This is a combined list of profiles and characters of individuals and teams that have attempted the record over the year, along with entries from Guinness World Record books on record breaking attempts.
The first recorded attempt in 1959 on June 13th, when an R.J.Lewis and D.R.Longley attempted the whole network. They went on to form a group known as 'The London Underground Rovers' which continued until 1976. They were recognised at the time by the Guinness Book of Records as the official organising body for the challenge - this was not the same body as the London Underground Railways Society - who did though take over this roll in the late 1970's
The London Underground Rovers recognized two classes of record: Class 'A' being "public transport only", and Class 'B' being "open" whereby private lifts & motorcycles could be used. Guinness only published the Class "A" record. Also, the rules concerning 'same rails' did not apply at this time. i.e. you could 'do' a tube station that was served by a British Rail train even if it did not use the same tracks (e.g. New Cross & New Cross Gate becomes a lot easier to do) Also, your train did not have to stop if the station was closed, as long as the station was open at some time on the day of the attempt (e.g. Blake Hall when it existed was closed on the first train of the day from Ongar which many challengers used to take).
In the beginning of tube challenging, there were 268 stations on the tube map. The Epping to Ongar branch had to be done (unlike today), and there was also Aldwych which is now closed. The Victoria line did not exist, nor did the two stations at Heathrow Airport. There was no Jubilee line at all, with the branch up to Stanmore then being part of the Bakerloo line.
Those were the obvious differences to today's map, but there were also three other parts which aren't immediately obvious which are different to today. Firstly, you had to do the stretch between Moorgate and Finsbury Park which was then part of the Northern Line. The Bakerloo line did not end at Harrow and Wealdstone, but carried on six more stops up the line at Watford Junction. And finally, the Metropolitan line did not end at Amersham. Instead, there were four more stops out to Aylesbury which had to be done too.
It may have also been that you only had to do things like Edgware Road, Paddington and Hammersmith once - certainly before Hammersmith was rebuilt integrating it with today's present bus station, there used to be a subway linking together what are now two separate stations.
During this time, there were five 'double sites' (i.e. same-name stations that were counted as two different stations): Ealing Broadway, Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Paddington and Edgware Road. 268 plus five makes 273 stations required for the record. Before Aylesbury dropped off the Underground map there were four more stations making 277. This is important to note because it can be confusing when the Guinness Records (listed below) sometimes refer to there being 273 stations, and at other times 277.
All 264 stations in 18 hours, 35 minutes
George Hurst and Jane Barwick
9th September 1961
All 264 stations in 18 hours, 9 minutes
J Birch, B Phillips and N Storr
3rd December 1960
All 277 stations in 20 hours, 27 minutes.
K.Branch and J.Branch
The service between Amersham and Aylesbury was officially withdrawn from London Underground operation (and therefore no longer part of the challenge) on the 10th September 1961, making it 4 less stations that you had to do.
22nd August 1963
272 out of 273 stations in 14 hours,56 minutes (Class 'B')
Bill Hayles is the name of the earliest reference on the internet about someone making the attempt. Bill was one of a team of five students from Chislehurst and Sidcup Boys' Grammar School who attempted it in July 1965. They started on the 0459 from Upminster and ended at Russell Square at 2330, but Bill actually gave up early evening and went home!
It was another of the team, RIchard Waters - Who did all the planning using the pocked sized timetable available at the time - that stayed until the end.
Richard was the secretary of the school transport society at the time and recruited friends (Richard Brown and Barry Price) to join him rather than travel alone.
