Random 15 Championship 2017/18: Round 1

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Re: Random 15 Championship 2017/18: Round 1

Post by DrainBrain » 17 Sep 2017, 10:37

After a long day, I didn't head back to the pub, so here's my route.

Oxford Circus :arrow: Green Park :arrow: Earl's Court :arrow: Putney Bridge :arrow: Earl's Court :arrow: Barons Court (District) :arrow: North Ealing :arrow: on foot to West Acton :arrow: Ealing Broadway :arrow: Acton Town :arrow: Osterley :arrow: Acton Town :arrow: Chiswick Park :arrow: on foot to Gunnersbury :arrow: Kew Gardens :arrow: Willesden Junction :arrow: Stonebridge Park :arrow: Euston :arrow: Finchley Central (I'll explain) :arrow: West Finchley :arrow: Tufnell Park - no bus - back in to Tufnell Park :arrow: Euston :arrow: Blackhorse Road :arrow: Leytonstone High Street :arrow: on foot to Leytonstone :arrow: Leyton (oops!) :arrow: Woodford (not via Hainault) :arrow: Stratford :arrow: Canary Wharf

This didn't look too bad on the map. Four pairs of proximate stations made it effectively a Random 11. But, unlike car door mirrors, things on a tube map are further than they seem.

Left OXFORD CIRCUS and headed down to PUTNEY BRIDGE without major delay then back to Earl's Court. I intended to go to Kew Gardens next but there were no Richmond trains signed at all. With at least 10 minutes to wait I got a District train via WEST KENSINGTON to BARONS COURT. Still nothing about Richmond trains, but a Picc to Rayner's Lane showed up and I decided to change plans. I took the Picc to North Ealing then walked to WES TACTON. 6 minute wait. Heading to Ealing Broadway a District went past in the opposite direction. Not a good sign. 6 minute wait.

Acton Town, then OSTERLEY, then Acton Town. Decided to go via Chiswick Park and Gunnersbury as if there was actually a problem with District trains towards Richmond I could always get an Overground.

Got to KEW GARDENS but you can't just cross to the other platform. You have to go out the ticket gate and through the subway. However, I got my door position wrong and there was a big scrum of people trying to get out. When I eventually got to the gate - BAM! 105 error. GU and I know about problems with the (not so) Super-Off Peak Travelcard tickets. Had to get the attendant's help and I ended up being the last person to leave the platform. Got to the other platform. 12 minute wait.

Eventually to Willesden Junction and through HARLESDEN to STONEBRIDGE PARK. Decided to skip a Bakerloo and took the following Overground train to Euston. Hooray! the ticket gates were open. No 105 error here. First train is going to High Barnet (win!). We get to FINCHLEY CENTRAL and the driver announces that because of late running the train would terminate there (less of a win :( ). It's only a couple of minutes to the next train though. At WEST FINCHLEY a Southbound train arrives just as I'm going up the steps so I run over and catch it. I think I spot Richard further down the platform, but there's no time so I get in the last carriage.
RJSRdg wrote:
16 Sep 2017, 23:16
Back south to Tufnell Park, where the lift doors closed and reopened and Nick got in (always a bad sign - I've bumped into him on a few challenges recently and it usually means I'm doing badly!).
I was waiting meekly by the other lift thinking Richard had got away. However, Richard might become my bad luck totem...
RJSRdg wrote: Up to street level to see a Number 4 in the distance and 26 minutes on the DMI board. Nick disappeared back underground, while I made a futile attempt to outrun the bus! Needless to say I didn't manage it but was able to pick up a Boris to FINSBURY PARK, where I caught the Vic to Blackhorse Road. Got slightly lost on the footbridge(!) but made it down to platform level to discover (1) the next Goblin wasn't for 10 minutes and (2) Nick had caught me up despite going back into Euston.
Yes, I go back to Tufnell Park and then to Euston and catch a Victoria train via FINSBURY PARK to Blackhorse Road and I meet Richard again on the Overground platform. We have quite a long wait. Richard says that he thinks we'll finish together...
RJSRdg wrote: At Leytonstone High Road, the barriers refused to read either of our tickets. I tailgated another passenger whilst Nick showed his to the attendant.
There was no attendant. I had to wait several seconds before I could tailgate someone else through the wide gate.
RJSRdg wrote:I hoped this might gain me a little time but after passing under the bridge I looked back to see him on my tail. Now although I've done Leytonstone to High Road several times, I've never done the run the other way before so I wound up taking an earlier side road than I expected, bringing me in alongside the Central Line. Seeing a northbound train approaching the station, and not anticipating catching it, I slowed, only to see to my horror Nick coming out of the other side road 100m ahead of me!
Harrington Road is the one I took.
RJSRdg wrote: I rushed to the station but there was no sign of him either in the subway or on the platform, so presumably he had managed to catch the train I had seen (*).
NO! I caught a train going the wrong way! For some reason - probably exhaustion from chasing after Richard - I thought I needed to go to Stratford next. A double back at Leyton ensued and then there was a driver change at Leytonstone for yet more wasted time.

