The L Challenge Part 2: "Miniature train highway" and bad bus connections

Editor's note: The following is Part 2 in the detailed story of a Brit who came to
Chicago to ride every L rail line through every station in record time.

Be sure to read Part 1 first.


The "miniature train highway"
Just as impressive is when the Brown joins the Red just before Fullerton to form what I can describe as a miniature train highway, with at least four tracks side by side above the roads for a considerable distance. I find this truly fascinating.

I transfer from the subway to the Loop elevated station and experience the same wonder as described above, this time spying on second and third floor office workers. I daresay they're used to it.

Taking my first bus between stations, I begin to understand the size of the city. It looks like a short distance on the map and I ask someone at the bus stop if it is far, as I wonder if I can run it. She tells me it is quite a way, so I grudgingly wait impatiently for the bus, probably the better part of 15 minutes. 

However, at the other end, I am glad, for the journey time is comparable to the wait. Chicago has very, very long streets, and I have only traveled down one.

The train line in the middle of a highway
Stumbling frantically down the steps, I find myself in the middle of an expressway. That's right - there is a six lane (at least) expressway and the tracks run down the middle rather than the side.

This is another novelty, but not one I like very much.
The traffic noises are deafening, and the wind swirls around me as I
await the next train. CTA staff who work here must be very tolerant and
wear earplugs to put up with the constant racket. There are a few more
stations like this.

Next I encounter:  1.) a turnaround, 2.) a
CTA worker asking if I'm from out of town, 3.) a change, 4.) a wrong
turn, 5.)not knowing where the station is, 6.) another change, 7.) a
narrowly missed train, and 8.) a decision not to try something clever to
catch another. And now I have to start my first substantial run of the
day between stations -- another very long street though the actual
distance is reasonable.

The bus links the stations but it
doesn't come, so I start to run, looking over my shoulder at every bus
stop on the way to see if it sneaks up behind me.

It does not,
so I run the entire way. Which is fine, until I see the station from
afar and the street ahead appearing to arch in the distance, and a lot
of vehicular movement on the road crossing mine.

Foiled by Google Maps

It
turns out that this is not a simple junction as I had believed, but an
expressway intersection. Which I must cross, with no pedestrian way, to
reach the station.

Thanks, Google Maps.

Luckily, there
is a barrier separating the two lanes of the slip road, so I wait for
the traffic to clear, run to it, pause, cross the other lane and arrive
at the station. And after all that, I wait at least six minutes for the
train. Excellent.

The next run is shorter and better, but I try
taking a picture of the first station when I disembark, putting my
camera in my bag and then running to the second. This costs me a train,
as it rumbles over the bridge while I bear down on the entrance and
departs as I run up the stairs. I don't think I'll try that strategy
again.

I go to the end of the line, where I discover the
terminating train pulls into the same single platform as the train going
back out, albeit several meters behind. Interesting.

I then
take another bus. This transfer is even longer than the first, and I
notice how the streets are numbered consecutively; the female voice of
the bus announces "27th Street, 26th Street, 25th Street..." I make a
note in my diary:  "Where's the individuality?" I am sure that each
street here has as much character and identity as any with a "proper"
name in Britain, but to me, naming roads numerically seems a tad
dismissive.

Back downtown for a dreaded stage
Toward
downtown. I change again and enter the stage of the day I have been
dreading - several frequent runs that are a lot further than I think.
This part is also where the geographical delay occurs.

As I
start one run, thinking I am going the right way, I arrive at an
intersection and am suddenly struck with doubt, because the street name
that hangs from the traffic lights, facing me, is not the one along
which I should be running. This is probably due to sleep deprivation,
but I decide I have to consult my map.

Two minutes later, I
discover I was going in the correct direction, curse the street naming
system and continue in a straight line. And what happens at the next
station? That's right; I miss the bloody train which I would have caught
but for the confusion.

