Tube 15 - The One Where No One Tweeted

This is a shorter write up than normal, it's just some of the salient points with time/summary at the end.

The first train of the day out of Chesham was an S-Stock. The guy that we got to sign our witness logbook tells us that the day before the train had been completely cancelled! Lucky we hadn't decided to try it the day before.

This would be Anthony's last attempt of the year as he has no more annual leave to take after this. By Richmond at around 9am in the morning, we are ten minutes up on schedule due to positive delays of a previous train.

We got a Routemaster bus during the bus ride to High Street Ken! How often can one say nowadays that you get on an RM bus during a tube challenge!

On another bus journey later in the day, there was a bus driver change over which took forever. I got so irritated by it, that I decided to get off and run the last few stops as it would probably be quicker .. it was, as we passed the last bus stop that we would have got out of I look behind me and the bus was still stuck in traffic.

At Mill Hill East, the driver was casually having a cigarette on the platform before getting back into the train and starting off late. I'm pretty sure that "No Smoking on the Underground", includes drivers, even if it is an open-air station too with not many passengers. He almost cost us our connection back down at Finchley Central.

On my least favourite stretch of tube line - the Piccadilly between Green Park at Earl's Court, I actually had small micro naps and kept nodding off. Anthony had to keep on waking me up so I could record the times.

A District Line train heading south out of West Brompton towards Fuham Broadway did that irritating thing of stopping, then crawling along, then stopping, then crawling along again for no reason - no announcement from the driver, and there hadn't been a Wimbledon train leave before us at Earl's Court for at least five minutes, very annoying.

On the Northern Line in the evening rush hour I see someone that I recoginse .. it's someone famous off the telly. It's Adam Claus from Jonathan Creek, who's real name is actor Stuart Milligan.

We have a spate of good changes in the evening. We get off the Northern Line and have a less-than-one-minute change. Onto another line where we do a reverse and the train is there as we pull in and leave immediately. Then another fast change, and then another - this is great, until we find ourselves onto the Bakerloo Line, where things then go a bit slow.

At just after 9pm we're at Northwick Park. I check my watch for the more precise time, and see that it's 9.07pm. I remember being here at 9.17pm last time, which means we're ten minutes up on last time - last time we finished in 16:38 and seconds, so that theoretically means that we're on for a record leveling (or just beating?) 16:28. Wow!

We manage to get the U1 bus again, that's twice in a row now ... incredible.

But just when it's looking good, the Piccadilly screws us over, right at the death of the day. All the services are messed up, we get a train that terminates Northfield. Another that terminates and reversed at Hounslow Central (highly unusual), and then to cap it all .. we get on a train that goes to Terminal 4 first, doesn't wait .. carries on round the loop in Terminals 1,2,3, and then reverses down into Terminal 5 - a highly unusual manouvere. And although that's fun, it's cost us loads of time and we're slower than last time.

No tweeting was done during this attempt!

Tube 15 statistics:

Stations visited: 270/270 (All stations complete)
Start time: 06:50.13 Finish time: 23:48.28
Time taken: 16 hours, 58 minutes, 15 seconds.
Number of people: 2
Support team: Several

Other attempts:

Tube 1 | Tube 2 | Tube 3 | Tube 4 | Tube 5 | Tube 6 | Tube 7 (World Record)
Tube 8 | Tube 9 (Tube Relief) | Tube 10 | Tube 11 | Tube 12 | Tube 13 | Tube 14 | Tube 15 | Tube 16 | Tube 17 | Tube 18 | Tube 19 | Tube 20 | Tube 21 | Tube 22 | Tube 23 | Tube 24 | Tube 25 (Second World Record)

Kate produced a small set of photos which can be seen on her Flickr account here.



Tube 15

22nd September 2011

The Tube Challenge

The challenge is to travel round all the stations on the London Underground (currently 270 of them) in the fastest time possible. This is a recognised and established world record, that has proper rules and regulations laid down by Guinness World Records. People have been competing for this since 1959.

I'm a two-times World Record Holder for completing this challenge the first time held between 2004-2006, and then again between 2013-2015.

History & Other Challengers
Media Appearances
Zone 1 Only
The Official Rules
Underground Facts & Figures