The Tube Challenge is the accepted name for the Guinness World Record attempt to visit all the stations on the London Underground network in the fastest time possible. Participants do not have to travel along all lines to complete the challenge, merely to pass through all the stations on the system.
Participants may connect between stations on foot, or by using other forms of public transport, including public buses, trains, the DLR and Tramlink.
Do you have to get off at every station?!
- No, but you must arrive and/or depart by an underground train in normal public service. It is necessary for a through train to stop at the station for the visit to count, so you can’t wizz through Ravenscourt Park on the Piccadilly Line or pass by Preston Road and Northwick Park on a fast Metropolitan Line.
Do you travel the whole way along every line?
- There’s no need to travel along the length of every line. In fact, it would be silly to do so. The Waterloo & City line is usually skipped, for example.
How is this a challenge? Surely you’re just sitting on trains all day!
- I wish! There’s plenty of running and door holding, along with picture taking along the way. Also, your nose and nails will say otherwise with the amount of dirt that gathers.
- You have to exit the system and travel by bus, on foot or by National Rail between the ends of lines in order to do it in a day. A common example is Cockfosters to High Barnet by bus. You can’t use taxis, cars, bikes or any other form of ‘private transportation’ so yes, you could take the Emirates Air Line/Dangleway.
Are the two Edgware Roads the same?
- Nope, several stations have the same name but are physically separate.
- For example, Paddington (H&C and Circle) and Paddington (District & Circle), Edgware Road (Sub-surface) and Edgware Road (Bakerloo) and Hammersmith (H&C and Circle) and Hammersmith (District and Piccadilly).
What about the DLR and Overground?
- No need to do these, although they can help to make connections between the ends of lines.
- There is also the ‘same track’ rule which allows you to use National Rail where they share tracks with the tube. For example, Overground between Queen’s Park and Harrow or between Gunnersbury and Richmond, or Chiltern between Amersham and Rickmansworth (it goes to Harrow too, but you’d miss a bunch of stations in between).