69 station network completed in just over five hours
Adham Fisher who has attempted the Guinness World Record for visiting every station on the London Underground as quickly as possible (Tube Challenge) 15 times, similarly navigated the new 69-station configuration of the Metrolink in just five hours, six minutes and 17 seconds on Wednesday 29 May, which is believed to be the current fastest time. With the closure of Mosley Street on 18 May and the latest extension to East Didsbury opening on 23 May, Fisher wanted to launch an attempt as soon as possible because records are reset when a network gains or loses stations.
In early April a Tube Challenger known as Cheshire Cat set a time of five hours, 14 minutes and 55 seconds for 65 Metrolink stations, and others have tried it too. Fisher was confident he could go faster with more to do, but despite the achievement he remains his own worst critic.
“It should have been under five hours,” he said. “One or two things worked and one or two things did not. But for the most part, the trams ran as they were timetabled, and that shows that Metrolink and Transport for Greater Manchester are doing their jobs properly. Such a pursuit can be performed on trams as well as metros, and Metrolink, as the UK’s largest network, presents a challenge to traverse at speed. Another attempt will be made but I eagerly anticipate the new extensions to Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester airport; they will make things very interesting indeed.”
Fisher does not only limit himself to the UK in this regard, and has become known for visiting every metro station in cities like Toronto, Barcelona, and Chicago, where not only has he been presented with a personal station sign by the Chicago Transit Authority, but has even been played on stage in a theatre production about transport there. He also heads a music collective called 1000 Stations, writing songs exclusively about the world’s urban rail systems. Their first album, Metro EP, can be downloaded now.
Tram-wise, Fisher also holds the fastest times for Sheffield and Nottingham, and this has caught attention down under. Yarra Trams of Melbourne operate the largest network on the planet, and having heard of Fisher’s forays, invited him to tackle their “Mount Everest”. Fisher is now seeking sponsors to send him to Australia, whose profiles he could raise due to media interviews and wearing logos there and here, and for whom he would be keen to volunteer some of his time. The fact that he has been on a transport website and radio show for this in a country to which he has not yet been shows a little of what he can do.
• ‘Metro EP’ is available to download on iTunes.® Click here to download the EP or individual tracks.
S.V., 31 May 2013.