Up to SNARESBROOK and WOODFORD, back to Stratford and finally to CANARY WHARF in 5:38:02, certain that Richard (and probably everyone else) had beaten me.
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Re: Random 15 Championship 2017/18: Round 1

Post by crypto » 17 Sep 2017, 19:01

Certainly an eventful day. My route went a overboard with runs, and as it turned out, didn't end up gaining me much time. The route:

Oxford Circus :arrow: Victoria :arrow: Putney Bridge :arrow: Earls Court :arrow: Barons Court :arrow: Osterley :arrow: Acton Town :arrow: Chiswick Park :arrow: run to Gunnersbury :arrow: Kew Gardens :arrow: Gunnersbury :arrow: run to Chiswick Park :arrow: Ealing Common :arrow: run to West Acton :arrow: North Acton :arrow: run to Willesden Jn :arrow: Stonebridge Park :arrow: Willesden Jn :arrow: Kentish Town West :arrow: run to Kentish Town :arrow: West Finchley :arrow: Euston :arrow: Blackhorse Road :arrow: Leytonstone High Road :arrow: run to Leytonstone :arrow: Woodford :arrow: Stratford :arrow: Canary Wharf

Nothing exciting during the first half of the challenge. I had the idea to bail onto the Picadilly at Barons Court to do Osterley first, which, in hindsight, was probably a little slower than Kew Gardens first. Briefly picked up Rhys at Kew Gardens, then met Glen and Myles at Chiswick Park. What followed was about three hours of trying to run shortcuts, getting to the platform, waiting for a long connection and having Myles and Glen catch me up again. Ran the Leytonstone run, thought I was lucky with a train pulling in... to Hainault. Still, ended in a middling position just over 5 hours.

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Re: Random 15 Championship 2017/18: Round 1

Post by Going Underground » 17 Sep 2017, 20:03

I teamed up with A2 and much of our day was a case of "find tractakid, lose tractakid, find tractakid" and so on..... :shock:

We were about last to leave and walked into Oxford Circus at a respectable pace as we talked about before the start....

Having looked at the other 14 stations being; Snaresbrook, Putney Bridge, West Kensington, Finsbury Park, West Finchley, Kew Gardens, Woodford, Harleseden, Stonebridge Park, Osterley, Canary Wharf, Finchley Central, Barons Court and West Acton we decided to go West and worry about the rest of the route as we were going around, still fine tuning and "tweaking" some 3 hours into this :shock:

So we grabbed a Victoria line South to :arrow: Green Park, over and across the ticket hall with Andrew and we then went :arrow: Barons Court :arrow: (Andrew now not with us) District to :arrow: Earls Court :arrow: East Putney :arrow: gentle jog in the rain to Putney mainline for a lovely delayed NR to :arrow: Richmond :arrow: Turnham Green :arrow: (Andrew rejoined us just making the train at Chiswick Park and decidedly hotter and more out of breath than us :wink: ) :arrow: Acton Town :arrow: Osterley (Debated North Ealing for 65 bus but looking at JP very little in this and found out later isn't that far to run 1.2 miles maybe?) anyway was :arrow: Acton Town :arrow: Ealing Broadway :arrow: North Acton (where after a late decision Andrew left us to exit the other way out of the station) :arrow: 266 bus to Willesden Junction (Andrew now re-joined us again :shock: ) :arrow: Stonebridge Park :arrow: Willesden Junction (Andrew stays on train but we meet him again at Queens Park and he boards our LO train to :arrow: Euston.
Here we lose Andrew again as we take Edgware Branch to change at Camden and we meet up again here on the High Barnet branch...
We place ourselves in carriage 1 intending double back at West Finchley but in a change of plan we start moving back to carriage 6 (with Andrew tagging us) as we now are going to :arrow: Totteridge and Whetstone for a 251 or 34 to :arrow: Arnos Grove... To our surprise Andrew jumped out at West Finchley shouting "This isn't a very good door position" and I think that cost him a double back...
No 251 in sight so we run up that very steep hill and a 34 comes along first only to be overtaken after a few minutes by a 251 which easily beat us...
As we are running into Arnos Grove we hear shouts of "Tube Challengers" in a high pitched and what I thought was female voice but turned out to be a proper young 13 year old geek / enthusiast named Sam who knew all about the challenge, Geoff Marshall and many other things!! He may now have joined the forum and had Watford and Croxley on his "un-visited" LU list, He stayed with us to the end which was :arrow: Finsbury Park :arrow: H & I overground to :arrow: Canada Water :arrow: Stratford :arrow: Woodford in 4:39:57 which was good enough to squeeze onto the podium :)

And Nick FYI on attempting re-entry to head to the pub at Woodford my ticket packed up for the day so not bad timing!

