Successful first attempt

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Successful first attempt

Post by wozzat » 27 Apr 2016, 14:23

Earlier in the year, my friend Gary asked if I was interested in having a go at the tube challenge. I like trains and the planning aspect appealed to me so I said yes - why not!

Some weeks later (Friday 22 April 16) after much use of the internet and having roped in 2 other people (Robin and Hazel), we were standing at Heathrow Terminal 4 awaiting the 5.02. We opted for a Heathrow to Amersham/Chesham route because our aim was completion rather than a fast time and we wanted to bag Olympia nice and early.

Things started smoothly enough - the 5.02 being a little late as usual. Somehow the district line train to West Kensington managed to get there 2 minutes late in spite of leaving Hammersmth early. We're not runners but running was required. It was tight but we made the 6.15 at Olympia - just!

Disaster struck soon after at Tower Hill where we were waiting for a Circle train to Aldgate. A 'customer related incident' had occurred behind us and there would be no eastbound trains until further notice. Fearing a lengthy delay we abandoned our plan and headed for the C2C at Fenchurch Street. Taking this to Upminster we had time to re-plan and work out how to collect the stations we had skipped. It would cost us time but hopefully not completion. We elected to leave a few stations for later and get ourselves back on schedule for now.

Further delays were incurred at Oval where it took 4 trains for all of our group to get to Elephant & Castle because it was rush hour and seriously busy. Things went smoothly after this and by the time we reached Mill Hill East, we were only 10 minutes behind (and 4 stations down). Mill Hill East toilets were locked!

We proceeded to mop up the northern lines. We had excellent bus connections including the rare 384. We saw some housing estates and had a tour of a hosptial courtesy of those buses but overall they helped us claw back the 10 minutes. By the time we were heading westbound following a successful Hainault Loop tour, we were on time. Now for those missed stations!

Tidying up our mess from earlier was simple enough but cost us about 40 minutes by the time we rejoined our planned route. This might have been less but for a delay getting out of Aldgate. I'm not a big fan of Aldgate station. The information boards were unhelpful and there was a long wait. In the end a Metropolitan train departed before the Circle we thought would leave first. More time lost and very frustrating.

With a bit of help from the 93 bus and some good interchanges, we were back to 30 minutes behind at Wimbledon. The next problem was the doors failing to open at Hammersmith on the H&C train we were on. When we did get off and ran over to the District Line station, the departure boards were confused to
say the least. The Richmond train we expected had either gone already or had been cancelled. The number of people waiting on the platform suggested the latter. There were some signalling problems in the Acton area and things were in a bit of a mess. By the time we'd done Richmond and were heading towards Ealing Broadway (coffee and food on the platform!) at least another 10 minutes had been lost.

Things went well again after this (apart from getting splashed by a car near Ickenham). Sadly we were held on the Central near North Acton because of an unknown issue. We then experienced a very slow Bakerloo line and there were few trains going all the way to Harrow & Wealdstone. Upon reaching the Metropolitan at Northwick Park and seeing our hoped Watford train go past while on the way to Preston Park, we suspected we'd be crawling accross the finish line on one of the last trains. However, we had some good fortune at Moors Park after returning from Watford. The Chesham train which you should miss according to the timetable was running late behind a depot bound train. This meant a slightly more comfortable finish and we thankfully travelled out to Chesham and back before completing at Amersham over an hour after our planned time but we made it!

The stats: 59 underground trains, 1 C2C, 4 buses, 6 walks/runs, 19h23m16s and importantly 270 stations!


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Re: Successful first attempt

Post by Tube Geek » 27 Apr 2016, 15:50

Congratulations on completing!
Personal Best - 264 Stations in 19 hours 37 minutes.


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Re: Successful first attempt

Post by Nigel » 28 Apr 2016, 12:17

Congratulations. If you would like to be added to the top times list, please let me have your names.

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Re: Successful first attempt

Post by wozzat » 29 Apr 2016, 11:36

Nigel wrote:If you would like to be added to the top times list, please let me have your names.
Thanks - names are Gary Honey, Warren Townsend, Robin Calcutt and Hazel Townsend.

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