They had to use public transport only, but also they physically stood on at least one platform of each station! They had to do both Edgware Road stations, and both Shepherd's Bush, but Paddington and Hammersmith counted as 'one' back then. It didn't have to be an LT platform, either - at New Cross Gate they arrived by BR from London Bridge and left on foot for New Cross. They failed because of a confusion in the rules then for what counted as public transport, and they used a a taxi between Amersham and Chesham which meant that the attempt was void. Bill recalls that the "Pain in the arse" station to do back then was Aldwych. They also set foot on every platform when the train stopped at each station rather than just stay seated,
A reported from the paper travelled with them for 40 minutes during the day doing quite an in-depth interview. At one point, they got out at Drayton Park (part of the old Northern Line) and got a taxi to their next destinations, as things were going a bit awry - they wouldn't have done this if they'd have known that this would invalidate their claim for an official record time - they only realised this when the London Underground Rovers got in touch to tell them so.
Bill later became a bus driver and worked for British Rail and now his own web pages at www.billnot.com
4th July 1964
272 out of 273 Stations in 14 hours, 17 minutes
A.Mortimer, JP.Herting, D.Corke & G.Elliot
This 4th July 1964 'record' appears in the 1965 Guinness Book of Records, but it's not really understood why considering that they missed out a station - Aldwych - and therefore didn't complete all the stations.
1st June 1965
273 Stations in 18 hours, 45 minutes
J.P.Chambers & M.P. Atkinson
12th July 1965
273 Stations in 18 hours, 32 minutes
A.J.T Holmes & C.J.N Holmes
7th September 1965
273 Stations in 16 hours, 57 minutes
Alan was 15 years old at the time in 1965.
1st November 1966
273 Stations in 15 hours, 53 minutes
Leslie was 17 year old at the time when he completed this in 1966
27th June 1968
277 Stations in 16 hours, 5 minutes
Anthony Durkin & Peter Griffiths
3rd September 1968
15 hours, 0 minutes
They also started on the 04.59 from Upminster and headed for Ongar first. They missed out the Richmond branch, and the Victoria line was only partially complete - the line between Brixton and Victoria itself was not in place, but they did have to do the part between Moorgate and Finsbury Park on the Northern Line.
Their day finished at Hounslow West - before the extension out to Heathrow had been built.
Colin's website is here, and they took just ONE photo of themselves on the day at Mill HIll East.
18th October 1979
287 out of 287 Stations in 19 hours, 25 minutes
Peter Altman, Marilyn Nathan & Ralph Cramer
The finished at 1am at Upminster (having started at Ongar at 6am) with the benefit of the District Line controller holding the last train for them at Monument as they changed from Bank.
The Brixton - Victoria part of the Victoria Line opened on 23rd July 1971, added two more stations (Brixton and Vauxhall) with Pimlico following slightly later, opening on the 14th September 1972, added three news stations in total.
Many people see Robert Robinson (below), as the 'Master' of the challenge, but the first consistent challenger and the person who some see as the real master of it all is Colm Mulvaney. Who worked for London Transport at the time on the Central Line.
Colm made his challenges in the mid to late 1970's, and had at least one official record-breaking attempt in 1981 at the time when the Piccadilly line used to end at Hounslow West.
The Piccadilly line was extended to Hatton Cross on the 19th July 1975, and followed by the extension-proper to Heathrow airport with the opening of the Terminal 1,2 & 3 station on December 16th 1977. The 'loop' with Terminal 4 would not get added to the system until 1986.
The Moorgate to Finsbury Park stretch of the Northern line was also slowly closed during the mid-1970's. By 4th October 1975, it had entirely shut taking out 2 stations (Drayton Park and Essex Road) from the map. And although it re-opened in 1976, it was then part of British Rail and not London Underground and so did not have to be done as part of any attempts.
25th March 1980
278 Stations in 18 hours, 22 minutes
Bob Robinson, David Herring, Paul Eddington & Finn Gleeson
20th May 1980
278 Stations in 18 hours, 3 minutes
John & Stephen Trafford
23rd June 1981
278 Stations in 17 hours, 57 minutes
Bob Robinson & Finn Gleeson
16th September 1981
278 Stations in 17 hours, 48 minutes
Jon Brown, Robert Anderson & Alex Chin-A-Fat
21st October 1981
278 Stations in 17 hours, 42 minutes, 38 seconds
Nicholas Mitchell & Ian Robins
Blake Hall on the Epping to Ongar branch of the Central Line was closed on the 31st October 1981, with the rest of the Epping - Ongar line being reduced to peak hours only at this point making it slightly more tricky for challengers to timetable this into their route! An all day service was brought back briefly in 1990, but had gone again by 1993.