I hope Alex's Dad Simon had a good first time, he seemed to and said he would be back so caps off to all for an enjoyable day :)
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Re: Random 15 Championship 2017/18: Round 1

Post by The Orange One » 17 Sep 2017, 20:44

Here follow the adventures of The Orange One - plus Alisha, who came along for the day.

As the envelopes opened at Oxford Circus we started off walking round to the station, and after reading the stations and dithering around deciding we finally spotted Finsbury Park, so it was a quick dash down to the Victoria Line. There was a train on the platform and the two of us boarded, along with greatkingrat. Up to Euston - High Barnet 1 minute, perfect - then up to West Finchley via Finchley Central. Upon arrival at West Finchley, we just missed a train on the doubleback but the next one was in 3 minutes, perfect to enjoy the slightly fresher air of Zone 4. Back down the line, trying to decide how we were going to get to Finsbury Park, we decided on a double bus extravaganza via Holloway, and jumped out at Archway (leaving Peter for the rest of the challenge).

Straight out of the station and onto a waiting number 43 bus, we glided down the bus lane to Seven Sisters Road, where a quick run around the corner got us onto a waiting number 4 bus, and we reached Finsbury Park in 15 minutes flat, charging straight down the corridor and onto a Victoria Line train heading north. Quickly off to Blackhorse Road, where we were met with a 2 minute wait for the Overground down to Leytonstone High Road. Heading down to the barriers we saw a 257 and W14 pass straight by as we ran out of the approach road - damn - so it was the run to Leytonstone for us. Just missed an Epping train (oops) but another 2 minutes behind (albeit 2 London Underground minutes) took us to Woodford via Snaresbrook. 6 minute wait on the southbound platform (checking the WTT after the challenge told me there was a missing cancelled train) but it was lovely and airy so soon down to Stratford, then down the stairs onto a packed Jubilee right round to Waterloo, via Canary Wharf.

On the Jubilee line, we rationalised that Peter must have been following a similar route (it turned out he was) and would thus be one or two trains behind us. That's fine, just so long as we stay ahead, so up to the surface and onto the 1454 from London Waterloo to Weybridge (though only as far as Putney). Surely this would be the fastest way to Putney... oh dear.

20 minutes on a stopped train, stuck, between Wandsworth Town and Putney. The only upside was the declassified First Class seats with lovely soft headrests - and sure enough, once we finally arrived at Putney it was to see David Edwards having lapped us via Westminster and Earl's Court and at the top of the stairs. Oh dear.

Off to East Putney and straight onto a northbound/eastbound District line train. Over the bridge at Earl's Court and straight onto a waiting Richmond train, calling at West Kensington and Barons Court and thence to Kew Gardens. 1 minute turnaround (yes!) onto a Barking train back up to Turnham Green, with another 1 minute turnaround onto an Ealing Broadway train to Acton Town, and then a 0 minute cross platform onto a Heathrow T5 train down to Osterley, and then a 2 minute turnaround onto an Arnos Grove train back to Acton Town, and then a 30 seconds change over the bridge onto a waiting Rayners Lane service up to North Ealing. Run down the road to West Acton, then a 2 minute wait for a train to North Acton, then 3 minutes wait for the 266 bus to Willesden Junction, then a final 4 minute wait for a Stonebridge Park terminator.

In conclusion, a perfect challenge - except for 20 minutes of waiting halfway through! And over to Tangy to reveal just how much of an effect those 20 minutes had...

tl;dr Oxford Circus :arrow: Euston (Victoria) :arrow: West Finchley via Finchley Central (Northern) :arrow: Archway (Northern) :arrow: Holloway (43 bus) :arrow: Finsbury Park (4 bus) :arrow: Blackhorse Road (Victoria) :arrow: Leytonstone High Road (GOBLIN) :arrow: Leytonstone (run) :arrow: Woodford via Snaresbrook (Central) :arrow: Stratford (Central) :arrow: Waterloo via Canary Wharf (Jubilee) :arrow: Somewhere between Wandsworth Town and Putney (SWR) :arrow: Somewhere between Wandsworth Town and Putney 20 minutes later (passage of time) :arrow: Putney (SWR) :arrow: East Putney via Putney Bridge (run) :arrow: Earl's Court (District into PLATFORM 1) :arrow: Kew Gardens via West Kensington and Barons Court (District) :arrow: Turnham Green (District) :arrow: Acton Town (District) :arrow: Osterley (Piccadilly) :arrow: Acton Town (Piccadilly) :arrow: North Ealing (Piccadilly) :arrow: West Acton (run) :arrow: North Acton (Central) :arrow: Willesden Junction (266 bus) :arrow: Stonebridge Park via Harlesden (Bakerloo)
All London buses: 23 hours 25 minutes (with Adham, David, Josh and Tangy)
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Re: Random 15 Championship 2017/18: Round 1

Post by michael_churchill » 18 Sep 2017, 00:08

My pre-race strategy was to go around the zones 2 to 4 "ring" avoiding having to keep going back and forth into zone 1. I would identify the biggest gap in the ring, start at one end of that gap and go round the ring to the other end. I even prepared a print-out of the geographically accurate "London Connections Map".

