It all began in 2011 when Sydney resident Ben Cousins was interested to see how long it would take him to travel to every train station in New South Wales.
Initially, the curiosity led him to start the journey to all 178 stations on the Sydney Trains network to see how long it would take.
After Ben’s first jaunt around the network, he was hooked, and the challenge to beat his previous times was born.
With the help of social media the #sydneytrainschallenge took off, with more and more people giving it a go.
“I love using Twitter because it’s worldwide and quick to update, but we have a Facebook group as well for everyone that participates,” he said, fresh from his most recent challenge which saw him visit every station in the Sydney Trains network in just 16 hours, 47 minutes and 22 seconds on Friday, 3 February.
The #sydneytrainschallenge has spawned an online community, with as many as 12 people competing together at a time.
“The challenges can be held as often as every few weeks, or it stretches to once every couple of months, it just depends when people are available. We also need some time to recover afterwards!” Mr Cousins said.
The current record, set in March last year by the Sydney TrainRace team, is 15 hours, 54 minutes and 14 seconds. Ben was close to it on 3 February, but sometimes nature gets in the way. He has had to deal with thunderstorms, excessive heat and heavy rain.
Ben not only wants to beat the #sydneytrainschallenge record, he hasn’t given up on his original goal of all 307 stations in New South Wales.
“I still want to do the entire state; I just need the time and resources”.
Follow Ben’s next challenge on Twitter