Tramlink twosome

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DavidC
Zone 5
Posts: 604
Joined: 20 Feb 2015, 22:15

Tramlink twosome

Post by DavidC » 15 Oct 2016, 21:52

Another verbose post from a fiftysomething who merely walks briskly - I'm clearly not challenging the leaders and parkrunners, but maybe my attempts can inspire others of a certain vintage or speed to partake of the challenges. Two sub-two hour Tramlink results to mention today, with the westbound version somewhat-surprisingly being faster than the eastbound. Or perhaps not : it's always very worthwhile to search for and read previous posts on a particular challenge in advance, as I do. Anyway, I achieved 1h 52m 34s (westbound New Addington to Wimbledon) which, in my personal context, is another perfectly decent result that I am happy with. I won't bother claiming the 1h 56m 58s eastbound.

For a non-runner, Tramlink has some straightforward long boring bits, some fiddly bits around central Croydon and some luck-of-the-draw bits to the east. I know the east well, and central Croydon partially, but there has still been plenty to learn. There may be some more exotic options involving other buses and railways (and running), but for me it crudely boiled down to (a) getting between Beckenham Junction and Elmers End and (b) sorting out Reeves Corner and the resultant central Croydon consequences. I was surprised at how fast some of the (comparatively) rural sections are, frustrated by waiting for several single-line sections to clear (perhaps because of the aforementioned preceding fast runs), annoyed by long layovers at termini, pleased at some fast cross-platform interchanges and bemused by how much loadings varied dramatically during a Saturday daytime. I saw a squirrel at Blackhorse Lane and game birds near Gravel Hill, while distant views of the Crystal Palace and Sydenham transmitters provided a Parisian feel to proceedings. I was confused by references to apparent request stops : my trams stopped everywhere.

My initial eastbound run (after getting to Wimbledon) was dominated by speeding along then waiting for single line clearances, and was pretty boring. Fortunately it seemed too early for IKEA or central Croydon shopping crowds to have too much impact (to start with). The easy walk from the front of the tram at Reeves Corner to George Street was straightforward and even pleasant (apart from the uphill bit). I was relaxed about being passed by an Elmers End tram en route near Church Street because something like that was highly probable anyway and, on the approach to George Street, being able to see clearly past a Wimbledon tram towards my Beckenham Junction (via West Croydon) target in the middle distance avoided any stress. It was a very slow crawl through central Croydon, though, for no obvious major reason (even allowing for heavier crowds and unlucky traffic lights). A driver change at East Croydon didn't help. I could see online that my timing for catching a 54 bus from Beckenham Junction to Elmers End would be awful (let alone worrying about the traffic through Beckenham High Street and around Elmers End Green) and I couldn't be bothered with options involving walking down Rectory Road, so I went for the lazy slow route back via Arena. I think there had been a service disruption towards Elmers End anyway so I would almost certainly have caught the same tram regardless. A long turnaround at Elmers End and waiting a few minutes at Sandilands resulted in the 1h 56m 58s that I won't bother claiming, but with hindsight it actually wasn't too terrible.

I decided to forego sightseeing in New Addington and commenced the westbound version immediately. A pretty good crossover at Sandilands soon saw me arriving at Elmers End. This time I decided to catch the 54 (to Beckenham Junction). The driver's visit to the toilet/Tardis/whatever at "Elmers End Interchange" was fairly quick and we managed to avoid stopping at several request stops, which certainly helped. Even Beckenham High Street wasn't too bad. I definitely feel more relaxed about the 54 in the EE>BJ direction than BJ>EE. I believed the online timetable and strode purposefully to catch the waiting tram from Beckenham Junction with time to spare. Later I had a relaxing short stroll from Church Street to Reeves Corner followed by a slightly-peeving wait that was only really about three minutes. At Wellesley Road, I chose to walk to George Street although I almost certainly could have stayed on to cross over at East Croydon. There followed a boring and uneventful run to Wimbledon, ending in a time of 1h 52m 34s.
First to 100000 in the 2015+ Tumbleweed contest. Winner of a few rounds of a diverse range of quizzes/games. Some decent times in alternative challenges as a fiftysomething who merely walks briskly.

J.Nichols-Ageros
Zone 1
Posts: 13
Joined: 04 Jul 2016, 17:56

Re: Tramlink twosome

Post by J.Nichols-Ageros » 16 Oct 2016, 20:20

Ah, the Tramlink... I have the record for this one... and yep it is make or break, and a very boring challenge. There is a way to do it, but I can't share that...
Current London Trams Record Holder - 01:35:15

"Hold the doors! Hold the doors!"

RJSRdg
Zone 6
Posts: 739
Joined: 16 Mar 2015, 00:35

Re: Tramlink twosome

Post by RJSRdg » 09 Dec 2017, 01:06

According to the RAIB report into the Sandilands accident, the maximum speed limit on the Tramlink was reduced from 50mph to 43mph in September 2017.

As this obviously means the Challenge will take longer to complete, should the record be re-set?
Currently 4th place in the Bottle Challenge league table
Currently 3rd place Zone1/Zone 2 Challenge

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Steeevooo
All Zones
Posts: 1068
Joined: 14 Jul 2005, 11:23
Location: Rainham, Essex

Re: Tramlink twosome

Post by Steeevooo » 09 Dec 2017, 06:44

No.

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