Figuring that I would need some bus knowledge, I made sure I had Citymapper on my phone and, following a recent post by Diamond Geezer about London-wide bus maps, after I got off the train at Waterloo I went to the Ian Allen Bookshop and bought a copy of Mike Harris' "Greater London Bus Map". By the way, I presume our Orange One is the Hugo who put in the Freedom Of Interest request that Diamond Geezer mentions.

After plotting the list of stations, there were no stations in Central South London, so I decided to start in the East, go anti-clockwise and end up in the West.

So, from Oxford Circus I went to Bond Street, then all the way along the Jubilee line to Stratford, via Canary Wharf. I managed to get straight onto a Central line train, but then had to change one stop later at Leyton when I realised that it was a Hainault train, not for Epping. Out in the open, and with a phone signal I asked Citymapper for a route from Woodford to Walthamstow. Amongst the many options, I decided upon changing to the GOBLIN line (on it's last day of operation for a month). So, through Snaresbrook, reversing at Woodford, back to Leytonstone and walk to Leytonstone High Road. Arriving at 13:45, based on the 15 minute interval on the platform display, I must have just missed one and had to wait nearly 15 minutes. Overground to Walthamstow Queens Road, and walk to Walthamstow Central. By blindly following the route to Walthamstow I completely missed that I could have carried on to Blackhorse Road.

Victoria to Euston, via Finsbury Park. Northern to West Finchley, via Finchley Central. Northern back to Camden Town. Walk to Camden Road. Overground to Willesden Junction. Bakerloo to Stonebridge Park, via Harlesden, and back to Willesden Junction. All with reasonable waits.

Now, my original thought was to get the Clapham Junction Overground to Shepherd's Bush, get the Central to Ealing Broadway to tick off West Acton, changing to the District and go round a loop: District to Earl's Court, then East Putney, SWR from Putney to Richmond, District to Turnham Green. However, an Overground to Richmond was due first, so I thought "I'll just do the loop in reverse". So Overground to Richmond, via Kew Gardens. At Richmond the 16:22 to Waterloo was cancelled due to a broken train at Putney, so I had to wait a further ten minutes, for a train for which Putney was the first stop.

Walk to East Putney. District to Earl's Court, via Putney Bridge. Then onto a District towards Ealing Broadway, via West Kensington and Barons Court. By now I realised that doing the loop in reverse I would be missing out West Acton. So I had to go all the way to Ealing Broadway, one stop there and back on the Central line to get West Acton, then back on the District to Acton Town. Finally the Piccadilly line to finish on a packed train to Osterley (please, no more stations on the Heathrow branch).

In the end, I used no buses and didn't even look at my new map.

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Re: Random 15 Championship 2017/18: Round 1

Post by hopeful traveller » 18 Sep 2017, 02:25

"I'm not as fit as I used to be"... "Zones 2-4 won't help me, my bus knowledge is poor"... and so on. I got the excuses in early at Oxford Circus. Rather than make an embarrassing error, I opted to wait 2 or 3 minutes to just stop and think - what could I do first? And what was flexible and open? I needed something that I would be able to re-route quickly... yes, Harlesden and Stonebridge Park looked like the first option. I was joined on the Northbound Bakerloo by Clive, Simon and Simon Jr (which is what I am now referring to you as). On the long trek up to Stonebridge, I used the modern technology now available to use the WTTs to give myself a schedule. After all, I wanted to know if I had a good route or not. We all bailed at Stonebridge Park, as you do, and I saw Clive heading out of the station. I get to the Southbound platform at Stonebridge Park and I can just pick him out at a bus stop. I contemplate joining him, but no, I've already got my mind set on getting back on the Bakerloo... just as Google finally tells me what bus that was, and more importantly, where it goes to. Damn. The Bakerloo line train was late into Willesden Junction, meaning that I sprinted for the Overground... just as it was pulling out. Oh no. Now what? I started re-thinking and re-routing. The first thought was to go east, rather than west - but at 9 minutes vs 10 minutes waiting times it proved not worthwhile. The Overground trains, as you know, alternate between Richmond and Clapham Junction, so I realised the next two hours would have to be done "in reverse".

