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Random 15 Championship 2023/24: Round 2

Posted: 12 Nov 2023, 09:39
by tangy
Welcome to the 2023/24 Random 15 season!

If you are new to all of this:
Welcome to the 2023/24 Random 15 Championship. I am your host (commonly known to regulars as the BERC when I am hosting Random 15 challenges). The Random 15 challenge is just that, visit 15 randomly selected stations that feature on the Tube Map (usually within zones 1-2 and using the Underground network only). There will be certain rounds within the championship that are a variation of this such as adding an extra zone or network e.g. DLR onto the challenge. So are you ready to take on the Random 15 championship?

The rules and scoring are unchanged from previous seasons but if anyone is not familiar with them, or needs a refresh, you can view them here: ... 5rules.htm

The details for round 2:
When: Saturday 18th November 2023 12:30 UK local time.
Variant: Normal round. 15 stations on the LU network only within zones 1 & 2.
Meet up: South Kensington (meet outside the station building on Pelham Street).
Post challenge pub: NEW VENUE: The Blue Posts, 81 Newman Street, Marylebone W1T 3EU (in between Oxford Circus and TCR, north of Oxford Street). Evening meals available upstairs.
Time limit to complete: Normal round, so 4 hours.

Closures directly affecting the challenge:
Central: No service North Acton- Ealing Broadway/West Ruislip.
Waterloo & City: Usual weekend closure.
Therefore all LU stations in zones 1 and 2 are open and can be visited.

Other closures to be aware of:
DLR: No service Bank- Lewisham, Tower Gateway- Canning Town, Stratford- Canary Wharf.
Southern: No trains to/from London Victoria, no service Clapham Junction- Watford Junction and no local trains London Bridge- New X Gate (use East London Line).

Hope to see you there.

Re: Random 15 Championship 2023/24: Round 2

Posted: 13 Nov 2023, 23:04
by JamesWright
The TfL website says the Central line will have no service west of White City. That would suggest that East Acton and North Acton are unavailable for this round.

Re: Random 15 Championship 2023/24: Round 2

Posted: 13 Nov 2023, 23:19
by tangy
JamesWright wrote: 13 Nov 2023, 23:04 The TfL website says the Central line will have no service west of White City. That would suggest that East Acton and North Acton are unavailable for this round.
Thanks for this. I must have misread the TfL status updates page when compiling this post as the affected stations were deleted from the spreadsheet used when the draw took place.

Re: Random 15 Championship 2023/24: Round 2

Posted: 16 Nov 2023, 17:43
by The Raven
No football scheduled for Saturday?

Re: Random 15 Championship 2023/24: Round 2

Posted: 16 Nov 2023, 22:01
by RJSRdg
The only match of any significance is Chelsea Women at home to Liverpool Women KO 13:30

(That's KO for kick off, not Kensington Olympia....)

Re: Random 15 Championship 2023/24: Round 2

Posted: 17 Nov 2023, 08:50
by michael_churchill
RJSRdg wrote: 16 Nov 2023, 22:01 The only match of any significance is Chelsea Women at home to Liverpool Women KO 13:30

(That's KO for kick off, not Kensington Olympia....)
... which is being played at Stamford Bridge, rather than in Kingston upon Thames, out in Zone 5.

Re: Random 15 Championship 2023/24: Round 2

Posted: 18 Nov 2023, 10:33
by miklcct
I'd like to join the race, please add my name in, sorry for the late response.

Re: Random 15 Championship 2023/24: Round 2

Posted: 19 Nov 2023, 08:37
by hopeful traveller
Well that was a bizarre result.

With a South Kensington start, my strategy of "envelope first, train second" was probably the wrong way round as I missed a Westbound District Line train and had to wait one minute for the next one to Earl's Court, where I changed for a West Brompton double back, but the combination of Chelsea women and a slow service meant a five-minute wait for the double back. Change at Earl's Court for a Richmond train (slightly annoying as I would have preferred an Ealing Broadway), but it meant getting the District both ways to Turnham Green. In hindsight, I should have done all that in reverse.

Back to Earl's Court and up to Notting Hill Gate, where I ran off for the Central Line and heard "I'm on your tail!", spun round to see it was none other than Glen, and then I made it down to the Central Line platform with a less-than-1-minute wait for an Eastbound. Through Marble Arch, Glen bailed at Bond Street whilst I went to Oxford Circus and had a sexy change onto a Victoria Line. I got out at Warren Street and ran (very slowly) to Euston Square, too slowly as it turns out as I just missed an Eastbound Met line, one minute wait for the next one - where I saw Glen again!

