Elsie's Challenges

Zone 1, Alphabet, All Lines - discuss them here
Elsie
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Elsie's Challenges

Post by Elsie » 31 Aug 2016, 13:16

Living in Derbyshire, it's not going to be easy for me to do these any more than once in a blue moon ... but at least I have done 4 in the Bottle, Zone 1, All Lines and A-Z. If (or rather when) i try this again I will be in better shape. I cannot believe how exhausting these exploits are!

The Circle Line Bottle Challenge - Sunday 28th Aug

I bought Z1-6 travel card and went to Paddington to start the Bottle Challenge from Praed St at 14:42

Edgeware Rd – Used the lift up and walked to the other Edgeware Road. Just missed a train. This will be a continuing theme of mine where running would’ve got me on a train. Departed on a Bakerloo south at 14:50 - Marylebone 14:51 - Baker St 14:53 got off at Regents Park and went up in the lift before walking to Gt Portland St and catching a Circle Line train at 15:01. Euston Sq 15:03 - KX 15:06 - Farringdon 15:08 - Barbican 15:10 and changing at Moorgate to Northern Line. I messed up here :oops: There is working going on and the escalators are closed but when I finally worked out that I had to go down the spiral staircase, there was a big group in front.

Got onto a train and went thru Old St 15:19, Angel 15:21, KX (again) 15:24 and changed at Euston to try and find the Charing Cross branch – and failed miserably. It seemed to take an eternity to find the right platform but I eventually did, leaving at 15:32 via Warren St 15:33 – Goodge St 15:35 and arrived into a chaotic Tottenham Court Road. I wanted the Central Line West but all the exits for the CL appeared to be closed. I ended up having to (almost) leave the station and work my way back down, along with 1000’s heading to the Notting Hill Carnival.

The train was absolutely packed and left at 15:42, going through Oxford Circus 15:44 - Bond St 15:45 - Marble Arch – 15:47 - Lancaster Gate 15:49 and I got off at Queensway but this was difficult as the train was so full. I came out via the lift but the streets were filled with Carnival. I was so hot that I bought an ice cream and water before walking down to Bayswater. People everywhere; at least they were all happy!

Not long to wait for a Bayswater (circle line) train which left at 16:03. It passed through (but did not stop) at Notting Hill Gate – HSK 16:06 – I changed at Gloucester Rd to the Piccadilly Line east but had to go down another set of spiral stairs. At least it was down, not up! Leaving Gloucester Road at 16:14 we went through South Ken 16:16 – Knightsbridge 16:19 – HPC 16:21 – Green Park 16:23 – Piccadilly Circus 16:24 - Leicester Sq 16:26 – Covent Garden 16:28 and Holborn (where I changed to the Bakerloo) 16:30 to do Russell Square and double back (very quick change) to the Central Line - Holborn 16:38 - Chancery Lane 16:39 - St Pauls 16:41 - Bank 16:43 - Liverpool St ... oh fiddlesticks!

I knew I needed to head west now but I had forgotten that before I go west I needed to go EAST to Aldgate. I realised the mistake when I heard “The next stop is Moorgate”. I doubled back back at Moorgate. Changed to Circle line at 17:03 heading in the right direction but this wasted nearly 20 mins. Aldgate 17:05 - Tower Hill 17:07 - Monument 17:09 - Cannon St 17:10 - Mansion House 17:11 - Blackfriars 17:13 - Temple 17:15

Changed at Embankment onto Northern Line up to Charing Cross – and did a very quick double back to Embankment straight away (doors were closing as I jumped on!) I just missed a train at Embankment but left at 17:24 - St James Park 17:27 - Victoria 17:29 - Sloane Sq 17:31

I finished with a pathetic time of 2hr 52 mins.

A pic of my ugly ass at the finish ... https://goo.gl/photos/X2mtCLz9xckiF1xd8

A video of the route - https://youtu.be/SybyYHyXVMs

My ankles and feet are banging; I’ve been on feet for most of the journeys as the trains were VERY busy, VERY hot. I need to buy and carry more liquid. Took Victoria Line from Victoria to Tottenham Hale to see friends and their new baby. Back to Watford via the Overground and then Metropolitan.

