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Analysing Tunnel Vision

Why the route in 'Tunnel Vision' doesn't work

Page 38 "5.39am Tottenham Court Road, Northern/Central Line"

The journey from Morden to Tottenham Court Road has taken them 31 minutes. In real life this journey takes 33 to 34 minutes - only 2 or 3 minutes difference, but this is vital in the real world, and minutes taken off in the books journey at every interchange is what helps the 'make' it round the system.

Page 58 "At last, at 6.37 the train slows to pull at Epping"

This is bizarre, because it's taken them 57 minutes to get from Tottenham Court Road to Epping. Then see that back on Page 56, they've wasted three minutes with a connection/change at Leytonstone (even though there would be direct trains at this time of the morning), when really the journey should take them just 44 minutes. Even with the 3 minute connection taken out, that's 54 minutes .. so it's taken them 10 minutes longer in the book that it needed to.

Page 135 "Brian takes the opportunity to have a pee behind one of the station buildings"

No need - there are toilet at Finchley Central, one of the few known places for challengers where you can take a leak, a welcome one too. And because of the Mill Hill East connection/wait there's always time to go to the loo as well. Also, Brain spends a moment going to the toilet and then they have seven minutes to wait for the next HIgh Barnet train - this is totally unrealistic. The most you have to wait at this time of day is four to five minutes. Not seven + toilet time. It's there so that Brian has time to go the shop at Finchley Central. On a real tube challenge you would never leave a station to get food whilst waiting for a train.

Page 188 Travelling the Waterloo & City Line.

I still can't get over this, it's a stupid thing to get wrong. You have to visit stations not lines. There is no need to go on the Waterloo and City line on the challenge.

Page 189 "As we pull into Wimbledon station there on the platform is a District Line train, doors open, ready to leave".

As you pull into platform 8 at Wimbledon, you're too far away from platforms 1-4 where the tube trains leave from to see if there is one 'Ready to Leave' as you pull in.

Page 203 "With surprise, that we are arriving at Earl's Court".

If they're taking photos at every station on the way round with disposable cameras, then why it it surprise? they'll have just taken a photo of West Brompton, so they'd know what the next station is.

The whole 'Piccadilly Line train gets derailed' incident, is just so wrong on many levels. Worst of all - the times in the book are out of place. If a tube train was derailed, that would be a major incident which would effect the whole line for the rest of the day, and yet there is no mention of it later when they are again travelling on the Piccadilly Line.

Page 241 & 245 "It's 5.07pm in Car 891 on the Piccadilly Line"

On page 241, Andy looks at his watch and it's now 5.36pm - fair enough, but on Page 245 "Tunnel between Knightsbridge and South Kensington" it is now 5.21pm - they've gone back in time.

Page 263, "5.49pm Hammersmith to Baker Street", yet on the same page it says "It is 5.58pm when we cross the road into the other station", again the times are not consistent.

Page 264, "The Hammersmith & City Line is far too crowded at this time of night". No it's not, even at 6pm in the evening, heading north out of Hammersmith and the train would not be 'far too busy'. It's one of those strange parts of the network that doesn't get packed out just because it's the time of the evening rush hour.

Page 264 "Gets on at Goldhawk Road but he only stays for one stop".

Ridiculous - Every local to this area know it's quicker to walk from Goldhawk Road to Shepherds Bush (Market) as there so close together. The time spent waiting for a train at GR, you could walk to SB, so this would not happen.

Page 279 "Soon there aren't than many people left"

Makes it sound as if in between the two Asian teenagers getting on at Canons Park and Stanmore there are more stops for people to get off at, but Canons Park is the penultimate stop before the end of the line so there is nothing in between. So "By the time we arrive in Stanmore" also sounds odd .. suggesting a lengthier stretch of line or stations- when there is not, it is just the one stop!

It's also highly unlikely that you would have to "wait about five minutes". At the time of writing there were just two platforms at Stanmore, and they need to turn trains around fast, and usually they operate a one in and one out policy. You would not have to wait as long as five minutes for a train back out of Stanmore.

Page 280 "Brian nips off to the end of the platform for a pee".

There are toilets at Stanmore.

Page 283 North West corner time jump.

How they get up to Amersham and back is perhaps the most shocking time-jump in the whole of the book. Obviously the writer has needed to finish his story in central London so that Andy can get to Waterloo for the 1am train.

The book has them at Wembley Park at 6.58pm, up to Watford, Chesham and Amersham and back down to Northwick Park by 8.28pm. This is just impossible.

At it's fastest, it would take you 28 minutes to get to Watford (19:26), change back down to Moor Park to go to Chesham is (at the absolute fastest) 40 minutes (20:06), then back down to change at Chalfont to Amersham (20:24), and then back down to Northwick Park by 20:54 - 26 minutes after the book suggests. And i've been extremely generous with travel and connection times, and in reality would probably take 20 minutes longer than that and be nearer 21:15.

Page 312 "Run through the streets to Ickenham"

Makes it sound like you run through a sprawl of suburban back streets - you don't. You run down one major high road, and one side turning to where the station is. It's also weird how this just happens and Andy is aware of it, and yet doing Northwick Park to Kenton was something that he didn't know about and a big part of the story.

They then get down to Heathrow and back in an impossibly fast time.

Page 313 "By the time we arrive at Turnham Green"

The route quite clearly missed out Chiswick Park station. They come up from Heathrow to Acton town on the Piccadilly Line and talk of changing at Turnham Green to go down to Richmond. They would have had to change onto the District Line to visit Chiswick Park, which they didn't do.

Page 314 "And sprint over the footbridge".

It's not a footbridge at Turnham Green, it's steps down and a run under the train lines to change platforms.

Page 315 "Putting this one to bed in the depot for the night. Hopefully"

There is a no depot at Richmond. And they make a big fuss about being there by 11.43pm to catch the last train back out of Richmond.The last train out of Richmond is actually at around 00:10. It would have made far more sense in the book to have this realistic time for the last train out - and that would have made the timings to get down to Richmond and back more realistic too. But of course, that wouldn't have fitted in with the 'special' 1am Eurostar train (which has also never existed).

Also, as they pass back through Turnham Green, if Brian really had of been so worried about the person that was there - then it would only be fifteen minutes later when they pass back through the same station, but it's not mentioned, At the very least, he'd look out the door/windows to see what was happening, but nothing is mentioned.

Page 344 "As I get off the train I form a crude plan"

They get to Monument station at 12.25am - completely missing the fact that Cannon Street station closes at 9pm, and they would have passed through it - closed, and invalid for any 'all stations' attempt as you must go through when the station is open.

They also never visit the Paddington station of the Circle/District Line.

The book - upon first read, is a charming fun novel. A fictious read. But that's exactly what is ... just a fun read and not to be taken seriously. It feels as if the author has taken even single possible cliched 'event' that might happen on tube and put them into one story - a tramp, a stag night prank, a de-railed train, people holding doors, signal failure, and one-under and compressed them all into one day.