We got out at King's Cross St. Pancras where Glen headed off for the Victoria Line whilst I headed down to the Piccadilly Line. About a minute wait before I then travelled on the Piccadilly Line down to Piccadilly Circus - this was a mistake, as it later transpired Glen's route beat mine significantly at this point - and despite my use of the Piccadilly Circus shortcut I only just made a southbound Bakerloo Line train. At Embankment I ran upstairs for the District Line, where I saw Kevin. To Temple, where I saw Vincent and Richard, before going back down to the Bakerloo where we lost Vincent but a Waterloo terminator brought everyone back together, and the six of us (myself, Glen, Kevin, Ian, Richard, and Andrew C) then completed the rest of the challenge together: Lambeth North down to Elephant & Castle, where we all just missed a Northern Line train, up through Borough to Bank/Monument, and then Eastbound District to Tower Hill for some of us initially (although others waited at Monument), and then on another train to Whitechapel and finally West Ham.

Re: Random 15 Championship 2023/24: Round 2

Posted: 19 Nov 2023, 11:07
by tangy
The results of round 2 of the 2023/24 Random 15 Championship held on Saturday 18th November 2023.

This was a normal round with 15 stations on the LU network only within zones 1 & 2 to be visited.

These stations were:
--South Kensington (start/meet up)
--Turnham Green
--Lambeth North
--King's Cross St. Pancras (LU)
--Piccadilly Circus
--Earls Court
--Warren Street
--Euston Square
--Marble Arch
--Bond Street
--West Ham
--West Brompton

There were 14 challengers in 13 teams (all teams finished at West Ham unless otherwise stated):

13th: Stephen Moore- 02:46:37.
12th: Andy & David JS- 02:41:45 at Aldgate East.
=10th: Vincent Karthaus- 02:23:30
=10th: James Wright- 02:23:30
=8th: Michael Tsang- 02:19:58
=8th: Peter Smyth- 02:19:58
=2nd: Rhys Benjamin- 02:15:19
=2nd: Andrew Chilcraft- 02:15:19
=2nd: Ian McIntyre- 02:15:19
=2nd: Richard Standing- 02:15:19
=2nd: Kevin Brown- 02:15:19
=2nd: Glen Bryant- 02:15:19
1st: Tangy 01:58:28

The leaderboard after round 2 looks like this:

1st: Tangy (22 points) (2 rounds attended)
2nd: Andrew Chilcraft (17) (2)
3rd: Ian McIntyre (14) (2)
=4th: James Ramsbottom (12) (1)
=4th: Kevin Brown (12) (2)
=6th: James Wright (11) (2)
=6th: Richard Standing (11) (2)
=8th: Glen Bryant (10) (1)
=8th: Rhys Benjamin (10) (1)
=8th: Peter Smyth (10) (2)
11th: Vincent Karthaus (8) (2)
=12th: Michaela Mrockova (4) (1)
=12th: Ian Imrie (4) (1)
=14th: Rhys Jackson (3) (1)
=14th: Michael Tsang (3) (1)
16th: Andrew Baker (2) (1)
=17th: Andy JS (0) (2)
=17th: David JS (0) (2)
=17th: Stephen Moore (0) (1)

Thank you to all that attended this round. The next is scheduled for 20th January 2024 and it will be the National Rail twist round.


Re: Random 15 Championship 2023/24: Round 2

Posted: 19 Nov 2023, 18:46
by RJSRdg
That was certainly a remarkable challenge, and one of the more sociable ones!