Arrived at hotel 21:30, absolutely knackered.
Elsie

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Re: Elsie's Challenges

Post by Elsie » 31 Aug 2016, 13:36

Day 2 – Zone 1 and All Lines Challenges

Begins with a Premier Inn breakfast. As I was checking I was booked in for the next night a couple were asking about how to get into London. They were told the over ground was shut and the underground was a cab ride away. No worries, says I, I can give you a lift. Where are you from I ask? Nottinghamshire they say. Oh, I’m from Derbyshire. Where in Notts? Sutton they say. What are the odds? All this way to London and I give a lift to a couple that live 10 mins from me! I dropped them off at Watford station and then drove to park at Stanmore as I wanted to be parked inside zone 6.

As I did yesterday, I got off at Wembley Park and changed to faster Met train, went to Baker St for a coffee, loo stop and buy water; I didn’t want to be struggling like I had been on the Sunday.

Zone 1 Challenge

I started the Zone 1 challenge at 11:22 when I left Edgeware Rd on the Circle line to Paddington. On exiting the station, it felt like a long walk to the Bakerloo Line – and I just missed (story of the day) a train but caught the next at 11:30 - Edgeware Road 11:32 - Marylebone 11:33 - Baker St 11:35 and exited Regents Park (I love being on the train C4D3R [Carriage 4, Door 3, Right hand Side] to run straight down the exit stairs – thanks Station Master app!), turned right and headed to Great Portland St. I tried jogging – but I’m not built for that :oops:

Leaving GPS on the Metropolitan Line at 11:42 we passed through Euston Square 11:44 - KXSP 11:47 - Farringdon 11:50 - Barbican 11:52, alighting at Moorgate and got this absolutely right today. I was at the right door and had no hesitation in running down the spiral stairs ... only to miss a departing train by seconds. If only I had tried to run from the Met line to the stairs. Gutted. :(

After the bottle challenge yesterday, I knew I needed to be at the far end of the platform for the exit at Euston and there left Moorgate 12:00 - Old St 12:01 - Angel 12:04 - KXSP (again) 12:06. There was a very useful train announcement about Northern Line via CX being Platform 2 which meant I avoided the screw up of yesterday and got straight onto a rammed Northern Line south dep at 12:11 - Warren St 12:12 - Goodge St 12:13.

It was good fortune as I was near the back of the NL train and when I got off at Tottenham Court Road I was able to shoot straight up the back passage (ooh err Mrs!) and onto the Central Line platforms. This was much better than my FUBAR of the previous day. It did bring me onto the wrong platform but I hopped across and had a 30 sec wait for a PACKED (for the carnival) west bound train which left at 12:16 - Oxford Circus 12:18 - Bond St 12:20 - Marble Arch 12:21 - Lancaster Gate 12:23.

One hour in to the challenge - 23 stations down.

It was a struggle to get off at Queensway because the train was so full – and there was a queue for the lift with so many carnival people. I need to be able to take the stairs :( I fast walked to Bayswater and had a 4 min wait for a district train to Wimbledon (for Earls Court) leaving at 12:38 – Notting Hill Gate (which was closed) 12:40 - High St Ken 12:42. Got off at Earls Court and went straight under platforms only to miss a Piccadilly north by seconds. Again. Arrghhh!

Left Earls Court 12:48 – Gloucester Rd 12:50 - South Ken 12:51 - Knightsbridge 12:53 - Hyde Park Corner 12:57.

32/64 done in 1hr 33. Is 3 hours possible for me? I knew I shouldn’t get my hopes up like this.

Green Park 12:59 - Piccadilly Circus 13:00 - Leicester Sq 13:02 - Covent Garden 13:04 - Holborn 13:05 – exited at Russell Square and doubled back to Holborn, leaving at 13:09. Back onto the Central Line East 13:16 - Chancery lane 13:17 - St Pauls 13:18 - Bank 13:20.

Off at Liverpool St – and went straight to H&C line (no screw up like yesterday) and caught train to Aldgate East at 13:27. I walked (should’ve run if I could) back to Aldgate and left on District line west 13:37 - Tower Hill 13:39 - Monument 13:42 -Cannon St 13:44 - Mansion House 13:45 - Blackfriars 13:48 - Temple 13:49.

