The Hardest Possible R15

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Lunaticonthegrass
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The Hardest Possible R15

Post by Lunaticonthegrass » 08 Dec 2020, 22:19

Odd thought which occured to me today...

Due to the nature of the challenge, some R15s are harder than others, due to station spread, lack of connections to other stations, infrequent services and quite possibly a few other things. Therefore:

1. Which 15 stations would create the hardest possible R15?

2. How easy would it be to visit them all in 4 hours?

Not considering twist rounds here, just the classic Z1-2 LU only.

Going to hazard a guess that Kensington Olympia would be on everyone's list.
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Re: The Hardest Possible R15

Post by xcooler123 » 08 Dec 2020, 22:44

Whilst I cannot answer your question directly, I have been collecting data on all R15 rounds since the current format of 6 rounds per year was adopted for the 2009-10 Championship (there were R15 events prior to this but more sporadically). From the data, the slowest winning time for a R15 "classic" round which used only Z1&2 LU stations and no twist was 03:32:10 for Round 6 in the 2010-11 Championship. The stations drawn out were -

Blackfriars, Bromley-by-Bow, Clapham Common, Covent Garden, East Acton, Elephant & Castle, Goodge Street, Hampstead, Holland Park, Lancaster Gate, Manor House, Monument, Sloane Square, Stepney Green, West Hampstead

As you can see from the station list above, you had to visit pretty much the extreme ends of Z2 for each cardinal direction - North (Hampstead), East (Bromley-by-Bow), South (Clapham Common) and West (East Acton). Therefore, this is probably about as tough as draw you are ever likely to get. On that basis your answer for Q2 is probably yes, fairly easy.

A note of caution - the thing that the data doesn't take into account is any engineering works or delays on the day (e.g. the Central line falling apart which can happen so often...) so there may be other factors at play than just the stations drawn out.

By contrast, the quickest winning time for a R15 "classic" round (and indeed ever for any R15 round) is 01:42:52 for Round 4 in the 2013-14 Championship. The stations drawn out were -

Baker Street, Euston Square, Farringdon, Fulham Broadway, High Street Kensington, King's Cross St Pancras, London Bridge, Monument, Moorgate, Ravenscourt Park, Sloane Square, South Kensington, Tower Hill, Waterloo, West Kensington

So lots of stations in Z1 and unbelievably, 10(!) stations on the Circle line alone. Shows you what a random draw can produce...
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trains 500
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Re: The Hardest Possible R15

Post by trains 500 » 09 Dec 2020, 15:15

east putney balham north greenwich bow road stamford brook north acton willesden jctn willesden green hampstead archway manor hose olympia covent gdn then 2 out of a- lambeth north b- knightsbridge / hydepark corner c-mansion house

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Re: The Hardest Possible R15

Post by RJSRdg » 09 Dec 2020, 20:17

There are 13 stations which lie on the Zone 2/3 boundary:

Turnham Green
East Putney
Clapham South
North Greenwich
Canning Town
West Ham
Stratford
Manor House
Archway
Hampstead
Willesden Green
Willesden Junction
North Acton

So these, plus Olympia and one in the centre would be 15 and be quite a tough set. However North Greenwich, Canning Town, West Ham and Stratford are consecutive on the Jubilee Line so perhaps a couple of these could be replaced with Zone 1 stations as well.

I'd suggest Bayswater as one possibility as that side of the Circle Line seems to have the lowest frequency of any part of Zone 1.
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al
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Re: The Hardest Possible R15

Post by al » 09 Dec 2020, 22:21

RJSRdg wrote:
09 Dec 2020, 20:17
There are 13 stations which lie on the Zone 2/3 boundary:

Turnham Green
East Putney
Clapham South
North Greenwich
Canning Town
West Ham
Stratford
Manor House
Archway
Hampstead
Willesden Green
Willesden Junction
North Acton

So these, plus Olympia and one in the centre would be 15 and be quite a tough set. However North Greenwich, Canning Town, West Ham and Stratford are consecutive on the Jubilee Line so perhaps a couple of these could be replaced with Zone 1 stations as well.