At least make your street names more
noticeable, Chicago. Like having them on the sides of buildings like we
do. That way, I will always know on which street I am when I travel
along it.

Suffering a tired exasperation
Then comes the
point in the day that most Tube Challengers experience; annoyance and
loss of energy. This leads to me deciding to remain at the station for
10 minutes or more when I could catch the bus - I see it drive by on the
street below. But I am tired of taking risks at that moment and just
want to stay still.

After the next two changes things pick up a
little. The driver sees me running for the train, and having closed her
doors, opens them again, gesturing at me to board. Thanks!

I
pull into the station, run outside and take the bus immediately, with
that driver thinking she's being funny trying to impersonate my British
accent (if she likes that sort of thing). The bus has to cross an
intersection before the next station; I decide to disembark one stop
early and cross it on foot (this one has pedestrian signals, at least).

Due
to the bus being held up at the lights, I manage to beat it to the next
station, but yet again, I just miss the train. A somewhat laid back
chap tries to pacify me, as I must look very agitated: "It happens to us
all, man, there'll be another one along soon."

It is all I can
do to stop myself from snapping at him, but I inform him what I am
doing, that I have had an exhausting day and that THAT was the train I
needed to finish, with thinly disguised annoyance. He drawls "Oh, cool,
man," or something similar, and shuffles off.

In the home stretch
Anyway,
that had been the train I needed to finish, which means I am now into
the home stretch and that once I catch the next one, it will be over.

The
following train takes ages to arrive. Finally, it does arrive, I jump
onboard the train and it is full electrification ahead. I pull my watch
out of my bag to prepare to stop it, catching a glimpse of the time as
much as I try not to - I like looking at the time only when I finish.
However, the time is better than I expected, and much shorter than the
day has seemed.

I pull into the final station, not looking at the
stopwatch, hunched against the door. The door opens a crack and I force
my foot out and down onto the platform, stopping the watch
simultaneously.

I have visited every L station in a time of 9 hours, 36 minutes and 33 seconds.

Tube
Challenging has landed in America. Well, outside of New York. And I
have also been awake for 41 hours and 45 minutes, on and off. Mostly on.

So. Reid and Drew took three hours to ride at least one stop on every line.

CJ, Trey, Sarah and Jason rode the system to each terminus in 10 hours and 53 minutes.

I have visited every single station by train, including the ones with the same names on different lines, using basic rules drawn up by Guinness World Records in 9 hours, 36 minutes and 33 seconds. Am I winning?

From an Englishman in Chicago.

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  • Not only is he a bad writer, not once does he say where he is, but his absurd & condescending attitude towards our street names & placement of street signs shows what a pompous ass he is!
    What's he going to make of Manhattan, where 75% of the street names are numbers?
    Every city in America puts its street signs on the light poles, as do many cities all over the world.
    What? We're supposed to change & make him happy? Any intelligent person would have figured out where the street signs are in seconds, he apparently can't.
    He appears to have used Google Maps instead of an actual CTA map & a detailed paper street map of Chicago. Foolish!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    If he really dislikes numbered streets, he should never visit Salt Lake City or many towns in the West, where they just don't bother with names but mostly use the grid numbers: visit the Tracy Aviary, for instance, at 589 East 1300 South. That's how some old-time Chicagoans give a location in our city, but in Salt Lake City, the grid position IS the name! (There are some names, but many are just the number and compass direction.)

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    As to signs, I think he was referring to the ones on the arms that hold the overhead signals (which it is reported, the Feds are mandating a changed font, but not the changes this guy wants), but certainly, few places have the name of the street on which one is traveling, and if any, that is in smaller type than the name of the cross street.

    The more inconsistent thing is that he said "the female voice of the bus announces ..." CTA has MISTER CTA, unless Dist. 299 tells us that the recording was changed last week (it was but not because of that). Was he riding Pace or sexually ambiguous (maybe he thought that the announcer was Chaz Bono).