As I was re-routing and re-scheduling, Simon and son bailed out at Shepherd's Bush, but I opted for West Brompton in order that I could do the Wimbledon branch first. With an average of 5 police offers on every train and station, I went down to Putney Bridge and back with no trouble at all, in fact, I was now one train up on where I'd planned, but as I got to Earl's Court it proved irrelevant as I didn't make up a Richmond train, so having been 5 minutes up, I would now be back "on time" by the time I'd sat waiting at Turnham Green (having gone through West Kensington and Barons Court). I briefly considered switching to the Piccadilly at Hammersmith, with one being in the platform, and then an elaborate Chiswick manoeuvre, but with any advantage slim at best, I opted not to. At this point, things were going perfectly. I was on time, and it seemed nothing could go wrong when I doubled back at Kew Gardens with a 2-minute change.

Except... a combination of a me failure and a District Line being, well, the District Line, put paid to that. I was forced into doing the Guinness Park -> Chunnersbury run and I couldn't make the Westbound District at Guinness Park. James did. An appalling 13 minutes for the next one when I got to the platform (looked up the live departure board), and as I sat helplessly watching 6 Piccadilly Lines passing, I knew this was eating into my time for later on. Things got even worse when the District Line crawled between Chiswick Park and Acton Town and then waited for a Northfields train to vacate platform one for two whole minutes. So when we finally got into Acton Town, I was tempted to give that horrible line a kick. As it was, I just said to myself that simply put, it can have as many signal failures as it likes now. My mood was exasperated by a 4-minute wait for a Heathrow train, and despite a sexy change at Osterley, I knew that my challenge was circling "disaster" in a rapidly decaying orbit. On the way back up from Osterley, I kept refreshing the Westbound departures at Acton Town... 2 and then 21 for an Ealing Broadway train meant the easy, lazy option was out of the window. As it was, I got very lucky and made an Uxbridge-bound Piccadilly line train which was just sitting there in the platform. But by this point, I'd started to give up. Consequently, keeping an eye on the departure boards at West Acton, when I got to North Ealing at the wrong door (having not had ample opportunity to go down the whole length of the train) I was faced with North Ealing -> West Acton in either 3 mins (no chance) or 8 mins. A casual stroll down the road it would be, then - and that was my OSI running done for the day.

I was now 20-25 minutes down on my schedule. And as I rolled into Bond Street, I knew it would be difficult to make up time. At Bond Street, I went down to the Jubilee Line platforms and ended up with no issues, aside from an incident when changing cars at Westminster where the PED didn't fully open and I wasn't really paying attention (looking at the floor gap!) so just went "clonk" into one, having run into Simon and son again, there was time to check the football scores as we went up to Stratford, passing through Canary Wharf. At Stratford, needing a non-loop train, we ended up on a Woodford via Hainault. Brilliant. One train later and we went through Snaresbrook and Woodford, where we turned around and the Central just refused to play ball, another 4-5 minute change here and I lost my temper at the Central Line. Why? Why me? Why always me? And always the same: Central and District Lines? WHY?

A few mind games (and "tit for tat" timetable sharing) with Simon and Simon Jr later, and the question remains unanswered on an FNC, let alone an R15: what is the best way to get from the Central to the Victoria Line? I only saw three options, the front two were safe but slow, but if I could make a 3-minute change onto the Overground at Stratford, I would be about 10 minutes faster. The others went for Leytonstone, but I put Stratford to the test, where I had my one bit of luck all day. Even though I mis-visualised the station and therefore got out on the wrong side (should really have done platform 3, not 3a), even though I therefore had to go through the Jubilee Line ticket hall, even though the Overground platforms are somewhere near the Olympic Park, and even though the Central Line train was late in, I made it, the train departing about 90 seconds late. Almost as if it was waiting for me. Oh yes. That felt good.

Hackney is a desolate place, and despite the mentally draining effect of going through Diane Abbott territory (with the Dead Ringers impression of her going on in my head), there was not much more left to do once I got to Highbury & Islington. Victoria to Finsbury Park, back down to Euston for a High Barnet train, and then crawl up to Finchley Central and West Finchley in a time of 04:59:05 which put me in the bottom half. But I wasn't too far off first place. Had I made Chiswick Park, I would have won that. Damn.
1 FNC Completion (PB: 17:18:18 with G Bryant, A Chilcraft, I MacNaughton)
4 Zone Ones (PB: 03:00:35 with G Bryant)
15 R15s (PB: 01:55:48 with T Cooling and R Jackson)
11 All Lines (PB: 00:44:03)
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Re: Random 15 Championship 2017/18: Round 1

Post by RJSRdg » 18 Sep 2017, 09:23

Still under five hours - a decent time!
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Re: Random 15 Championship 2017/18: Round 1

Post by alexmcmotor » 18 Sep 2017, 11:19

Well, it was a satisfactory day for me and my dad Simon. Not that we had time to mention it at the pub, but he's actually done most of the route planning for my FNC attempts, hence his interest in getting involved.