21st October 1981
278 Stations in 17 hours, 42 minutes, 38 seconds
During the 1980's there were two people who were most prolific at riding the system. The first of these is Colm Mulvany, a driver (motorman) on the Central Line at the time who along with his friend Seth Vafiadis (a booking clerk on Central Line stations) obtained the record once, along with other transport records.
For example, between the 4th June and 5th of July 1984, they travelled through every BR station in the country (All 2,378 of them) as well as the entire London Underground plus the Tyne and Wear and Strathcyde metro systems - raising money for charity along the way.
3rd December 1981
277 Stations in 17 hours, 37 minutes
Colm Mulvany & Seth Vafiadis
The service on the Bakerloo Line between Watford Junction and Harrow and Wealdstone officially ended on the 24th September 1982, making six less stations in total that you had to do.
The second prolific person of this time was Robert (Bob) Robinson who is often regarded as the 'ultimate' tube challenger, as he has had more attempts than anyone else and held the record for the longest period of cumulative time - he made 51 attempts between late 1979 and 2000.
Only on five of those times did he fail to make it round the entire system (A successful completion rate of over 90%). On eight of these time he got/held the record. He also held the record when the network was at 270 stations for a long time of 18 hours, 18 minutes and 9 seconds. This was pre the Jubilee Line Extension.
Heathrow Terminal 4 was opened on Saturday the 12th April 1986
14th April 1986
272 Stations in 19 hours, 51 minutes, 14 seconds
Robert (Bob) Robinson, Peter Robinson, John Garde & Timothy Clark
Bob made an attempt two days after T4 opened on the Monday - the first possible date that it could have been attempted. He then shaved 10 minutes off of his own time three months later.
It was around this time in April 1986 that the service to Kensington Olympia became a regular one instead of only running during peak hours or when there was an exhibition on. This made is slightly easier to plan an attempt as you could now do it at any time of the day.
30th July 1986
273 Stations in 18 hours, 41 minutes, 41 seconds
Robert (Bob) Robinson, Peter Robinson, Timothy Robinson, Timothy Clark, Richard Harris
Richard Lambert and his friends made eight attempts between 1987 and 1989 including one on the 29th January 1988 [left] which was covered by Capital Radio.
One of their evening news presenters followed them around all day and presented the recording on their 'The Way It Is' programme shortly after.
Richard's quickest time was when Aldwych and Epping to Ongar had closed, and they came close to, but did not beat Bob Robinsons then record time, of 18 hours 41 minutes.
Richard recalls that Bob later beat his own time by 23 minutes.
Ben Nunn was 13 years old in 1990 [right] when he successfully travelled round all the stations by himself.
He made just one attempt which used private transport between the ends of lines (he got him mum to pick him up in her car!) to get between some of the terminals, and thus has a 'Class B' record time of 16 hours, 56 minutes and 59 seconds.
Mornington Crescent was closed on the Northern Line on the 23rd October 1992, and did not re-open again until the 27th April 1998 - almost six years later! It did not count as a station that had to be done for the challenge during this time.
John Smith made a charity attempt back in 1993 that they made, when there was still confusion about the use of public & private transport between stations.
They made just one attempt on Comic Relief day in 1993. They started at Upminster and ended at Chesham and did it in 18 hours plus minutes. Unfortunately they used private cars in many places to get between stations, and they got back after having done it to find a letter from Guinness saying that they'd changed the rules, and that private cars were no longer allowed to be used, therefore invalidating the attempt!
