps of every tube station on the network allowing you to visualise each station before you go there. It also won an award from TfL in their 2013 'Accessibility App' competition that they ran.
Based upon the experience of traveling the tube, having the world record, not having it again and then trying to get it back, and everything else that I do on the tube - I created the stage show Tubespotting performed at the Edinburgh Fringe festival in 2014, as well as ad-hoc shows in London.
a spoken word/comedy/multimedia show at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2014 called 'Tubespotting', details here.
Next performance: Wednesday 10th December 2014 at the Hen & Chickens in Highbury & Islington. Tickets are available here
July 23rd 2014 Edinburgh preview at the London Transport Museum
August 14th-22nd The Electric Circus, part of the PBH Free Fringe / Edinburgh Festival
October 16th 2014 The Hen & Chickens Theatre, London
December 10th 2014 At the Hen & Chickens Theatre, London
Tube Videos & DVD's
I'm a video producer by day and tube enthusiast by night.
So I thought I'd blend the two worlds together and have produced a series of videos for the Londonist website called 'Secrets Of The Underground.' where we take each tube line in turn and explore some of the history, secrets, and fun bits that you may not have known about that tube line.
They've had over a million collective views, and due to popular demand have now been released onto DVD, with updated versions of all the videos, which also contains:
- 20 minutes of extras and outtakes not in the original videos
- 12 minutes Abandoned Station video exploring some of London's lost tube stations
You can buy the DVD on the Londonist website here
It documents the last days of 'A' stock and 'C' stock trains as they were replaced between 2011-2014 by the new 'S' stock type trains, with interviews with the drivers and footage from both types of trains on the Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City and Circle Lines.
You can buy this DVD from the London Transport Museum website here
Based upon the 'secrets' in the Londonist videos, I do walking/tube tours around London roughly once a month pointing out the unusual, fun, secret and historical things about the tube.
Even regular commuters always learn something that they've been walking past for years and never spotted about our fabulous Underground system.
Tours last just under 3 hours, usually on a weekend afternoon and we quite often go down the pub afterwards to discuss all things tube!
If you'd like to know when the next one is and go on one, please send me an email to this address.
In the summer of 2009 I went on an ambitious road trip around the 48 'mainland' states of America (i.e. not Alaska or Hawaii) and drove to 48 places (one for each state) that shared a name with a place on the tube map - e.g. I visited White City in Kansas, Epping in Maine and Temple in Georgia - I called in Underground : USA
It was an intense 10 week experience that I blogged about at the time, as well as taking thousands of photos and producing online videos as I went.
After it all, I took the best photos and published them into a photobook.
It's a 130,000 word story of what happened, everything that went on between the tweets.
The hour-and-a-half long documentary video is still being edited, and should finally be released in 2015 ...
In 2013 we held out first ever 'Tube Symposium' - a gathering of of App developers, map makers, tube geeks, and even signalmen and train operators (driver) on the tube for an afternoon of tube talk.
Expect us to hold another one later in 2015, at a bigger venue with lots more people invited to come and talk all things tube!
Charity Tube Challenges
In April 2014, we did Walk the Tube, a group of 25 people traveling together to raise money for their own chosen charities. This followed on after us getting the record in 2013, and generating a lot of media interest from it, and the days events have been catagorised as Tube 26.
We will do it again in 2015 (Calling it 'Walk The Tube 2015') and expect to announced it early in the year, and will take place in April 2015.
Also back in 2005, in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the tube in London on July 7th 2005, we organised a mass-participation tube challenge event with over 60 people starting together (but then splitting into small groups). We called it Tube Relief and it raised several thousands of pounds towards the official charity for the tragedy.
Tube Challenge Boardgame
With two world record under my belt, we've now come up with the idea of a Tube Challenge Boardgame for which we're currently developing ideas to turn it into a boardgame that you can play with multiple players, to take on the the Tube Challenge from the comfort of your home!
Am quite a fan of the Labyrinths on the tube as well, and have been out spotting those too!
My page is a comprehensive list of all the ones I've found so far, and their precise locations within the stations.