So what IS the challenge? Below is an exact transcript of the rules as supplied by Guinness World Records. The current set of rules was updated in early 2005 following confusion over the handling of Heathrow Terminal 4 and the closure thereof (see below). Anyone wishing to attempt The Challenge should be aware of these rules.
The record is for the fastest time to cover all stations of the London Underground system. The Docklands Light Railway & National Railway lines shown on the tube map are not included.
1. All of the stations served by London Underground trains must be visited.
To `visit' a station, you must arrive and/or depart by an underground train in normal public service, but where a service is shared by underground and National Rail trains travelling over the same tracks it is permissible to use the National Rail trains.
It is necessary for a through train to stop at the station for the visit to count, although you do not need to get out. Certain stations are normally only open at certain times of the day, and this must be taken into account in your planning.
Attempts can only be made during the week as certain stations are shut at weekends. Only if a station is temporarily closed (e.g. for rebuilding, or in an emergency) will a non-stop pass through a station be acceptable.
2. Stations which are geographically separate and not linked but which have the same name must each be visited. This applies to Shepherds Bush, Edgware Road, Paddington and Hammersmith.
3. Feet or public service transport may be used to transfer from one underground line to another. The use of private motor vehicles, taxis or any other form of privately arranged transport (bicycles, skateboards, etc) is not acceptable.
4. It is not necessary to cover every stretch of track on the network.
Thus, for example, if you have visited Green Park on the Victoria line, Piccadilly Circus on the Piccadilly line, and Leicester Square on the Northern line, you do not have to take the Piccadilly line from Green Park to Leicester Square, although of course you can if you want.
On the Bakerloo line you are expected to go as far as Harrow and Wealdstone.
5. A log book should be kept throughout the whole journey.
i.e. the time of arrival and departure from each station, line changes, commutes between lines and stations, etc. must be maintained. This book should illustrate clearly the route followed. The number of each train caught must be recorded in the logbook for cross referencing with London Underground records.
6. It is necessary to have an independent witness accompany the record attempt at all times.
However, it is necessary to have an independent person witness the beginning and the end of the record attempt, and confirm the exact time of each. Although it is preferable, it is not necessary for the same person to serve as witness at both the start and the finish. However, a ‘master’ stopwatch must be started by the witness at the beginning of the event, and should be stopped by the witness at the end of the event. If the same person cannot be a witness at start and finish, arrangements must be made for it to be transferred between the start and finish witnesses. This ‘master’ stopwatch may not be carried by the participants on their journey. However, a separate stopwatch may be carried by the participants for their own reference if required.
7. The clock must start the moment the doors close on the first train taken by the challengers.
It must stop the moment the challengers set foot on the platform at the last station.
8. Other independent witnesses should be sought at regular intervals during the course of the event.
These people may include fellow passengers, London Underground staff, etc. Each witness should sign in a witness book, providing their name (clearly spelt out), contact telephone number or e-mail address, and confirmation of the time and place. At least one such witness statement should be obtained every hour. This witness book may take for form of pre-printed sheets with spaces for the relevant information.9. Note that the proof requirements listed above are the minimum required.
We would strongly advise challengers to collect as much additional proof as possible to help corroborate the facts of the claim. This may include video footage, tickets for buses used to commute between lines, photographs at various recognisable points (perhaps in front of clocks) etc.
HEATHROW TERMINAL 4 CLOSURE 2005/2006
Note that while Heathrow Terminal 4 is closed to accommodate construction work at the airport, it remains necessary to visit Terminal 4, using the replacement bus service provided by London Underground for at least one leg of that journey (i.e. to travel to the terminal from Hatton Cross or to travel to Hatton Cross from the terminal, or both). It is not necessary to disembark, although the challenger may wish to do so and continue using other means of public transport, as described in Rule 3 above.
The current record is: The record time for doing a tour of the London Underground taking in all of the 275 stations, which then formed part of the network, is 18hr 35min 43sec by Geoff Marshall of Epsom, Surrey and Neil Blake of Deptford, London on 5 May 2004.
NB. WE MUST STRESS THAT WE CANNOT PROVIDE PERSONNEL TO INVIGILATE RECORD ATTEMPTS - THERE ARE FAR TOO MANY. YOU ARE ADVISED TO CHECK WITH US JUST BEFORE YOUR ATTEMPT TO CONFIRM DETAILS OF THE LATEST RECORD.
Publication Guinness World Records is likely only to publish records which represent improvements on existing records. We may very occasionally publish an inaugural best performance if we consider it to be of a kind which is likely to become the subject of widespread and, preferably, international competition.
However in no circumstances will we undertake to publish any record and reserve the right to determine in our sole discretion the records to be published. Please send all documentation clearly marked with your name, address and telephone number and exactly which record has been attempted.