World record for fastest London Underground journey revealed

Ever wondered how quickly you could visit every single London Underground station?

Since 1959 people have been taking part in a competition to see how quickly they can achieve this – and get their name into the Guinness Book of World Records.

The Tube Challenge has had 35 participants over the years, and as of 2016 Andi James, from Finland, and Steve Wilson, from the UK, are the record holders.

The pair managed to travel across all 264 stations in 15 hours, 45 minutes and 38 seconds on May 21, 2015.

Steve said at the time: “Whilst it requires a lot of time, effort and preparation to come up with a route plan that produces a good overall time, you are always somewhat dependent to luck on the day – it only takes one broken down train to completely scupper all of your hard work.”

Hillingdon Times: There are 270 stations that make up the London UndergroundThere are 270 stations that make up the London Underground

The two friends are no strangers to holding the world record.

As well as having jointly held it twice previously (in 2011 and 2009), Andy has held it on two other occasions (both 2008) and Steve on one other occasion (in 2006).

In 2013, they were part of a team that conquered the New York Subway version of the same world record, although their time has since been beaten.

It’s been 60 years since the first attempt took place, by George Hurst and Jane Barwick, and it took them 18 hours and 35 minutes to hit all 264 stations.

Over the years the number of stations have changed, causing controversy and changes to the rules of the competition – and some people “cheated” using cars or bikes to get between some stations.

The rules now state that participants must visit all the stations on the system, not necessarily all the lines, and they may connect between stations on foot or by using other forms of public transport.

Back in July 1964 four people completed the challenge in 14 hours, 17 minutes – the quickest time ever.

There were 272 stations to visit, but as the number of stations changed regularly over the next couple of decades the record was “reset”.

Guinness World Records – originally the Guinness Book of Records – the ultimate authority on record-breaking achievements, started out as an idea for a book of facts to solve arguments in pubs.

Hillingdon Times | News