2nd Attempt

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Peter
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2nd Attempt

Post by Peter » 16 Jan 2015, 12:00

Spurred on by my successful first attempt last month, I had another go on Wednesday (14th Jan).

I took Forum members’ helpful advice (thank you) and devised a route starting in Chesham and finishing at Heathrow (opposite way to last time). I know many challengers don’t start on the first train in order to get a better time overall, but I did, as I wanted to give myself the best chance of a completion. My route included large parts of the public Labyrinth route, but with some major changes in order to accommodate catching an evening Ken O train (this was not an exhibition service day).

I had a mixed start to the day as I made the first train from Chesham comfortably having driven from my home in Watford, but I stupidly left in the car the thermos mug of strong coffee I’d prepared at home! People who know me will attest that I’m not at my best early in the morning, and I’m particularly bad without coffee. Anyway the on-platform store at Amersham came to my rescue thankfully – open at 5.30am, amazing – and I got my caffeine fix.

I had an early decision point when there were delays on the Piccadilly line due to over-running engineering works and a signal failure. But I was only taking part of a suburban branch, not the central area, so after some online investigation I chanced it. This paid off thankfully as I had some luck, caught a train ahead of plan, which meant I could then take a train rather than a run, which meant I was then 2 trains up!

The network behaved itself through the day and I was able to follow my route maintaining the 15-20 minute advantage until the evening. For Ken O I’d built in some flexibility as I knew I couldn’t predict exactly where I’d be when, and there are only 2 trains to catch. The plan worked well – I was ahead and used the time to take out 3 stations which I would have done later. So I arrived at High Street Kensington in good time for the 1940 train and feeling really positive about a good completion.

The Ken O train was there in the platform, identifying itself as an Olympia service. So I boarded. 1940 came and went. The train didn’t move, the signal was on red. After 10 minutes or so I went forward and got the drivers attention, pointing at my watch. He opened his door and amazingly said pointing as his radio “We’re trying to find out when the train should be leaving. We think it’s 11 minutes past, but we’re not sure”. Of course exasperated I said that it should have already left at 20 too, but then the signal changed to green and we were off, 15 minutes late. Are Olympia trains so rare these days that tfl have forgotten how to run them to timetable?! (note there is no timetabled train at 2011 hrs).

Anyway I’d lost much of my time advantage, but did claw some back by being able to get an Overground from Ken O for the next leg of the route, rather than run.
For the final trip down to Heathrow the Piccadilly threatened again to spoil my day with reported severe delays due to a broken down train at Barons Court. However the problems cleared just in time and although the T4 train was a bit late it made up time by only halting at T4 for 1 minute before proceeding to T123.

I got to T5 just after 11pm and completed in a time of 17:47:36.

I was chuffed, having hit all the goals for the day – another completion on a different route, planning in an evening Ken O successfully, beating my previous time by over 2 hours, and getting a sub 18 hours time (which I thought was going be a real stretch)! I even made it a round 300 stations for the day by taking the long (30 station) tube trip on the Piccadilly and Met lines back up to Chesham to get my car. I had a celebratory beer when I got home to Watford about 1.15am!

Other high and low light snippets for the day:
• Bliss is when you arrive on a Central line platform and see ‘Woodford via Hainault 2 mins’ on the indicator board
• I’m still far from fit enough. I’ve been to the gym a few times but still can’t do that steady half mile run and I ache like hell still now
• More work required to figure out the best way to do Cockfosters – High Barnet. I took the 384 bus again as it was leaving only 3 mins after I got to the stop, but it was still a full 33 minutes between platform arrival and departure. I am daunted by the prospect of running it, but maybe I need to bite the bullet…
• I selected what I thought was the next District out of Upminster, when the other train doors closed and it left. Obviously I felt stupid, but I’m not sure how I could have known which was going first

Thanks a lot if you’ve read this far.
Peter.

PS. I did TCR on the Northern line as it’s closed on the Central through 2015.