When the clock started, I opened the envelope, saw Turnham Green on the list and decided to get on the first westbound train and read the rest of the list on the train. I went down on to the platfoms and boarded the first Ealing-bound train with Rhys, who disembarked at Earl's Court. As he disembarked I said "See you at the pub", but I would see him again long before that!
Walking through the train to find the best door position for the doubleback at TG, I came across Tangy, Ian, Kev, Andrew C, Michael and Peter. We all travelled together to Turnham Green, back to Earl's Court and down to West Brompton. I had intended to catch the Overground to Shepherd's Bush and catch the Central Line from there but the next Overground wasn't due for 7 minutes, so over to the northbound District line platform instead, where the DMI helpfully described the next three trains as "District Line" without saying where they were going!
Fortunately the first train was an Edgware Road train so we all caught that one and headed to Notting Hill Gate, where passengers were queuing in the corridors to get on to the platform. When the train arrived, Ian and Tangy cut through the crowds to get to the correct carriage, I boarded the nearest one I could get into and attempted to make my way back along the train a carriage at a time at each intermediate station, including Marble Arch and Bond Street, but was still nearly two coaches short of where I needed to be when the train arrived at Oxford Circus. Hence, whilst Ian and Tangy were able to get straight up the platform exit, I had to fight my way along a crowded platform then follow two a dawdling group of men too big to pass down the corridor, and reached the Victoria Line platform just in time to see Ian and Tangy's train disappearing into the tunnel.
Andrew C joined me on the platform and we caught the next train up to Warren Street, where we both ran to Euston Square. Andrew was faster than me but I managed to almost keep up with him as far as the pelican crossing outside ES, which he got across before the light changed but I had to wait for the next turn. However we both wound up on the same train to King's Cross St Pancras. This time I had slightly better door position but Andrew raced past me, leaving me stuck behind a couple trying to carry a pushchair sideways up the steps. Down on to the Picc platform, where Andrew was waiting, and we boarded the next train to Piccadilly Circus. Here Andrew left me behind on the run to the Bakerloo and I caught the following train.
As I changed from the Bakerloo to Circle/District at Victoria, I heard a voice say "Hello", and Glen ran past me. We both caught the same train, but Glen had better door position and was up the stairs at Temple while I was still fighting my way through another crowded platform. He caught the next train back to Embankment, I didn't...
Waiting for the next train, I was joined by Rhys (again) and Kev. Rhys said that at least they weren't last as they were ahead of Glen, I said no, he was in front of us. Rhys had however noticed that the next southbound train on the Bakerloo after the one he and Kev had got off was a Waterloo terminator. We caught the following one from Embankment (having briefly seen Vincent on the westbound Circle Line) and picked Glen, Ian, and Andrew C up at Waterloo. Down to Elephant & Castle via Lambeth North, then up the Northern Line through Borough to Manument/Bonk. A race up the escalators saw Ian and Andrew get to the top first. When I reached the top, there was a train in the platform ready to go, so I leaped on board. Rhys and Kev boarded after me, and as the train started, we saw Ian and Andrew still on the platform and realised we'd caught a Tower Hill terminator!
Over the footbridge at Tower Hill (which seemed to gave more steps going down than going up!) and we joined Ian, Andrew, and Glen for the final run through Whitechapel to West Ham then back to the pub for results, food, and darts, before I headed to the Duchess theatre for a hilarious evening with "The Play That Goes Wrong".

Re: Random 15 Championship 2023/24: Round 2

Posted: 20 Nov 2023, 10:18
by miklcct
This is my first challenge not being able to do round 1 as it clashed with London City Race. The course set is relatively straightforward this time.

Upon opening the envelope at South Kensington (1), I skimmed through the list and saw Earl's Court and Turnham Green, so I went straight to the District and boarded a westbound train at 12:32:53. The destination was Ealing Broadway so that it was a through journey all the way via Earl's Court (2) and Turnham Green (3), where I alighted at 12:46:33. On the train I categorised the stations into the geographical areas (such as Zone 2 West, Zone 1 Central, etc.) and planned a sequence. By the time it was already too late to visit West Brompton first (which it was a good idea to do first so it would be possible to go to Ealing Broadway for a fast journey back to Central London on the Elizabeth line) so I was forced a double-back to Earl's Court, alighting at 13:00:56 and another double-back to West Brompton (4), alighting at 13:03:00.

The journey afterwards was a concern as I needed an Edgware Road train which only ran every 10 minutes, or alternatively an Overground train at 15-minute frequency for the Central Line, and the District platform display at West Brompton did not show the destination. Luckily the first District train was an Edgware Road one so I travelled to Notting Hill Gate (13:15:45) and changed for the Central. I was staying with the pack at that point, passed through Marble Arch (5) and Bond Street (6), and alighted at Oxford Circus (13:27:55).

The pack split into two going north and south on the Bakerloo. I went south with Peter, and travelled through Piccadilly Circus (7) and Lambeth North (8) to Elephant and Castle (13:42:58), and changed for a Northern through Borough (9). I alighted at London Bridge (13:49:56) as I was not familiar with Bank / Monument interchange and wanted to save 3 station stops by using Thameslink, but I faced a 6-minute wait for a Thameslink to Luton, which departed at 13:59:15 and arrived London Blackfriars at 14:03:16.

Afterwards, I went down to District and met Peter again, passed Temple (10) to Enbankment (14:08:21) for a Northern. While changing at Embankment I was the pack split at Oxford Circus again where they headed for the Bakerloo, while I and Peter boarded a Northern to Warren Street (11) (14:17:00). After then I thought it was just a Hammersmith & City train to sweep all of the remaining stations. However, upon entering Euston Square (12), there were no trains to Aldgate East and beyond showing on the board, with the first train a Circle train, so I boarded that train (14:23:41) and passed through King's Cross St. Pancras (13). I was thinking if I had to do the Aldgate run but then I realised that I could take the Elizabeth line between Farringdon and Whitechapel without skipping any stations to be visited, so I left the train at Farringdon (14:28:34) for the Elizabeth line.

The final stretch was on a District train from Whitechapel (14) (14:40:01) to West Ham (15) (14:49:58) where I finished the race with Peter.

