Lunaticonthegrass' first Z1

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Lunaticonthegrass
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Joined: 18 Nov 2019, 22:47
Location: North of Watford

Lunaticonthegrass' first Z1

Post by Lunaticonthegrass »

Having a few days of annual leave to use up before the end of 2021, (for some reason I didn't take much time off in the first half of this year) I decided on doing a trip to London for some tube action. I wanted to do a Zone 1 because it's the classic alternative challenge and I hadn't done one before. (I had hoped to do one before the 2 new stations opened, but that never happened.)

My planned route was as follows:

Battersea Power Station :arrow: Waterloo :arrow: London Bridge :arrow: E&C :arrow: Paddington (Praed Street) :arrow: (run) Paddington (H&C) :arrow: KXSP :arrow: Knightsbridge :arrow: (run) Sloane Square :arrow: Earl's Court :arrow: Bayswater :arrow: (run) Queensway :arrow: TCR :arrow: Euston :arrow: Bank :arrow: Chancery Lane :arrow: (run) Farringdon :arrow: Aldgate :arrow: (run) Aldgate East :arrow: Victoria :arrow: Vauxhall

I decided that a Battersea start would be good due to the remoteness of the station and the low frequency of trains. I hadn't done a full timetable for this route, but I had worked out a rough schedule, based on WTTs between stations, expected run times and average wait times. I was hoping for a sub 3 hour time, but was also hoping to beat the only other 67 station Z1 time so far, which was 3:06:39.

Heading out of BPS, we had issues almost straightaway as we were held at a red signal just before the junction at Kennington. That coupled with some slow Northern line trains and slow connections meant that I was 4 minutes down as I left Elephant & Castle - only the 8th station. The next hour passed without anything exciting happening, although I lost a few more minutes on the run between the Paddingtons. (I allowed 1 minute for a run between the Bakerloo and H&C platforms - it takes much, much longer than this!)

The Knightsbridge/Sloane Square run was done due to the South Kensington Platforms on the Piccadilly being out of action. This was also where things started to go wrong. The run took a little longer than planned but that didn't bother me as I was half expecting it. I got down to the platform at Sloane Square and noticed a train pulling in on the other platform. It was at this moment that I realised that I'd gone onto autopilot and gone down to the westbound platform, and that the train I wanted was on the other platform. Cue profanity and me running up a (broken) escalator to try to reach the train. It didn't work and I had a 3 minute wait for the next one. (I also lost the pen I was using to record times at about this point. Fortunately, I brought a back-up pencil just in case.)

Arriving at Earl's Court I wasn't pleased to see that it was a 9 minute wait until the next Edgware Road train. I knew that, due to how the timetables work, I could possibly go back to Gloucester Road and take a circle line train, but luck didn't seem to be with me so far so decided against it. When the train finally arrived it was just after an Upminster train also arrived, and we had to wait for that one to clear the junction before we could proceed. So, in total, I spent about 11 minutes at Earl's Court.

We then got held outside HSK for some unknown reason. The Bayswater/Queensway run went fine but I then got stuck at the back of the lift going down to platform level. Once I finally made it though the crowd I got to the platform to see an Eastbound train in with its doors locked ready for departure. I was now about 17 minutes behind my schedule.

It was at this exact moment that my luck turned. The Central line was very well behaved and another train came along about a minute later. I changed at TCR to have a Northern line train just outside the station as I arrived on the platform. Euston saw some expert people dodging as I made it to the Bank branch just as a train was pulling in. After running up the steps at Bank I was met with a train waiting in the platform. At Farringdon I had about a 1 minute wait for a Met line train.

At about this point I realised that I I wouldn't get below 3 hours, but I would be pretty close to the 3h6 already set. Would I be able to beat it still? I had a 3 minute wait at Aldgate East, so it looked unlikely, but then I had yet another good final connection at Victoria where I found another train waiting in the platform. After a quick check to make sure I wouldn't end up at Green Park, I set off on the last train of the challenge, for a final time of 3:06:56.

Just 17 seconds slower than the only other time for the new Zone 1!

OK, so I'm a bit annoyed at how close I was to beating that time, but I still feel the whole thing went pretty well. The tube didn't have a massive fail at any point and there was only one major balls-up on my part. I'm happy with the time I got but definitely one for me to beat!
Last edited by Lunaticonthegrass on 07 Dec 2021, 08:45, edited 1 time in total.
1 FNC (270 stations) attempt, 1 completion - 18:22:43
Zone 1 - 3:06:56
1 pint in 18 seconds
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al
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Re: Lunaticonthegrass' first Z1

Post by al »

Good effort, amazingly close! I presume your declared route included London Bridge after Waterloo?
Held some Alternative Challenge records for a long time.
Doesn't any more.
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Lunaticonthegrass
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Posts: 131
Joined: 18 Nov 2019, 22:47
Location: North of Watford

Re: Lunaticonthegrass' first Z1

Post by Lunaticonthegrass »

al wrote: 07 Dec 2021, 07:32 Good effort, amazingly close! I presume your declared route included London Bridge after Waterloo?
Yes, of course! Will edit the original post now.
1 FNC (270 stations) attempt, 1 completion - 18:22:43
Zone 1 - 3:06:56
1 pint in 18 seconds
trains 500
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Joined: 23 Jun 2020, 19:52

Re: Lunaticonthegrass' first Z1

Post by trains 500 »

nice read
donaldstreet
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Joined: 07 Sep 2020, 03:34

Re: Lunaticonthegrass' first Z1

Post by donaldstreet »

Thanks for the detailed post, a really enjoyable read. It's great to finally see some train action starting to happen
DavidC
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Re: Lunaticonthegrass' first Z1

Post by DavidC »

Thanks for a great post
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. Briefly led All The Actons.
RJSRdg
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Re: Lunaticonthegrass' first Z1

Post by RJSRdg »

I think I've normally allowed 3-4 minutes for a H&C/Bakerloo change, though even that seems a short time, especially since the staircase down from near the cashpoints to the Bakerloo ticket hall has been closed off.
Currently 4th place in the Bottle Challenge league table
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Lunaticonthegrass
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Joined: 18 Nov 2019, 22:47
Location: North of Watford

Re: Lunaticonthegrass' first Z1

Post by Lunaticonthegrass »

Yes, I think I went down on schedule by 3 minutes here, so if I allowed 1 minute for a run then it would have taken me 4 minutes in total. I was wondering if there was another exit somewhere which I couldn't spot!
1 FNC (270 stations) attempt, 1 completion - 18:22:43
Zone 1 - 3:06:56
1 pint in 18 seconds
RJSRdg
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Re: Lunaticonthegrass' first Z1

Post by RJSRdg »

This is the nearest entrance, but on my recent trips to Paddington, it's been closed:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.51678 ... 376!8i2688
Currently 4th place in the Bottle Challenge league table
Currently 3rd place Zone1/Zone 2 Challenge
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