February 21, 2005

World-Record Transit Riders

From reading Ian Marchant's book Parallel Lines (a non-fiction work about the madness of particular breeds of railfans), I learned about people who set themselves the goal of travelling between all the stations of the London Underground (currently, there are 275) as quickly as possible. There's a website, tubechallenge.com, that sets out rules for the quest, provides a bit of history, and lists the official, confirmed-by-Guiness world-record times for fastest traversals (not only do people beat previous records, but the game itself changes from time to time as stations are added or closed). Geoff Marshall, one of the current co-record holders, has a webpage detailing his Tube Challenge exploits.

It seems no surprise that someone has done the same for the Hamburg system -- Der ganze Hamburger Verkehrsverbund in einem Tag. (Zany mechanized Google translation here.) He is fearless, travelling over Hamburg's entire transit map -- not just the U-Bahn and S-Bahn, but all of the local regional rail lines as well, for a total of 206 stations. He has analyzed the problem thoroughly; his Web page dissects all of the potential bottlenecks.

His first attempt, in January 2004, took 20 hours and 17 minutes (looking at the pictures, I wouldn't want to spend any more time in outdoor rail stations than I had to -- brrrr!); the second, in more temperate May, took 19 hours and 49 minutes.

Sadly, there's no such thing as a Guiness world record for doing the Hamburg system in the least amount of time; they only offer records for London and New York City.

Posted by Kevin at February 21, 2005 08:06 PM

Funny you should mention that...I've just read this http://www.geofftech.co.uk/tubechallenge/tube8.htm (sorry, don't know how to do html in the comments.

I'm a longtime lurker from when you were in Hamburg. I love the new title of your blog, especially because I know Orange County well.

Posted by: J at February 27, 2005 03:36 AM

I've just blogrolled you so I don't have to go to Jinglelady's blog to get to yours. I hope that's okay.

Posted by: J at February 27, 2005 04:13 AM
Sadly, Further Comments Have Been Disabled ...

Due to a never-ending flood of comment spam, we've decided to disable comments for all blog entries past a certain age. If you'd like to comment on a closed blog entry, say something in one of the newer entries or E-mail the author.

-- Apologies, The happybeagle.com Management