Oxford Circus :arrow: Stonebridge Park :arrow: Willesden Junction :arrow: Shepherd's Bush LO :arrow: Shepherd's Bursh LU :arrow: Ealing Broadway :arrow: Northfields (E2 Bus) :arrow: Osterley :arrow: Gunnersbury (H91 Bus) :arrow: Kew Gardens :arrow: Earl's Court :arrow: Putney Bridge :arrow: Earl's Court :arrow: Westminster :arrow: Stratford :arrow: Woodford :arrow: Leytonstone :arrow: L'stone High Road :arrow: W'stow QR :arrow: W'stow Central :arrow: Euston :arrow: Camden Town :arrow: West Finchley
hopeful traveller wrote:
18 Sep 2017, 02:25
I was joined on the Northbound Bakerloo by Clive, Simon and Simon Jr (which is what I am now referring to you as).
Yes indeed! Don't worry, we didn't know your name at the time either :lol: We did indeed go up to Harlesden + Stonebridge Park and cursed as we saw Clive getting on that magic 440 bus. We actually agreed to do the opposite of what Rhys did as we came down the LO from Willesden, as we knew the option was Shepherd's Bush or West Brompton, since Rhys walked down the train we knew he was going for the latter, so we took the former to make things interesting. With some aggressive door-holding by myself to let Simon catch up we made a perfect connection on to an Ealing Broadway train, creating some stern looks from people around us. Unfortunately we were held up by a departing service outside Ealing, and we watched our connecting District line pull away. Luckily we had considered bus options on the way out through West Acton, so we decided to go for it, and luck would have it an E2 was just driving past the station forecourt as we exited the barriers. We got on it easily, the only problem was that we sat stationary for about another 2 minutes whilst the driver waited for the endless trickle of people before he finally got sick of waiting too. The Saturday afternoon traffic was horrendous until we finally got clear of downtown Ealing and picked up the pace again towards Northfields. We're not sure how much time this saved us overall, if any. We waited about 4 minutes at Northfields for a Southbound train that wasn't terminating where we stood, but that also gave us time to look up bus options from Ostlerley to Kew Gardens. The H91 jumped out at us, and there was one due 1 minute after we were due to arrive in Osterley...

So 5 minutes later the bus finally turns up. We understood why it was running like that when we discovered it was driven by possibly the most sedentary driver in London. We missed nearly every light. Luckily a perfect connection at Gunnersbury gave us some much-needed damage limitation, which was then shot in the foot again by a 9 minute connection at Kew Gardens. That did at least give us ample time to make use of the loos on the platform, which was a nice consolation. Pulling into Earl's Court after Barons Court + West Kensington, Sod's Law meant the first Westbound District was of course an Olympia train, just when you don't need one. It was as we were stationary in West Brompton that we were told by the driver that Fulham Broadway just closed because of a security alert. No idea whether this actually saved us time or not because we were sat in West Brompton for a fair while, but it was it least satisfying to non-stop a station. 3 minute turn around for a HSK train at Putney Bridge was less than ideal, we did at least get a perfect change onto an Upminster at Earl's Court to compensate. Off at Westminster, on to the Eastbound Jubilee where we ran into Rhys again, where it dawned on us that we'd done exactly the same stuff in a different order and ended up no better or worse for it.

After Canary Wharf and turning around at Woodford via Stratford through Snaresbrook as Rhys has said, mind games ensued as to the best way to get to the Victoria line. As we were not intent on even so much as having to jog, we took a leisurely stroll and Overground via Leytonstone High Road, unsure as to whether the Stratford connection was possible. Down the Victoria through Finsbury Park we decided that changing at Euston would give us the most flexibility to make a High Barnet train. We arrive at the Bank branch platforms to find the next High Barnet train is 7 minutes. We hot foot it over to the Charing X Branch and find the next one there is still only 5 minutes, so we board the approaching Edgware train and change at Camden only to find the next High Barnet train is 8 minutes away? We finally got past Finchley Central and finished at West Finchley in 05:09:34

We were pleased just to have finished, and were pleasantly surprised to find out whilst we were tucking into our Maccy's on the train home that our effort was good enough for 10th and the last Championship point.
6 FNC Attempts
5 Completions: PB 17:52:44

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Re: Random 15 Championship 2017/18: Round 1

Post by tufnellpark » 18 Sep 2017, 12:08

Good to see a big turnout for a new Zones 2-4 R15. I thought I'd mention a few highlights rather than go through my whole route. But I started on the Bakerloo to Stonebridge Park and then went anti clockwise from there ending up at West Finchley. Only caught one bus all day which was fewer than I expected.