Off at Embankment onto Northern Line to Charing Cross leaving at 13:54. At Charing Cross I changed to a Bakerloo south via a bloody long tunnel, leaving at 13:59. Embankment (again) 14:00 - Waterloo 14:02 - Lambeth North (station closed) 14:04 - Elephant & Castle (had to wait in the tunnel for a platform to be free) and changed to Northern Line train at 14:11 - Borough 14:13.

Off at London Bridge changing to the Jubilee north at 14:19 - Southwark 14:20. Changed at Westminster – had to come all the way up to the District & Circle. I’ve exited the Jubilee at Westminster before but as it’s my 2nd favourite station I enjoy looking at the engineering. Now? I’m in a rush and I’m walking up the escalators trying to reach the summit. I need to lose weight I know that. This is killing me. I got to the platform as a District train pulled out. Queue much &%(**!!@£ in my head.

Left Westminster 14:29 - St James’s Park 14:31 - Victoria 14:34 - Doubled Back at Sloane Sq -14:39 – changed at Victoria onto Victoria line south 14:42 - Pimlico at 14:44 finally finishing at Vauxhall at 14:49

Total Time - 3hr 23 mins

My ugly mug on arrival - https://goo.gl/photos/F4Apk2ZkZ9DxNdNE9
Video of my route - https://youtu.be/KPM50up3uNw

If only I wasn’t such an overweight, unfit and old man. So many times I ’just missed’ trains I could have caught IF I had been able to run and/or use the stairs. Still, it’s personal target for me to aim at if I do this again!

I bought a couple of bottles of coke and spent some time above ground at Vauxhall. Came across a big gathering in Vauxhall Park which turned out to be a Gay Men’s health event – I watched the Sack Race (no, that’s not a euphemism) which was funny and had an ice cream. Wandered off and found a Portugese restaurant for a nice lunch/dinner. What to do now? I know, let’s try the All Lines challenge!

All Lines Challenge

Went back to Farringdon (walking between Warren St and Euston Sq to see how long it took and to stretch my ankles) before catching a Met Train. As the doors closed at Farringdon I started the stop watch - 16:52

Off at Barbican and onto the H&C - 16:55
Moorgate – Circle (had to wait for this) and left at 17:00
Liverpool St (Central) 17:04
Bank (Waterloo & City) I loved the moving walkway but I should’ve run as I just missed a train. 17:14. the W&C train feels faster than usual trains?
Waterloo (Northern) 17:21
Embankment (District) 17:26
Westminster (Jubilee) – Had to go all the way DOWN this time ... but just missed a train. Again. 17:31
Green Park (Piccadilly) 17:39
Piccadilly Circus (Bakerloo) 17:42
Oxford Circus (Victoria) 17:47
Arrived at Green Park (again) at 17:49

Final time = 57:01 - That’s a bit more like it!

Point of note

I hate Green Park station. It is just mile after mile of tunnels. Very happy to have completed this in under an hour and with a bit of luck (and running) I can see how it could be reduced.

Never, ever do this on a Carnival Weekend; any train heading towards the NH area were packed. There were many times I couldn’t get down the platform to be where I needed to be on the train.

Also I didn’t realise how much this would take out of me.

“How can you be tired, just riding trains?”

My knees, ankles and feet are absolutely banging. On many trains it’s standing room only – or I’m not on for long enough before I had to get off. Then then there is negotiating the changes; Trying to get from one platform to the next is a lot of effort; all the stairs, escalators (and yes) I was walking up/down these. The changes between stations – Paddington-Paddington, Regents Park-GPS, Aldgate-Aldgate. I wish I had step monitor to have recorded all this activity; this is the most exercise I’ve done in years! I also can’t believe how much I have drunk and not had to go to the loo.

After finishing the All Lines Challenge I wanted to ride the Northern City Line so went back to Moorgate and took the 18:19 to Angel and Islington. I then changed to Overground rail to West Hampstead, then the Jubilee back to Stanmore and off to the hotel.
Last edited by Elsie on 01 Sep 2016, 08:52, edited 1 time in total.
Elsie

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Re: Elsie's Challenges

Post by Elsie » 31 Aug 2016, 14:02

The A-Z Challenge - Tuesday 30th August

Blimey. Are my knees, feet and ankles meant to feel as bad as this? Where the heck have those blisters come from? Ah well, let’s make the most of my last day. I tried to park at Watford tube station but the only places left were only big enough for micro cars, not mine, so I drove to Stanmore which was full. I do wish that Stanmore had something at the entrance to say “Full”; it would save people driving down and risking getting charged by their ANPR system. Off to Cannons Park which had free space and I paid for this on the phone while walking to the tube.