I'd suggest Bayswater as one possibility as that side of the Circle Line seems to have the lowest frequency of any part of Zone 1.
Agree with Bayswater. Swap West Ham for Bromley by Bow and maybe put in Brixton or Pimlico in place of Canning Town and your probably reaching peak nastiness IMO.
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Re: The Hardest Possible R15

Post by RJSRdg » 09 Dec 2020, 23:22

I think on further consideration, I'd swap West Ham for Bayswater and Canning Town for Goodge Street and leave it at that.
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trains 500
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Re: The Hardest Possible R15

Post by trains 500 » 10 Dec 2020, 10:48

Balham??

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Lunaticonthegrass
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Re: The Hardest Possible R15

Post by Lunaticonthegrass » 10 Dec 2020, 11:31

trains 500 wrote:
10 Dec 2020, 10:48
Balham??
...is in Zone 3.
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trains 500
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Re: The Hardest Possible R15

Post by trains 500 » 10 Dec 2020, 12:07

oh sorry
clapham south would have to be done then

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Lunaticonthegrass
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Re: The Hardest Possible R15

Post by Lunaticonthegrass » 10 Dec 2020, 22:04

Having given this some thought myself, I generally agree with the idea of "all the Zone 2/3 stations, minus a few around Stratford, plus some hard ones from the middle". Except I wouldn't have Archway as this links fairly easily to Hamstead via Camden Town, and rather nicely to Manor House via the Overground. Certainly, I feel that a well-selected (or badly-selected, depending on how you look at it) station elsewhere would be harder. My own suggestion for the hardest set of 15 would be (in alphabetical order):

Aldgate
Bayswater
Clapham South
Covent Garden
East Putney
Hampstead
Kensington (Olympia)
Ladbrook Grove
Lambeth North
Manor Houth
North Acton
North Greenwich
Turnham Green
Willesden Green
Willesden Junction
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Re: The Hardest Possible R15

Post by The Orange One » 11 Dec 2020, 09:03

Hmm... this is definitely an interesting one! I disagree with the idea that more further out stations necessarily means harder - I think a mixture of those, choosing your central stations to be as irritating as possible, and staying off the faster lines a bit (Victoria, Jubilee, Central). Maybe something like the below?

Turnham Green
Clapham South
East Putney
Bromley-by-Bow
Willesden Junction
Willesden Green
Kensington (Olympia)
Manor House
Chancery Lane
Ladbroke Grove
Lambeth North
Whitechapel
Archway
East Acton
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Re: The Hardest Possible R15

Post by trains 500 » 11 Dec 2020, 10:28

The Orange One wrote:
11 Dec 2020, 09:03
Hmm... this is definitely an interesting one! I disagree with the idea that more further out stations necessarily means harder - I think a mixture of those, choosing your central stations to be as irritating as possible, and staying off the faster lines a bit (Victoria, Jubilee, Central). Maybe something like the below?

Turnham Green
Clapham South
East Putney
Bromley-by-Bow
Willesden Junction
Willesden Green
Kensington (Olympia)
Manor House
Chancery Lane
Ladbroke Grove
Lambeth North
Whitechapel
Archway
East Acton
i think u mean north acton and maybe lancaster gate

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Re: The Hardest Possible R15

Post by The Orange One » 16 Dec 2020, 22:29

Nah, North Acton you just do North Acton - Ealing Broadway - Turnham Green, that's plenty easy enough
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Re: The Hardest Possible R15

Post by trains 500 » 17 Dec 2020, 10:11

east or north acton youre still on the same train. it doesnt actually mater if your next stop is turnham green

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Re: The Hardest Possible R15

Post by RJSRdg » 17 Dec 2020, 23:20

The Orange One wrote:
16 Dec 2020, 22:29
Nah, North Acton you just do North Acton - Ealing Broadway - Turnham Green, that's plenty easy enough
I can remember an R15 a few years back when Kevin, Alex and I (and one other I think) had caught a Richmond train out to Ravenscourt Park and the next station we were due to visit was North Acton. On the way out there had been some debate as to whether it was quicker to go via the Hammersmiths or via EB. We all disembarked at RP, with Kev and Alex running ahead down the stairs, only for me to get stuck behind a couple carrying a pushchair. From the depths of the subway I heard Kev call out "Ealing Broadway one minute" so I remained on the westbound platform for the best part of ten minutes and watched the others returning to Hammersmith. Eventually I got to EB and caught a central to North Acton, where I was joined in my carriage by Kev and Alex!
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