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The Orange One
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Re: 2nd Attempt

Post by The Orange One » 16 Jan 2015, 12:05

High Barnet to Cockfosters is probably best done by taking the 307 bus to either Oakwood or the roundabout south of Cockfosters, then heading up to Cockfosters itself (by Piccadilly or running respectively).
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Re: 2nd Attempt

Post by Sam » 16 Jan 2015, 14:18

With regard to Upminster, it's just a case of trying to position yourself in the right place so you can see the signal change and dive onto the train. Not an easy place to depart, I am much happier coming in on the district and out on the c2c!
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Iain
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Re: 2nd Attempt

Post by Iain » 16 Jan 2015, 19:57

I'm a tad confused as to what happened at Ken O - you said you left on a 15 minutes late train from Ken O but then mention getting the Overground (which wouldn't count as a visit as it's not on the same tracks)
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Re: 2nd Attempt

Post by The Orange One » 16 Jan 2015, 20:09

I think he left HSK on the 1941, which left 15 minutes late, but then made the Overground upon arrival at Ken O instead of a run to West Ken.
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Peter
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Re: 2nd Attempt

Post by Peter » 16 Jan 2015, 21:07

Yes I took the 1940 District train from HSK to Olympia, but it ran 15 minutes late. At Olympia, because I was there later than planned, I could take an Overground to West Brompton rather than running to Earls Court, which I had planned.
Hope that clears it up!

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Re: 2nd Attempt

Post by geofftech » 16 Jan 2015, 21:19

we always have someone posted at Upminster watching the pattern of the trains out, so they tell us which one is next as we pull in.

also there is a "Next train from platform X" lightbox indicators up on the footbridge at the eastern end of the station.

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Iain
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Re: 2nd Attempt

Post by Iain » 16 Jan 2015, 23:24

Ah ok, makes more sense now I've re-read it.

The problem I have with District in c2c out is that District trains can get held. We had a 5 min gap in theory once but didn't make the train.
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Re: 2nd Attempt

Post by greatkingrat » 16 Jan 2015, 23:36

What you can do is use a live departure app on your phone to see what trains are currently sitting at Upminster, then check them against the WTT to see which is due to leave first. Obviously will only work if things are running roughly on time.
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Re: 2nd Attempt

Post by palkanetoijala31 » 17 Jan 2015, 04:40

geofftech wrote:we always have someone posted at Upminster watching the pattern of the trains out, so they tell us which one is next as we pull in.

also there is a "Next train from platform X" lightbox indicators up on the footbridge at the eastern end of the station.
not everybody has a 5 person support team geoff :roll:

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Re: 2nd Attempt

Post by moley » 17 Jan 2015, 11:51

palkanetoijala31 wrote:
geofftech wrote:we always have someone posted at Upminster watching the pattern of the trains out, so they tell us which one is next as we pull in.

also there is a "Next train from platform X" lightbox indicators up on the footbridge at the eastern end of the station.
not everybody has a 5 person support team geoff :roll:
How else do you have a party on the way back from Upminster? :roll:
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al
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Re: 2nd Attempt

Post by al » 17 Jan 2015, 17:31

I normally have a very lonely party. :cry: With flapjacks.
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Re: 2nd Attempt

Post by geofftech » 18 Jan 2015, 15:15

moley wrote:
palkanetoijala31 wrote:
geofftech wrote:we always have someone posted at Upminster watching the pattern of the trains out, so they tell us which one is next as we pull in.

also there is a "Next train from platform X" lightbox indicators up on the footbridge at the eastern end of the station.
not everybody has a 5 person support team geoff :roll:
How else do you have a party on the way back from Upminster? :roll:
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Re: 2nd Attempt

Post by Nigel » 19 Jan 2015, 09:14

Congratulations! I've updated the top times page with your latest effort.

I'm glad that you confirmed that you did TCR on the Northern line. May I remind other challengers that for most of the rest of this year, just doing it as a pass through on the Central line will not be acceptable to be included in the top times listings.

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Peter
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Re: 2nd Attempt

Post by Peter » 19 Jan 2015, 19:20

Thanks Nigel, much appreciated.
And thanks to everyone else for the advice on interchanges - all makes sense, just need to implement it!

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