Couple plan to visit all 2,563 train stations in Britain in 14 weeks

Vicki Pipe (left) and Geoff Marshall are more than halfway through their trip across Britain, where they aim to visit all 2,563 of the country's railway stations. PHOTO: ALL THE STATIONS / FACEBOOK
Vicki Pipe (left) and Geoff Marshall are more than halfway through their trip across Britain, where they aim to visit all 2,563 of the country's railway stations. PHOTO: ALL THE STATIONS / FACEBOOK

Train stations are a part of everyday life, acting as a point of transit on the commute to work or school. Yet one couple in Britain are treating the stations as destinations, in their bid to visit all 2,563 railway stations in the country, over a period of three months.

Documenting their journey on social media, the London-based couple, Geoff Marshall and Vicki Pipe, told CNN that their journey, which started in May, would capture a "snapshot of today's railways for posterity".

As for why the couple decided to embark on the trip, they told The Telegraph that the idea began as a joke, after Marshall set the world record for visiting every London Underground station in the fastest time in 2013. While his timing was overtaken two years later, the couple's idea to travel across Britain by rail persisted.

After creating a Kickstarter campaign for expenses such as train tickets, accommodation, and video editing, the couple raised £38,000 (S$67,000), according to The Guardian.

To document their travels, they have been uploading videos of their journey onto Youtube, and continually updating platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

After starting their trip at the south-western county Cornwall, the duo have visited a total of 1,409 stations so far, with a little less than halfway to go - their journey will end in the Scottish Highlands in August.

Marshall and Pipe define a visit to a station as being on a train that stops at the station they want, without them needing to get off the train. Yet they often do, to "[bring] to light little-known stations", said Pipe to The Guardian.

One such place is Shippea Hill, which is Britain's least-used station. Clocking in at an average of 12 visitors a year, Shippea Hill is one of the hidden gems uncovered by the couple on their journey; they subsequently brought more visitors to the area with them.

"There's a real rich history which I think sometimes gets lost," said Pipe to CNN. "You look at modern-day city centers and often it's just high streets and shops, you don't ever necessarily take a moment to look a bit deeper and think about where has this come from, what's the history behind that."

Sharing this history with others is another aspect to their travels that Marshall and Pipe have enjoyed.

Meeting various groups of people, from students to other travellers, have shown the duo "how diverse the railways are," according to The Telegraph.

One traveller of note was a man on his way home after walking 1,000 miles to raise money for a Parkinson's disease charity.

At the end of the journey, Marshall and Pipe will be giving footage of their travels to the National Railway Museum and the London Transport Museum in the form of an online documentary, according to CNN.