  • In reply to jack:

    The federally mandated font change it to go from all caps to just a capitalized first letter & then lower case, it's more readable. But there's no line-in-the-sand, fixed date for the change, contrary to what some wing-nuts are claiming. It's just that as signs wear out, change them.
    A fixed date would be great for Kenilworth, which has signs that appear to be 100 years old, often unreadable & don't have names on both sides.
    But that's still better than Park Ridge & its asinine vertical signs. Totally unreadable at speed!

  • In reply to jack:

    The two buses I took were definitely CTA ones. The voice on the second certainly sounded female; it was a lot higher in pitch than the "male" train voice. I also heard two different female voices announcing trains at Roosevelt and towards the southern end of the Green Line. "Attention customers. The next outbound train from the Loop will be arriving shortly."

  • I know he said yesterday that he wasn't giving out his path, but the impression I get from today's post is that he didn't know where he was going. He might have had a Google Map, but he didn't know the characteristics of the neighborhoods.

    For instance, the one with the "slip road" is undoubtedly in the Dan Ryan, and from the discussion of the big interchange and turnaround, probably 95th. One who doesn't know the area shouldn't be running there, especially with the confession that he didn't figure out from the Google Map that he was trying to cross a major highway interchange. Try Satellite View next time.

    The "big streets" and "numbered streets" comments are basically European reactions; any U.S. city planned after Washington D.C. has some sort of grid plan. Next time tell him to go to Washington and find 1500 Eye St. N.W., while riding the Metro.

    Finally, unless he was making things intentionally hard, anyone from Chicago knows that you can ride the whole L system without getting off and having to flag a bus. You have to use the Thompson Center and Jackson transfer tunnel, and walk across the track at Skokie, but that's it.

    Given the ambiguities yesterday (and Scooter was right that he needed an editor, and several of the other posters also did), and sort of blase comments today, I think this was an experience sort of like if one of us was suddenly dropped in Mumbai, told to ride the entire Metro in one day, and not told where the Pakistani terrorists were.

  • I enjoyed the story. However, I didn't quite understand the route that he took, as some of the specifics are missing. Granted, it doesn't have to be every last detail.

  • Not sure what about numbered streets makes them "dismissive," but I've always thought if Chicago's going to number streets, it would make more sense to number the north-south ones going west from State, similar to Milwaukee's system. If that were to happen, I'd be living on 14th Street (or maybe Avenue) instead of Glenwood Avenue. Anyway, then most intersections in the city would consist of a numbered street and a named one, making greater use of our wonderful grid. (It's just interesting to think about, but I won't be writing my alderman to propose this.)

  • In reply to scottknitter:

    You should get Streetwise Chicago, which explains the system, including the Brennan rationalization about 1909, and the implication that the numbered streets far preceded that (in that the baseline before Madison was the Chicago River, indicating why Roosevelt was 12th instead of 8th).

    Of course, if you like the numbering system you proposed, you could live in Cicero (48th Court) or Maywood and suburbs west (19th Ave.). According to the book, Chicago west of Crawford (Pulaski) was on the Cicero pattern, until Brennan decided it was too confusing, and went with the Ks through Ps. Supposedly 4034 West started with K because A was supposed to be State Line, but the north-south streets up to Crawford were already named.

    This also reminds me of the proposed Kruesi bus numbering system, the south side cross streets being as is; the north side ones getting essentially route numbers in even integrals of 4, and because of that, NS west of State getting 100 added to the integral of 4 and 200 on those east (or vice versa), expresses getting 800s and weird routes (like Grand or Sheridan) getting 900s. IIRC, Mayor Daley was then reported as telling Frank to stick it in his back pocket, or something like that.

  • In reply to jack:

    Crawford was originally 40th Ave.
    The "A" streets were to start at 3400 East as the Avenue B through Avenue O streets were already named. Avenue A is now State Line Rd.
    But Brennan got his name in the correct place at 2300 E.