Aldwych station closed for good on September 30th 1994. On the same day, the Epping to Ongar branch was also finally closed, bringing down the total number of stations yet again.
Also, the East London Line closed for major refurbishment and repairs on the 25th March 1995, and was replaced by a permanent bus service (nice bright orange buses, I seem to recall). It didn't open again for exactly three years - on the 25th March 1998. So any attempts during this time obviously didn't have to do the East London Line.
4th October 1994
270 Stations in 18 hours, 18 minutes, 9 seconds
Robert (Bob) Robinson, Tom McLaughlin
The Jubilee line was opened in stages - Stratford to North Greenwich on the 14th May 1999, adding two new stations (Canning Town and North Greenwich), through to Bermondsey on the 17th September, to Waterloo on the 24th September 1999, and then the last part to Green Park on the 20th November 1999, along with Southwark station opening for the first time on that day too.
Alistair Bell made one single attempt on the 30th December 1999 - the last working day of the Millennium, in aid of charity, and was obviously planned to coincide with the complete opening of the Jubilee Line Extension. It was quite highly publicised on the newsgroup uk.transport.london, he even published his intended route, and also posted to the newsgroup during his travels with an update of how he was doing via a mobile device.
16th March 2000
272 Stations in 19 hours, 57 minutes, 47 seconds
Robert (Bob) Robinson, Chris Loxton, Chris Stubley, Chris Whiteoak, Olly Rich & Adam Waller
Started at Temple at 05.02, finished at Upminster at 01.00
There is a news article online here about this attempt.
3d April 2002
275 Stations in 19 hours, 18 minutes, 45 seconds
Jack is from Nottingham, and was 24 when he established a new record of 19 hours, 18 minutes and 45 seconds in April 2002.
The Evening Standard ran an article about it here. There used to be a page on the TFL website as well - since removed - as it has become apparent they don't approve of people running about the tube all day, and do not encourage attempts to be made.
He made just the one attempt, which worked as planned first time - starting at Heathrow and ending at Amersham.
5th May 2004
275 Stations in 18 hours, 35 minutes, 43 seconds
Geoff Marshall & Neil Blake
This is my own record breaking time, taking me until my seventh attempt to get the record. We started at Amersham and ended up at Upminster. Even though we did the run on the 5th May, it took Guinness four months to get back to us and officially confirm our time.
January 7th 2005 - Heathrow 4 is temporarily closed to allow for the construction of Terminal 5, station count down to 274 stations.
30th May 2006
274 Stations in 18 hours, 35 minutes, 38 seconds
Steven Wilson & Samantha Cawley
On 30th May 2006, Steve Wilson and Samantha Cawley beat the previous time by just five seconds.
They too started at Amersham and finished at Upminster in a time of 18 hours, 35 minutes and 38 seconds - making them the new world record holders, and again it took Guinness until almost four months later that they did have the record time.
It was Steve's third full attempt at the record and Sam's second - although they both took part in the Tube Relief attempt the previous year.
Their own account of the day is on their web pages here.
On June 9th 2006 , Shoreditch station closed, but Guinness still rule it has to be done by the replacement bus service. Station count still at 274.
26th September 2006
275 Stations in 18 hours, 25 minutes, 3 seconds
Håkan Wolgé and Lars Andersson
Just a few weeks after confirmation that five seconds has been shaved off of Geoff & Neil's time, confirmation came through of an even faster time.
On the 26th September 2006, Håkan Wolgé and Lars Andersson from Sweden set a new time of 18 hours 25 minutes and 3 seconds - putting a healthy gap of around ten minutes off the two previous record times. This was confirmed by Guinness World Records just a few weeks later on the 6th November. A complete write up by Håkan can be found on his site here.
Håkan thinks they could have been even quicker, as they just missed a train after a walk/run where they'd lost time due to erroneous notes on door positions and they got off at the wrong end of a train. They also encountered a group of football fans which slowed them down on a connection and they missed a train which would have got them in a few minutes sooner. Håkan's route had an estimate time of 18 hours and 10 minutes, but he thinks on a lucky/perfect day, it could be done in 18 hours flat.
