Berlin U-Bahn challenge?

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snudge27
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Re: Berlin U-Bahn challenge?

Post by snudge27 » 17 Mar 2008, 19:30

gasman wrote:It looks like the gods of tube challenging have had a quiet word with the Berlin transport workers' union, because I've arrived today to discover that the U-Bahn is running again! Huzzah! My friendly local hotel concierge tells me that it's confirmed as running today and tomorrow, and hopefully running for the rest of the week. The internet is telling me to expect some disruption because some services (such as mechanics) are still striking, but it sounds like things are back to normal enough for me to have a go. So - the Berlin U-Bahn challenge shall happen tomorrow!

There are some engineering works on line U3 going on, but there's a replacement bus that kind-of visits all the stations, so that's good enough for me. (It probably wouldn't satisfy Guinness rules, but this isn't a Guinness challenge so thpppt to them.) Oh, and I've also knackered my knee a bit by falling over in front of the Reichstag this morning while carrying a heavy bag. But this wasn't going to be a feat of athleticism anyway :-)
Great news - the joy of the challenge is that with the length of time it should take on a good day, you've got plenty of time for delays and general slowness... good luck!

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Re: Berlin U-Bahn challenge?

Post by gasman » 18 Mar 2008, 20:25

Well, that was fun...

Start: 11:09 at Hönow
End: 18:43 at Rudow
setting a time of... 7:33:27

I reckon that's a pretty competitive time - it's exactly half an hour over the 'ideal' time for my route (fed into the bvg.de journey planner with zero time allowed for changes). There were a few places where I wasted a minute or more from not knowing the best door positions, but I don't think any of them were critical. The only connections I visibly missed were going on to the U3 replacement bus at Fehrbelliner Platz and off it again at Breitenbachplatz - and I could have probably made both of them if I'd known which direction to go in, and absolutely legged it - but in both cases there was another one a minute or so later. Good old German efficiency. Obviously anyone wishing to beat my record is probably better off waiting until the line's back in action, though...

This minor annoyance was rectified shortly afterwards by a sexy 10-second double back at Krumme Lanke. Later on I noticed the same arrangement happening at another terminus though (first train leaving immediately as the second one gets in), so that might be more to do with a well-run railway network than any particular brilliance on my part :-) The other moment of notable sexiness was at the northernmost termini, Wittenau and Alt-Tegel - less than a minute changeover at either end.

A couple of other random figures courtesy of the pedometer which I bought for using as a stopwatch: I took 914 steps and travelled 0.274 km on foot. Bear in mind that I may not have set it up properly though... 914 steps could conceivably be the number I actually ran, but 274m is presumably rubbish (unless I was taking very small steps). My one proper run of the day (Viktoria-Luise-Platz to Eisenacher Straße, near the end of the trip) turned into more of a wander because the map in my guide book was a bit rubbish. I didn't keep detailed logs so I can't say how much that run gained or lost me (I have some very patchy GPS logs which might shed some light) but I arrived just as a train was pulling in, so it probably wasn't too bad.

I was surprised at how uncrowded the U-Bahn was - even in rush hour there were still seats free - but apparently that's not the usual situation, because one of the newspapers people were reading had a full-page headline along the lines of "BVG: Back in business, trains are running... and no-one's getting on."
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Re: Berlin U-Bahn challenge?

Post by snudge27 » 18 Mar 2008, 23:11

That's not a bad time at all - congratulations! Like we said in our conversation a few months back, ~7hrs seems to be the time to beat - and it looks as if you've had a pretty good crack at it there. I agree with you regards the U3; get a good service on there and I'm sure you could knock a few minutes off there. I reckon a bit of local knowledge might be enough to shave a fair bit off too - just judging by the few double-backs you did; but then again, they may well work out quicker.

All I can say is that next time I'm taking in das Berliner Luft I shall certainly be giving this one a try and hopefully giving Herr Gasman a run for his money!

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Re: Berlin U-Bahn challenge?

Post by gasman » 19 Mar 2008, 23:20

There were actually only two double-backs in my final route - I know there were a few more in the ones we originally discussed, but a bit more research revealed that a lot of the termini did have bus routes connecting them after all.
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Re: Berlin U-Bahn challenge?

Post by perkyperky » 21 Mar 2008, 07:28

Good stuff. We'll be doing the Berlin U-Bahn in October as part of a 5 cities in 5 days sort of challenge. A friend of mine who did the Tube with me a couple of years ago has recently lost his wife to cancer, so we're going to raise some cash for Cancer Research. The plan is to do the Tube, the Paris Metro, the Brussels Metro, the Berlin U-Bahn and the Vienna Metro in 5 days. All I need to know is, are all the Paris Metro stations within Zones 1 - 3? Oh, and if anyone wants to give me a route for Paris starting at Gare du Nord, that would be very helpful! No harm in asking is there!!

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Re: Berlin U-Bahn challenge?

Post by Root » 21 Mar 2008, 08:15

perkyperky wrote:The plan is to do the Tube, the Paris Metro, the Brussels Metro, the Berlin U-Bahn and the Vienna Metro in 5 days.
That is just... wow. I really wish you the best of luck with that, it's an awesome challenge.

Sorry I can't help with any Paris Metro routes!
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Re: Berlin U-Bahn challenge?

Post by Soup Dragon » 21 Mar 2008, 10:56

This guy Rio Akasaka attempted the Paris Metro in July 2004, maybe he could help you with a route?

http://www.rioleo.org/subway.php
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Re: Berlin U-Bahn challenge?

Post by perkyperky » 21 Mar 2008, 17:15

Yes, I've spotted him already and will be contacting him. I've already drawn up a route but want to see if I can improve it. It's not a great problem as we'll have from 0900 on Tuesday through til about 1100 on Wednesday to do the Paris bit. We toyed with doing the Berlin S-Bahn as well but thought 5 capitals in 5 days sounded better.

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Re: Berlin U-Bahn challenge?

Post by snudge27 » 08 Jan 2010, 10:32

Right! Finally - a couple of years after first suggesting it -I'm giving the Berlin network a crack today!

It's about -4c with a good foot of snow on the ground, but being Germany everything running to time!

Starting at Hönow in about 10mins time and hope to end at Rudow in about 7 hours time!

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Re: Berlin U-Bahn challenge?

Post by perkyperky » 08 Jan 2010, 12:45

Oh brilliant! Let us know how you get on.

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Re: Berlin U-Bahn challenge?

Post by snudge27 » 08 Jan 2010, 13:04

Bit of an anti-climax that one! Some engineering works have overrun from last month and one station is unreachable... pah!

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Re: Berlin U-Bahn challenge?

Post by perkyperky » 08 Jan 2010, 13:32

Walk it!

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Re: Berlin U-Bahn challenge?

Post by greatkingrat » 08 Jan 2010, 13:40

Is there a replacement bus?
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Re: Berlin U-Bahn challenge?

Post by snudge27 » 08 Jan 2010, 15:29

greatkingrat wrote:Is there a replacement bus?
Nope, unfortunately not. The stretch which is out of action shares 99% of the stops with another line, just not this one! I'll give it another try once it's all opened up in a week or so!

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Re: Berlin U-Bahn challenge?

Post by snudge27 » 08 Mar 2010, 10:47

Well, two months later and the full network is finally up and running again (so much for German efficiency!) so I'm giving it another crack.

Started at 1019hrs this morning at Hönow and am currently having a nice long sit down on my way to Ruhleben.

I'm targeting anywhere between 7 and 7.5 hours...

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