    I'd also like to see what he would make of the DuPage County numbers that refer to the miles west of State St or the miles north or south of Madison St. such as 9S459 Whatever St. As much as they hate the city out there, they still based their street numbers on Chicago!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Looking back at old streetcar transfers in Lind's book, 40th was correct at some point.

    Lake County is similar in that in unincorporated areas, the numbers on north-south streets start at 20000 at Lake Cook Road, supposedly 20 miles north of Madison, and go to about 42000. Of course, some buildings have both local and county numbers, such as 903 North 20123 (around Milwaukee Ave.; hypothetical numbers but something like that).

    In the Barrington area, there are also house numbers in the 30W??? range.

    The only way one could figure that out is to get a Rand McNally Street Guide that still has the official section grids and the DuPage manner of identifying each section. That guide, of course, has the map explaining the discontinuities around I-57 (such as why 159th St. becomes 162nd in South Holland) and Central Road (hence, why Lake Cook Road is actually about 18500, not 20000).

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    @Scooter and Jack regarding maps: I was going to publish this part of Adham's account in a recap Monday, but here's what he said about maps:

    Now, I must mention maps. Most transit customer maps are conveniently small, apart from in Brussels where they are non-existent. Perhaps I was looking in the wrong place, but all I picked up in L stations when I first arrived were CTA fold-out wall charts showing a plan of all of the transportation within Chicago on one side and destinations and running times on the other, with a few square centimeters dedicated solely to the L diagram.

    On record attempts I like to have a pocket map with me, on which I can cross out stations. It would be impractical to keep consulting the large thing, so the map I used was cut out of it with improvisation.

    But evidently I had been looking in the wrong place, because a few days later, a very nice couple chatted to me on the Red Line, then took me out for lunch just because I was British. (Yes! More like them, please.)

    I bemoaned the fact that I could find no small maps, and they presented me with a tiny, folded version of the CTA wall chart and a long key ring out of which one could roll an L diagram. They are very handy, but I think they would be too small for my writing.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    While we are all familiar with the fold-out map (he's lucky he didn't get an RTA one), at one time there were line pamphlets. I don't think they are around now, but that type of information is available on the CTA website, on the Timetables page and links thereon.

    For that matter, I don't think there is a paper handbook edition of Google Maps. If he used an Internet enabled device to consult those, he could have gone to transitchicago.com.

    Thus, it looks like he was as unprepared as I would be in the Mumbai example above. Last I heard, they even have the Internet in England. He wouldn't have had to go to the London equivalent of what was the Main-Chicago Newspaper store in Evanston.

    BTW-did he get as far as Evanston, Skokie, Cicero, Oak Park, and Forest Park?

  • In reply to jack:

    I know he wasn't unprepared because he asked me many questions via email months in advance.

    But I suppose the only way to tellis for you and Scooter to attempt the same ride and see if you beat him.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    I had the CTA fold-out map, but it did not give me the street information I required, so I printed out the necessary Google maps and took them with me too, as I could not find a suitable street map in time. I did buy one in Borders the following day, though.

    And yes, I went to all the outer locations. All stations means all stations.

  • In reply to jack:

    Fascinating story. The usual suspects are too dismissive of the issues our visitor brings up. No such thing as a stupid question, as far as I am concerned. The point is, how do things look to someone not from here, if they don't know the drill? The newcomer's viewpoint can bring out things that are a real issue for everyone, like how certain facilities put pedestrians in danger. Maybe the snarkier commenters should try the same experiment in some other country and see how they feel when the shoe's on the other foot.

    Adham, the numbered streets are all on the South Side. There's an old joke that South Siders scorn North Siders for giving their streets names instead of numbers, because it proves they can't count. North Siders reply that South Siders don't have enough imagination to think of names. I was born on the South Side but I've always lived on the North Side, so you figure which side I take.