I took the Jubilee to Wembley park and then swapped to the Metropolitan to Aldgate.

At Aldgate,I got off the train, took a pic of the roundel and then jumped back on. As the doors closed it was 10:57 and we headed off for Liverpool St – where I changed to the Central Line and passed thru:

Bank – 11:02
Chancery Lane – 11:06

... and stayed on the Central Line, changing at Bond St onto the Jubilee line (just missing a train) but leaving at 11:13 heading north for

Dollis Hill at 11:31.

I stayed on the train heading north to Wembley Park and swapped to the Metropolitan back into the city as (in my eyes) it’s faster missing out all those stops. We certainly seemed to pass at least 3 Jubilee trains, that I could see) on the way back in. Anyway, I stayed on the Met for

Euston Square at 11:57
Farringdon at 12:02

Double back on the Metropolitan Line to pass through:

Great Portland Street at 12:11 … then the long ride out on the Met to
Harrow On The Hill at 12:36 and
Ickenham at 12:50 – up and over to head back to Wembley Park where I again swapped to the Jubilee for
Kilburn at 13:22

I stayed on the Jubilee all the way to Bond Street where I changed to the Central Line for what would be a lot of toing-and-froing; now I know how a Pinball feels! First I headed west to:

Lancaster Gate at 13:39 then doubled back to
Marble Arch at 13:41 … and doubling back again for Notting Hill Gate, only to see a train pulling away. Grrr. I was at
Notting Hill Gate at 13:51 and needed to double back to Oxford Circus but was flummoxed by the platform not being opposite. It seems here, the east bound platform is lower? Onto a train back east I was at Oxford Circus at 14:03.

Changed to Bakerloo south and hit Piccadilly Circus at 14:07

Bounced back to Oxford Circus, getting back onto the Central Line (although they really should rename this “The Moving Oven”) and was at Queensway for 14:20. Bounced back again to Oxford Circus where I took the Bakerloo north to Regents Park at 14:37. Double back on the Bakerloo to Oxford Circus and deviated from my original plan - which was to go to Southwark and have a break. I felt I was doing OK and although I had started feeling the twinges of needing the loo I thought I could hold out. I changed to the Central Line East and went through St Pauls at 14:48

Bank. I hate Bank. :x

I left the Central Line train and followed the signs into the bowels of the planet that pointed me towards the Circle & District lines. Even Tolkien’s Dwarves wouldn’t have stayed underground this long. Eventually I surfaced onto a platform, straight onto a District Line train to Upminster; result!

Tower Hill was passed at 14:58
Upton Park was reached at 15:17

I had a couple of mins to spare at this point; I had missed a train back into town that pulled in after my train had stopped but I didn’t have the energy to run for it. Yeah, I know. I should have. Anyway, the board said the First Train was a District Line via Embankment & Victoria so all was good. I worked out that I had been going for around 4 hours and 21 minutes. Could I break 5 hours? Oh brain, don’t get my hopes up.

Train arrives and I jump on, anxiously checking my stop watch and counting down the stops to Victoria. It was only when the train pulled into Aldgate East and I actually listened to the announcement that I realized I was on a Hammersmith & City line train, not a District! I got off just in time. I think the board at Upton Park must have been for the train that I had just missed. It was an agonizing wait for a District to arrive but when it did, it didn’t leave Aldgate East until 15:41.

It felt like a slow journey across the bottom of the District Line. As my stop watch passed 5 hours at 15:56, the train was just departing for Victoria. Aw nuts.

I had a heck of a job changing at Victoria; the staircase I picked had a flood of people and cases coming up as I wanted to go down. I arrived in Westminster at 16:03

A-Z completed in 5 Hours and 6 minutes and a rough guesstimate of 24 changes and 132 stops!.

An album of the roundels I saw can be seen here - https://goo.gl/photos/kDionsddhqE2PERL8

And a video of the route - https://youtu.be/K4qZMykua6s
Last edited by Elsie on 01 Sep 2016, 12:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Elsie's Challenges

Post by quisquidillius » 31 Aug 2016, 17:53

Our Alphabet routes are very similar indeed! What are you planning on doing next?
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South London Challenge (Summer 2016): 1:58:40 - going to try again soon!
All Lines Challenge (August 2016): 44:38 - happy with this ... For now!