Heathrow Terminal 4 had re-opened by this stage, and although Shoreditch was CLOSED (for good) it still had to be done by the replacement bus service as Guinness ruled somewhat stupidly that it was 'valid' due to it being printed on the tube map, despite the fact that the station was shut and no trains ran there.
25th July 2007
274 Stations in 18 hours, 20 minutes, 26 seconds
Antony, Jamie, Kevin, Phillip Brown & John Stark
Taking five minutes off the previous time, there was now one station less to do as Heathrow Terminal 4 was closed to allow for the construction of Terminal 5. Shoreditch still had to be visited. They started at Amersham and finished at Heathrow Terminal 5.
Here, a group shot of them someone out in the open on the Piccadilly line just before midday.
The East London Line closed and stopped being part of the tube network on Saturday December 22nd 2007.
On n the 29th December 2007 three of the above record holders - Anthony, Jamie and Phillip Brown took advantage of a rare weekend when there were no engineering works on the network, and made an attempt on a Saturday.
This was one week after the East London Line has closed, and before Heathrow T5 opened, meaning that there were 268 stations on the network at that time.
They started at Amersham on the 05:28 train and finished at Heathrow T123 at 22:59 for a total time of 17 hours, 30 minutes and 51 second - which beat their own time and 'set' a new record time ... except for that fact that Guinness did not allow it!
Incredibly, when Anthony sent off all the evidence, they merey responded with 'Saturday attemps are not allowed because its not as busy as during the week'. So despite the fact that they'd validly been to all the station in a few fastest time, they were denied a new world record time.
Heathrow Terminal 5 opened in March 2008.
10th April 2008
269 Stations in 18 hours, 18 minutes, 42 seconds
With the new Heathrow Terminal 5 opened on the 27th March 2008, this was the first attempt to get the new time with Terminal 5 (and 4) back on the map, but the East London Line had officially closed, thus bringing the station count down to 269 stations. Steven also started at Amersham and finished at Heathrow.
18th April 2008
269 Stations in 17 hours, 56 minutes, 28 seconds
Rachel Brabbins, John Stark and Antony, Jamie, Kevin, Phillip & Ryan Brown
But just a week later that time was beaten when a BBC Three Counties radio reporter Rachel joined a previous record-winning team to set a new time for the 269 configuration - and getting a time of under 18 hours for the first time since 1981.
The route was Amersham to Heathrow once more. Here, a group shot of all of them at 10 o'clock in the morning, somewhere on the Central line ...
8th July 2008
269 Stations in 17 hours, 56 minutes, 11 seconds
Andi James, Sara Wearns & Martin Hazel
That new 'under 18 hours' record stood for just three months when a team using a different route shaved 17 seconds off of the time to establish the latest record.
Andi has now made over twenty attempts, making him one of the most prolific tube challengers in recent times.
He documents them on all on his own website here.
24th July 2008
269 Stations in 17 hours, 12 minutes, 43 seconds
Steven Karahan & Andi James
Just over two weeks later, the time was beaten again, this time a large chunk of time - over 40 minutes - being taken off to bring the record down to an incredibly fast seventeen hours and twelve minutes. Andi beat his own time using the same Amersham start and Heathrow finish route!
On October 12th 2008, the new station Wood Lane was opened on the Hammersmith & City line, and upon enquiring to Guinness World Records they stated that as it was just an additional station on an existing line (and not a new branch/extension as with Heathrow 5) then the record would NOT be 'reset' for the new 270 station configuration. I found this to be slightly ridiculous, as they overlooked the major plus that it was now viable to change between White City and Wood Lane on foot, and perhaps using that it was possible to have a much faster time.