    As for the reason street signs are on free-standing poles here, that's so whenever Streets & San does work on the traffic lights or sidewalks or anything else, they can remove the signs and not put them up again for 18 months. They feel we need a challenge in figuring out where we are. Can't make it too easy. (Oh, and don't even ask about the honorary street names on the brown signs. Everyone here agrees, that's just stupid.)

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    Oh puh-leeze!
    If I went to another country & didn't see street signs, I'd look around & find them. After a couple of corners, I'd be able to figure it out, he couldn't. His mindset is that the British way is the only correct way & the rest of the world be damned. Reminds me of the headline in a London Paper a century or so ago: Heavy fog in Channel, Europe cut off!
    Brits think the world revolves around them! Maybe because the prime meridian is in Greenwich.

    And South Siders have no idea what numbers come before 7 & always leave out 17, 22, 39, 55 & 67 when counting!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Scooter, when are you going to kick Adham's butt in the L Challenge? Better yet, I'd like to see you go to London and beat his time in the Tube Challenge.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    Kevin- we did use the buses at the time, we rode the 63 (Btwn 63rd-Red and Cottage Grove- Green), X54 (Midway to Cicero-Pink) and the 81 (Jeff Park to Kimball). I believe our time did include our lunch break in Oak Park, but I can't remember for sure. Honestly, I'm kind of motivated to give it another whirl... let's hope that SJ and Trey are up to task!

    FYI- I wouldn't mind talking to this guy. I'm a huge fan of London's tube and as you know, I go visit every year. I wouldn't mind a partner to ride the entire tube with!

  • In reply to ibright05:

    Adham probably would talk to you certainly, but I doubt he would give up his secrets! LOL! As I mentioned, he is certainly competitive.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Oh please, he has no idea how idea how competitive I am. I'm already planning how to beat him. The question is, will I actually give up a day to do it?

  • In reply to ibright05:

    I am always interested in a collaboration. Consider your Tube partner found.

  • In reply to Adham:

    Oh awesome, I'll have Kev give you my email. I've rode on every tube line at least once. As I'm thinking logistics, riding the entire tube in a day may just err on the side of extreme, since it's so vast but I'm definitely interested in riding portions that I've never been on. This is of course, for when I next go.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    Thanks. I did wonder why there were no numbered streets on the North Side. By no means do I dislike numbered streets; I just found the concept a little strange coming from a place where pretty much all roads are named. This went for the street addresses too. But I was curious to find out more, so I visited the "zero point" at State/Madison. Streetwise Chicago could be an interesting read.

    Chicago's grid system can make it easier to navigate than London, as Chris suggests, but I popped up from the L mid-block a couple of times and had to go to the nearest crossroads to consult the signs and find out on which street I was. In London, the names are on streets at very regular intervals; you can often exit the Tube or step off a bus and have the sign right in front of you.

    I don't think I saw the honorary brown signs. What's the story there?

  • In reply to Adham:

    Famous Chicagoans are honored by having certain blocks of streets 'named' for them. The honorary signs are brown to distinguish them from the real names of streets. There's an explanation (which one of my favorite brown signs pictured) here: http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/11541.html

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    The story is hard to follow since he never gives any station names. I'm sure some street names could be better marked at intersections, but to me London is hard to find street signs. Also, their streets all curve, some of which change names in the curve. At least our streets go straight and don't change names.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    @Jack,regarding this comment:

    "Finally, unless he was making things intentionally hard, anyone from Chicago knows that you can ride the whole L system without getting off and having to flag a bus. You have to use the Thompson Center and Jackson transfer tunnel, and walk across the track at Skokie, but that's it."

    You have to remember that Adham was looking at this as a competition - even though there is no real sanctioned competition or rules. All Adham had to go on were the two links he provided at the end, referring to the Facebook page and the all day ride by CJ, Trey, Jason and Sarah:

    http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/cta-tattler/2010/01/how-to-ride-every-cta-el-route-in-one-day.html

    The latter three "rode the system to each terminus in 10 hours and 53 minutes."