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Re: Elsie's Challenges

Post by Elsie » 31 Aug 2016, 18:05

Losing weight before trying again! I would want to try and improve on my times. As I live so far away it's not something I can do easily but if I lose weight that'll please my wife and mean I might be able to get away with another trip before the end of the year.

I can't believe how much energy these things take, esp for a fat old man! I want to do the Zone 1 again as I enjoyed that one the most but I am dreading that Westminster climb from the Jubilee to the District.
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Re: Elsie's Challenges

Post by RJSRdg » 31 Aug 2016, 18:09

Mine's very similar too :-)

I'm not quite sure why you visited Old Street, Angel and Euston on the Bottle though (my route does include Euston but only as a changeover rather than as a destination per se.
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Re: Elsie's Challenges

Post by al » 31 Aug 2016, 18:20

The board at Upton Park generally shows the opposite destination of the next train due!
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Re: Elsie's Challenges

Post by Tube Geek » 01 Sep 2016, 06:39

The Zone 1 vid links to the bottle
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Re: Elsie's Challenges

Post by DavidC » 01 Sep 2016, 11:14

Thanks for sharing - very interesting. I'm not into running more than about twenty feet, although an occasional brisk stroll from further away is often very helpful !

By the way, I assume you changed to the Piccadilly at Holborn to do Russell Square and you collected the letter Q at Queensway.
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Re: Elsie's Challenges

Post by Elsie » 01 Sep 2016, 12:30

DavidC wrote:Thanks for sharing - very interesting. I'm not into running more than about twenty feet, although an occasional brisk stroll from further away is often very helpful !

By the way, I assume you changed to the Piccadilly at Holborn to do Russell Square and you collected the letter Q at Queensway.
That is correct. Queensway not bury. Sorry! And the Piccalilly from Holborn for Russel Sq is easy is you only have to nip across the platform to double back.
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Re: Elsie's Challenges

Post by Elsie » 06 Jan 2017, 17:05

Guess what I'm doing tomorrow?

Up at 06:15, leave by 07:00 to drive to Tamworth and park before catching the 08:34 to Euston. I arrive in London an hour later to buy a travel card and scoot off to Sloane Square to start another bash at the Zone 1 challenge. I'll also be having a bash at The Mouse and (time and energy permitting), All Lines but I need to be back to Euston for 20:15 to get the train back to Tamworth and the hour+ drive home after that.

Why, when I live near Chesterfield, am I going from Tamworth? Well, I've never ridden on a Pendolino before I managed to bag a 1st Class return for £40 using a 20% off Virgin Trains offer my wife found. I'm looking forward to riding on a class 390 as much as I am 'playing' on the tube network!

And if it all goes to hell tomorrow, Geoff Marshall has set a Tube Challenge for 2017 (details here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJc9IDT-kqQ) and I've worked out that there are 22 stations in Zone 1 that I don't think I've actually visited - so I've got some of these to tick off during the day!
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Re: Elsie's Challenges

Post by Iain » 06 Jan 2017, 19:47

True, but you have to go through the gateline at each so it'd have to be separate from a proper z1 attempt.

I'm wondering how long it would take to do all 270 stations in that manner
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Re: Elsie's Challenges

Post by Elsie » 06 Jan 2017, 20:02

I'll be attempting the Zone 1 first - but if things go wrong I'll stop and do the station visits instead!
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Re: Elsie's Challenges

Post by RJSRdg » 07 Jan 2017, 00:34

Given that the record for the FNC is a little under 16 hours, and allowing an average five minute service frequency across the network then 270 x 5/60 = 22.5 hours spent getting off at a station, going out, coming back in and waiting for the next train. 30 or so stations probably either need to be exited/entered or have a prolonged wait at anyway during an FNC so that 270 could be reduced to 240, reducing that element of the time to 20 hours. Add on 16 hours for the route and the total is 36 hours. I'm not sure it could be worked into a continuous session using Night Tube though!
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Re: Elsie's Challenges

Post by DrainBrain » 07 Jan 2017, 07:17

Here's something comparable: http://www.tubechallenge.com/forum/view ... 45#p100717

Not strictly the same though, because some Labyrinth posters are inside the gateline.
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