4th December 2009
270 Stations in 17 hours, 2 minutes, 23 seconds
Former record holder from 2006, Sam went out on her own (with assistance) and had a target of coming in under 17 hours, which she almost - but not quite - did! The time was fast enough though to shave ten minutes off of the previous record, and is now the only solo female in the history of the challenge to hold the record. She started at Amersham and ended at Heathrow T5.
A write up of her attempt is on this blog here.
14th December 2009
270 Stations in 16 hours, 44 minutes, 16 seconds
Andi James, Martin Hazel & Steve Wilson
Just a week after Sam set her close-to-17-hours time, the 17 hour barrier was beaten. This time Andi James (with his thirds record) set a time along with Steve Wilson and Martin Hazel of just under sixteen and three quarter hours. They started at Chesham at 06.20 in the morning, and finished at Heathrow Terminal 5. The fourth person (far right in the picture) is Ian, their stopwatch operator.
21st April 2011
270 Stations in 16 hours, 29 minutes, 57 seconds
This record stood for over a year - almost a year and a half in fact. Although there were numerous attempts to beat the time, delays and problems meant that only one person even got under the 17 hour barrier - and that was with missing out one station. It took until 2011 and a non-Londoner to set a new time.
Marc is from Denton, Manchester has his own Tube Challenge website here (along with his own personal site where he also mentions it) and goes into great details about the planning (he's an excel geek) of the attempt. Once the record was broken though, he was even more secretive than others about his route - not even giving away his start or finish points. He is though an accomplished marathon runner, and revealed that he took no buses on the day - all the station to station connections were done on foot by running only.
27th May 2011
270 Stations in 16 hours, 29 minutes, 13 seconds
Andi James & Steve Wilson
Marc's time last for just over a month before being reclaimed by Andi James and Steve Wilson, who shaved just 44 seconds off the time! Did they have a 'same train' scenario, where it just ran a minute earlier? Or did they have different start/finish points to Marc? We don't know, because they also have not revealed their start/finish points.
Times here shown are for attempts at the 270 configuration, where the complettion time was under 17 hours and 20 minutes, with times that attained a Guinness World Record shown in blue.
Split into three sections - Monday to Friday with Olympia, Monday to Friday without, and Saturday when its with a Ken Olympia service.
Monday to Friday (WIth regular Olympia Service, several trains during the day)
16 hours, 29 minutes, 13 seconds - Andi James & Steve Wilson, 27/05/11
16 hours, 29 minutes, 57 seconds - Marc Gawley, 04/04/11 [video]
16 hours, 38 minutes, 41 seconds - Geoff Marshall & Anthony Smith, 06/07/11 [video]
16 hours, 44 minutes, 16 seconds - Andi James, Martin Hazel & Steve Wilson, 14/12/09
16 hours, 56 minutes, 55 seconds - Al Brown, 09/11/12
16 hours, 58 minutes, 15 seconds - Geoff Marshall & Anthony Smith, 22/09/11
17 hours, 02 minutes, 23 seconds - Sam Cawley, 04/12/09
17 hours, 06 minutes, 51 seconds - Damian Cook, 05/05/11
17 hours, 07 minutes, 06 seconds - Justin Irwin & Richard Donaldson, 19/02/10
17 hours, 07 minutes, 37 seconds - Nigel White, 31/08/11
17 hours, 08 minutes, 42 seconds - Geoff Marshall, 04/06/10
17 hours, 13 minutes, 21 seconds - Sam Cawley, Matthew Scrivin & Al Brown, 03/09/09
17 hours, 18 minutes, 55 seconds - Antony, Kevin & Jamie Brown, 20/11/09
Monday to Friday (WIthout regular Olympia Service, only seven trains that can be used)
16 hours, 43 minutes, 37 seconds - Geoff Marshall & Richard Griffin, 14/09/12
18 hours, 10 minutes, 00 seconds - Andrew Chilcraft
19 hours, 29 minutes, 13 seconds - Myles Swaine-Grey
19 hours, 29 minutes, 13 seconds - Jason Shoesmith, Jamie Lochhead, Jamie McLoughlin