At Stonebridge Park, I knew there was a 440 bus departing imminently and was surprised to see Reece, Alex and Simon, who arrived with me, heading back into the station. Apart from a 5min driver change at Asda, Park Royal (just how many times do you need to adjust the seat and mirrors) that was an inspired choice although I did have a frustrating 10min wait at North Acton for a westbound Central Line.

At Kew Gardens I too suffered the Travelcard doesn't work here syndrome. There was no queue to get out but the LU gateline lady was the slowest in the world, meaning I missed my instant connection by seconds and had another frustrating 10min wait. As it worked out, without either of those delays, I would have been top of the leader board. Hey Ho.

South from Woodford on the Central Line, I checked the Overground times and decided a swift walk/trot between the Leytonstones would enable me to catch the train from Leytonstone High Road to Blackhorse Road. This has to be the best way to connect the Central and Victoria but you have to get the timings right.

And finally Finsbury Park to Tufnell Park. I don't understand the attraction of running or trying to catch a bus. Tufnell Park has slow lifts, the no 4 is unreliable and it takes a while to enter Finsbury Park station. So for me it is down to KX or Euston and change there. This has to be quicker than hanging around the area where I spent my first 40 years, plus it's more relaxing.

An enjoyable day and thanks to Hugo for the Zones 2-4 twist idea and to Tangy for organising.
London 16:14:10 Paris 13:23:33 Zone 1 02:36:30 Overground 09:07:35 Metrolink 05:27:56
Land's End to John O'Groats by bus 3 days, 8 hrs, 17mins

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Re: Random 15 Championship 2017/18: Round 1

Post by The Orange One » 18 Sep 2017, 12:55

Were we the only people to do Archway :arrow: Holloway :arrow: Finsbury Park then? I understand why the one way system is less than ideal if you're travelling in reverse, but this way round there's more buses than you can shake a stick at, it's the same distance as Tufnell Park if you want to run it, there's a bus lane on the A1 so not much interacting with the traffic there, you don't have to bother with the lifts at Tufnell Park (or bother with Tufnell Park altogether) as Archway has escalators - not getting all the preference for Tufnell Park.

Central to Victoria is something I'd always want to do via the GOBLIN - the North London Line can really crawl sometimes!

Gunnersbury to Osterley I'm sure is a hell of a bus ride down the A4 - it's just if the tube timings are good there's little point.

As for Stonebridge Park/Harlesden/Willesden Junction to North Acton, I'm shocked to see nobody trying the 112 bus to Hanger Lane (although if you actually manage to find an elusive 440 I get why you wouldn't).
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Re: Random 15 Championship 2017/18: Round 1

Post by tractakid » 18 Sep 2017, 22:56

I took my normal approach of 'ticket barriers first, envelope second' and decided in a hurry to head to the Victoria line. Down to Green Park and to the Piccadilly line to Earls Court. The question of 'is via Victoria quicker'- was answered- James was on the same Wimbledon train at Earls Court. The next question was 'should I have double backed Barons Court first?'. Down to Putney Bridge and back to Earls Court where James decided to get confused and go the long way round to the westbound platform.

James took the bizarre decision to abandon the Richmond branch train we all caught at Barons Court and hop on the Piccadilly line instead- he waved as he sailed past us approaching Turnham Green. I went down to Kew Gardens, took the footbridge rather than the underpass, and hopped on the northbound Overground train with Myles and Glen. I again had trouble with tickets in the ticket barrier here.

At Gunnersbury I dashed off to Chiswick Park while Myles and Glen were in no rush to leave the station and headed in a different direction.

My second question "Should I have double backed Barons Court first' was answered when I boarded at Chiswick Park after a very short wait and was on the same train as Kevin and A2 who did exactly that. Made no difference except I was slightly out of puff.

An unremarkable double back to Osterley, aside from doing so with Clive who was going round a different route, and a train to Ealing Broadway before I headed to North Acton. I was very much researching my route as I went and used Google Maps to establish that a 440 bus was due imminently to whisk me to Stonebridge Park. The next question was 'would it have been faster to go via Willesden Junction' was answered when I ascended the stairs at Stonebridge Park just behind Kev and A2- it made no difference. I was grateful for no driver changes at Asda.

No NLL due and with a DC train following shortly behind I headed to Queens Park. Kev and A2 had alighted at Willesden anyway so I was slightly surprised to also see them on the DC train. At Euston I had a look at the next northbound train indicators and saw that Bank branch had 3 minutes and Charing Cross had 7. So I decided to head down to the Charing Cross branch to see if there was an instant High Barnet train that had vanished off the board- no, so I headed to the Bank branch. Kev and A2 changed at Camden Town instead and made up no ground!

at West Finchley I had no idea of door position, so I ended up at the wrong end of the train and missed a doubleback. Down to Euston, up to Blackhorse Road, 4 minutes for a Goblin (was a minute late), over to Leytonstone High Road, run out the station to Leytonstone passing Alex + dad sauntering in the opposite direction.