Re: Random 15 Championship 2023/24: Round 2

Posted: 21 Nov 2023, 17:01
by Capelblue
I was flying solo today as Michaela had her kids for the day, and the other Ian didn't make it as he had parking issues at Shenfield station. We met up in damp conditions at a very busy South Kensington where we eagerly opened our envelopes as the clock turned 12:30. I noticed Turnham Green on the list but quickly mapped out the stations, spotting that the obvious finish was West Ham, so headed down to the westbound District line platform and catching the same Ealing Broadway train as seemingly most of the other challengers. We all headed out through Earls Court to Turnham Green where we all dutifully turned round and got an eastbound train back to Earls Court. Here we all charged over the bridge onto the waiting Wimbledon train which took us to West Brompton, where we again all dutifully got off, and crossed to the northbound platforms to find no overground train for 8 minutes, and no District line train for 5 (and the matrix boards just saying District line - thanks for that !). A few people tried to throw dummies by heading onto the soutbound overground platform, but then the first District line train arrived and it was going to Edgware Road so we all piled onto that. At Notting Hill Gate we all changed to the Central line only to find a queue in the tunnel, I decided to be un British and eased through it onto a crowded platform, only to find as the train pulled in that it wasn't really as people just hadn't moved down !

During the journey to Oxford Circus I managed to make my way all the way down the train as we picked up Marble Arch and Bond Street and this made the change to the Victoria line quite simple, and at this stage I had shaken off all but Tangy. We got off at Warren Street for the run to Euston Square, and it was here that Tangy's running ability defeated me and I lost him. I caught a Circle line train down to Kings Cross St Pancras where I made a good change to the Piccadilly line and trundled down to Piccadilly Circus where I changed to the Bakerloo line and went down to Embankment, where as I was racing for the Circle line I heard a shout behind me and was joined on the platform by Andrew. We headed down to Temple where we doubled back to Embankment to change back to the Bakerloo line only to find that the first train terminated at Waterloo for some reason. We had to wait there for the next Elephant & Castle service a couple of minutes behind which contained Richard, Rhys, Kev and Glen so we all passed through Lambeth North to Elephant & Castle, and here we all changed to the Northern line. We went through Borough and changed at Bank to Monument where Andrew and I were first to the platform and spotted it terminated at Tower Hill so waited for the Upminster train behind it, while the others piled onto the Tower Hill train, there were thoughts that they might have issues at Tower Hill, but they all made it on and we trundled up through Whitechapel to the finish at West Ham in a six way tie in 2:15:19.

It was a strange day really, the stations were such that there was limited scope for many different routes, especially given how the early District line trains fell. Tangy made the most of the separation he gained, but Andrew and I were somewhat scuppered by the Waterloo terminating train on the Bakerloo line, and we ended up in a big bunch, it was still a fun day nonetheless.

Re: Random 15 Championship 2023/24: Round 2

Posted: 22 Nov 2023, 22:34
by JamesWright
I’d already decided to go straight to the District line platform at South Kensington, so when the timer started I went straight there. Opening the envelope on the platform, I saw West Brompton listed so I took the first District line train to Ealing Broadway as far as Earl’s Court where I changed for the Wimbledon train just behind.

From the bridge at West Brompton I saw a 6-minute wait for the next Earl’s Court service so I made the rash decision to run to West Kensington instead. I got a bit lost on the way — I ran straight past my destination and across the busy West Cromwell Road — which put me at least 1 train down on where I could have been. A return trip to Turnham Green, a same-platform change at Earl’s Court, and a nice quick interchange at Notting Hill Gate brought me to Oxford Circus about ten minutes behind the main pack. I had considered continuing to Ealing Broadway for the Elizabeth line to Bond Street but I estimated that the need to double-back to Marble Arch negated any benefit.

I had inadvertently chosen the slower of the two routes. The option of going straight to Warren Street actually hadn’t occurred to me, enthralled as I was by the idea of taking a direct Hammersmith & City service all the way from Euston Square to West Ham to tick off the last four stations. Instead I went to the Bakerloo platforms to take the Elephant & Castle—Bank—Embankment—Warren Street route. I saw Vincent doing the same as me at Oxford Circus, Elephant & Castle, and Euston Square.

The only trains indicated for the next 12 minutes at Euston Square were a Circle and 2 Aldgate terminators. Not fancying an Aldgate run nor a Tower Hill change, I instead took the Elizabeth line from Farringdon to Whitechapel, then finished the challenge on a District line train at West Ham.

A bit disappointed to finish joint-tenth, only eight minutes behind joint-second. In addition to the West Kensington fumble, there were a couple of occasions when I just missed a train despite not having put 100% effort into getting to the platform as soon as possible.