Saturday (WIth regular Olympia Service, several trains)
16 hours, 43 minutes, 36 seconds - Nigel White, 25/08/12
Changes to the tube map/network since 1959 when challenging started
June 13th 1959 - There were 278 stations, when challenging first started
October 25th 1959 - Removed: White City (Metropolitan Line) = 277
September 10th 1961 - Removed: Great Missenden, Stoke Mandeville, Wendover, Aylesbury = 273
September 1st 1968 - Added: Seven Sisters, Tottenham Hale, Blackhorse Road, Walthamstow Central = 277
October 1968 - Ealing Broadway no longer counted twice = 276
July 23rd 1971 - Added: Vauxhall, Brixton = 278
Sep 14th 1972 - Added: Pimlico = 279
June 16th, 1973 - Removed: Strand = 278
July 19th 1975 - Added: Hatton Cross = 279
October 4th 1975 - Removed: Drayton Park, Essex Road = 277
December 16th 1977 - New station: Heathrow (T123) = 278
October 31st 1981 - Removed: Blake Hall closes = 277
September 24, 1982 - Removed: Bakerloo between Wembley Central & Watford Junction = 266
June 4th 1984 - Added: Wembley Central, North Wembley, South Kenton, Kenton, Harrow & Wealdstone = 271
April 12th 1986 - Added: Heathrow Terminal 4 opens = 272
September 30th 1994 - Removed: Aldwych closed, North Weald & Ongar close too = 269
Having two of the most awkward parts of the network removed on the same day made the challenge a lot easier to attempt!
May 14th 1999 - Added: Canning Town, North Greenwich = 271
August 18th 1999 - Added: Canada Water = 272
September 17th 1999 - Added: Bermondsey, Canary Wharf = 274
November 20th 1999 - Added: Southwark = 275
The Jubilee Line Extension (JLE) was added in stages in late 1999. Record attempts were put 'on hold' until it was all completely open and up to 275 station in December 1999.
January 7th 2005 - Heathrow 4 closed for construction = 274
June 9th 2006 - Dispute: Shoreditch closed, but Guinness still rule it has to be done by bus = 274
Until December 2007 the East London Line was part of the Underground network, and so the configuration was one of 275 stations. At various stages Shoreditch and Heathrow Terminal 4 were closed, but could be visited by bus to register a full 275 time.
September 17th 2006 - Heathrow 4 back open again = 275
December 2007 - Whole of East London line closes = 268
The East London line would 're-open' again in 2010, as part of the London Overground network - it would never be a tube line again. This not only save you time in not having to do it, but meant meant that you could start later (and not have to get the first train of the day) leading to better changes early on - saving even more time.
March 27th 2008 - Added: Heathrow Terminal 5 opens = 269
October 12th 2008 - Added: Wood Lane on Hammersmith & City line opens = 270.
Guinness World Records maintain that this was not a significant enough chage to 'reset the map, even though it now opens up the possibility of changing between Wood Lane and White City on the Central Line.
December 11th 2010 - Change: Olympia becomes restricted service again
Kensington (Olympia) loses its full-time weekday service, with only five trains in the morning and two in the evening, although a regular service does still run 'on event days only'. It appears again as a dotted line on the new tube map.
Marylebone Library Research
Research for these times was done in January 2011 at Marylebone Library by Geoff Marshall and Jack Welsby, after a contentious issue of the Tube Challenge WikiPedia page being continually edited by an over-zealous editor complaining about the lack of references and citations on the page. So we we made a video about it ...
(Sources: Guinness Book of Records 1956, 1958, 1964-1982, 1984-2004. The category did not appear in the 1956 or 1958 book and has appeared in only one edition subsequent to 1997 - the 2002 edition. Also thanks to Nicholas Mitchell, Secretary of the London Underground Rovers for the information prior to 1981.)