Up to Woodford (took a couple of minutes as the train in the platform was a Newbury Park, back down to Stratford, and then down to Canary Wharf to finish.

It is slightly odd to remain on the train you finish on to get back to the pub.

not too displeased with 4th though it's a bit frustrating to fall behind someone (Kev + A2) that you are with/shadowing for most the challenge! Although it was great to beat Clive by 11 seconds!!
*insert boasting about notable tube accomplishments here*

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Re: Random 15 Championship 2017/18: Round 1

Post by greatkingrat » 24 Sep 2017, 11:02

Can we have the full results posted Tangy?
Soon to be yet another forum train driver

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Re: Random 15 Championship 2017/18: Round 1

Post by tangy » 24 Sep 2017, 11:17

Just spent most of the morning updating Explorer Ticket with all the other challenges that have been happening!

I am about to get started on the results of last week's Random 15.
Adjudicator of the Alternative Challenges and webmaster of the Tube Challenge "Top Times" website at www.explorerticket.co.uk/tubechallenge

This is a Central line train to "Woodford via Hainault"- sadly, not no more!


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Re: Random 15 Championship 2017/18: Round 1

Post by tangy » 24 Sep 2017, 13:50

The results of round 1 of the 2017/18 Random 15 Championship held on Saturday 16th September 2017.

This was a twist round chosen by last season's champion, The Orange One, who decided upon (with discussion with myself) LU only, zones 2-4 with a centrally located Z1 start and no bar upon going through zone 1 throughout the challenge.

The stations were:
--Oxford Circus (meet up/start)
--Putney Bridge
--West Kensington
--Finsbury Park (LU)
--West Finchley
--Kew Gardens
--Stonebridge Park
--Canary Wharf (LU)
--Finchley Central
--Barons Court
--West Acton

There was quite a crowd of 18 challengers who split into 14 teams. All teams finished within the 6 hour limit given for twist rounds.

14th: Nick Gardner 05:38:02 at Canary Wharf (LU)
13th: Richard Standing: 05:35:09 at Canary Wharf (LU)
12th: Tangy 05:34:21 at West Finchley
11th: Michael Churchill 05:26:30 at Osterley
10th: Alex & Simon Kneller 05:09:34 at West Finchley
=8th: James Ross 05:05:09 at Canary Wharf (LU)
=8th: Myles Swaine-Grey and Glen Bryant 05:05:09 at Canary Wharf (LU)
7th: Rhys Benjamin 04:59:05 at West Finchley
6th: The Orange One and Alisha Juszczyk 04:53:26 at Stonebridge Park
5th: Clive Burgess 04:45:15 at West Finchley
4th: Andrew Chilcraft 04:45:04 at Canary Wharf (LU)
3rd: Kevin Brown and Andrew Baker 04:39:57 at Woodford
=1st: Peter Smyth 04:37:02 at Stonebridge Park
=1st: David Edwards 04:37:02 at Stonebridge Park

The new leaderboard starts off like this:

=1st: David Edwards (12 overall points) [1 round attended]
=1st: Peter Smyth (12) [1]
=3rd: Kevin Brown (8) [1]
=3rd: Andrew Baker (8) [1]
5th: Andrew Chilcraft (7) [1]
6th: Clive Burgess (6) [1]
=7th: The Orange One (5) [1]
=7th: Alisha Juszczyk (5) [1]
9th: Rhys Benjamin (4) [1]
=10th: Myles Swaine-Grey (3) [1]
=10th: Glen Bryant (3) [1]
=10th: James Ross (3) [1]
=13th: Alex Kneller (1) [1]
=13th: Simon Kneller (1) [1]
=15th: Michael Churchill (0) [1]
=15th: Tangy (0) [1]
=15th: Richard Standing (0) [1]
=15th: Nick Gardner (0) [1]

Thank you for participating. The next round will be on the 18th November 2017, this will be a "normal round" but with a live draw. The bucket and post-it notes return!

Adjudicator of the Alternative Challenges and webmaster of the Tube Challenge "Top Times" website at www.explorerticket.co.uk/tubechallenge

This is a Central line train to "Woodford via Hainault"- sadly, not no more!


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Re: Random 15 Championship 2017/18: Round 1

Post by The Orange One » 24 Sep 2017, 15:44

Entire Bakerloo Line closed on the 18th of November... but will Willesden Junction still be in the draw (Watford DC Overground only closed Euston to Willesden)?
All London buses: 23 hours 25 minutes (with Adham, David, Josh and Tangy)
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