    Admittedly, I haven't gone back to reread that piece today to see whether they stayed strictly on trains, but I think they did. But since there are no rules and since Adham is used to London Tube Challenge, where apparently riding by bus is necessary, he chose a route that included bus rides.

    And the bottom line is that Adham beat the foursome's time by about 67 minutes.

    I'd like to hear from CJ, Trey, Jason or Sarah about their experience.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    I hadn't made the connection between the two posts, until you pointed it out, but my comment here is consistent (except for the Skokie qualification, I should have made there).

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    @Chris: Remember what I wrote yesterda in my editor's note:

    "And a special note: I has asked Adham to give more details of what routes he took, and what line he was on. But he demurred. He was afraid that someone might know the route he took and beat what he thinks is a pretty good time. Gotta love that American, er, British, competitiveness."

    Read more: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/cta-tattler/2011/05/the-l-challenge-a-brits-thoughts-on-the-cta-as-he-rides-every-train-line-station.html#ixzz1MuT13YTf

    Whatever you might say about Adham, and certainly Scooter and Jack have dissed him plenty, you can say that he is a competitor who doesn't want to give up what edge he perceives to have to win.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Your last line is absurd!
    You can't compete if you're running your own race, on your own course with your own rules.
    I could beat anyone going from Clark/Devon to Foster/Broadway if I set up a route that no one else has ever used & didn't tell anyone what that route was. It's just two miles, less if you go down Ridge, but if I had it looping back & forth all over to hell & gone, I'd be the fastest.

    If he wants to be the best, he has to publish his detailed route.

    BTW, I have walked from Harlem/Lake to the Forest Park station, so I'm guessing he also did that.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    As I mentioned earlier - go ahead and do it yourself and see how you do. I will publish your well-written, well-documented account.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    As I indicate below, Scooter is right that it depends on the rules. If I can take an airport express bus between the O'Hare and Midway stations and stay consistent with the rules, that could knock off a significant amount of time.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Let's also remember the women who "won" the Boston Marathon, but it turned out they took the subway.

    I could win the Chicago Marathon, too, if I took Bruce Wolf's suggestion of riding the Red Line from Fullerton to Harrison.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Although the brochures I thought of before are not available, CTA does have a "Routewide Schedule Brochure" for each line. While there are some complications, like getting to both Ashland/63 and Cottage/63, presumably by a transfer at Garfield, I assume that to hit all the terminals, one must have a round trip on each line, except the last one, and that to hit Linden, one needs only to take the Purple shuttle. However, based on those timetables, it would take 9 hours staying on the L, not counting transfer time and worse than predicted slow zones.

    Considering his grousing about the buses and missing trains, I'm starting to wonder about all of these reports, unless there was, say, a significant time saving taking the Pace 318 bus from Harlem/Lake Green Line to Forest Park Blue Line (maybe that's where he heard the woman on the gps). Similarly, there might be some savings taking the Lawrence bus from Kimball to the Red Line, but I doubt it.

    My counts are based on the terminal to terminal trips on following timetables:

    Blue 65
    Brown 37
    Green 65
    Orange 30
    Pink 30
    Purple 30
    Red 65
    Yellow 15

    Total one way: 337 minutes, or 5.5 hours.
    I'm assuming cutting off the return on the Purple-Red, since by then all terminals have been visited.

  • In reply to jack:

    Hey, great start Jack! Now you just have to schedule the day and coordinate with Scooter. I think it might be best if you two did it separately rather than together as I first suggested. Nothing like friendly competition. And then you can both say you beat that dumb ol' Brit Adham.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Note to Adham: In case my sarcasm is not evident over the Internet, I'm just joking in calling you a dumb ol' Brit.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    I got that, sir.

    I didn't exactly view it as a competition because I didn't know if anyone in Chicago had tried something similar. Subsequently I found out about the two other challenges which each had their own guidelines: ride at least one stop on each line, and cover the entire L system (all stations and all track). The rules I follow only require all stations to be visited and can be viewed here: http://www.rapidtransitchallenge.com/New_York_Subway_Fastest_Travel.pdf

    No one has to follow this method. If I am the only person to ride the L with it, fine. If someone else wants to, then it could be considered a little competition.

    No one with a fast route publishes it in detail, because they set themselves up to be beaten. Of course, if anyone wants proof of my journey, they are welcome to the photographs I took of each station...

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    So, what would your attitude be when you visited London? Would your mindset be that the American way is the only correct way? Would you not want to describe your process of discovery that things are different? I can just imagine your howls about "Mind the Gap!" Or maybe you wouldn't pay attention and would get your foot stuck.

    The prime meridian is in Greenwich because that's where the observatory is. By 1884, more than two-thirds of ships were using it as their reference point, which is why an international conference with representatives from 25 nations made it official that year. (The French didn't go along with it, though.) I've been there, had my picture taken standing on the line. And now they mark it with a laser too.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    I'm very European with my transit and well, lifestyle in general. What keeps me here is family and friends. But I've never been to Greenwich, I may have to!

  • In reply to ibright05:

    If you go, you too can stand with one foot in each hemisphere!

    http://www.nmm.ac.uk/places/royal-observatory/history/

    Looks like you can have an adventure just trying all the ways to get there by public transportation. (But when I visited, we actually took a boat.)

    http://www.nmm.ac.uk/visit/get-here/by-tube-or-rail/

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    Thanks for the info! I can't believe I was so close to Greenwich on every trip I've made to London and never realized it.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    No, I would just go along with whatever is there. I'm already used to trains running lefthanded, I've been riding the Northwestern commuter trains since I was 10.
    I was just using the prime meridian as an example of his insularity, he thinks everything should be the same as London.

    And I have no intention of doing what he did, I think it's stupid! I've ridden the entire CTA rail, just not at one time. I remember reading about doing this in NYC. It takes around 23 hours there. Also stupid!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Yes, we all know that the dictionary definition of stupid is: Anything Scoooter doesn't personally see fit to do himself.

    Adham, also be aware that he is a famous mind-reader, to the extent that he knows what everyone is truly thinking even if they actually think they're thinking something else.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    Always fascinating when people make false statements about what I've written.
    I'm not a mind reader & have never claimed to be one.
    There are many things I don't do that aren't stupid, but making false claims about is!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Hmmmm... for guy who thinks this stuff is stupid, you sure are spending a lot of time thinking about it and writing about it.

    Adham, is "put up shut up" a British idiomatic phrase also, or just American?

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    This Brit clown started it by writing on & on & on & then insulting our intelligence with his made up "competition" that has rules that only he knows about, plus his absurd comments about where Chicago mounts it street signs.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Ok, so let's make the official rules for if you want to ride the entire 'L' in a day. I'm all for it.

    And really, calling him a clown is real classy.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    We say that here too.

  • In reply to jack:

    A round trip on each line suffices if doing the whole thing by trains only, which I could easily have done, but I believe it might have taken more time.

    Think about it. Going from the Loop along one line, returning to the Loop, travelling to the end of another line and returning to the Loop again versus going to the end of one line, somehow getting from there to another line on the ground in the same time or less as it might take you to return to the Loop once, then resuming the rail journey.

    However, I would like to see what time I could manage using only trains...

  • In reply to jack:

    Adham used fairly logical rules. There's a Guinness World record for the both the Tube Challenge and the Subway Challenge. The rules can be found here:
    http://www.rapidtransitchallenge.com/rules.htm

    Adham just applied those rules to the 'L.' If there was an offial world record for this, it would probably use the rules he used.

    I don't think it's fair, therefore, to say that he used rules only he knew about.

    I thought it was an awesome read Adham! A bit of fun for people who don't take life too seriously.

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