Parkour versus Tube 2024

Parkour versus Tube 2024

We’ve seen a few videos where people race the tube, namely between Mansion House and Cannon Street, and yes people beat the tube easily. This one is different. Its a parkour race against the tube. For those of you who do not know what parkour is, its jumping, acrobatics, often using walls, roofs, drain pipes, lamps, and even places that might be a little out of bounds. I love these and watch them almost as soon as they are released.

To reiterate, this post was originally written in October 2018 and has been missing off the blog for a long time. Using the original source files it was revived and re-written with lots of new observations plus new images. The original version analysed the parkour run in question to quite an extent however this new version goes deeper and answers even more aspects of that parkour run between Moorgate and Farringdon stations.

Anyway back to the video in question and one can say its not a real time video in the sense of the edits that were made and the routes that were used. So many comments on Storror’s page have pointed this out very clearly. People are impressed because despite the cuts have been done very cleanly and its a brilliant piece of work. Yet if one analyses it deeply one can begin to see how it was constructed and even when the sequences were filmed.

One of the biggest inconsistencies for many has been the fact there are two trains in Farringdon station at one point (this is between 3.56 and 4.05 minutes when Storror’s guy with the Go Pro lands on the platform) and then there is only one train in the platform. Its things like this that make one realise the filming was done in segments and wasn’t even real time – unlike those videos that show the run between Mansion House and Cannon Street stations.

Anyway its clear Storror couldn’t have done it in the time allocated but what’s more is when the tube train doors open at 1.07 minutes and they race to the stairs at Moorgate up to that point the viewer has been impressed by the fact they are going to be running against a westbound Metropolitan line service – yet as they step off the train at Moorgate its very evident the train is heading east towards Liverpool Street – the other way from where they had started!

The map details are as follows: Clip #1 is Moorgate eastbound platform to the walls of the Barbican. Clip #2 is the short bit by the Shakespeare Tower. Clip #3 is across the rooftops. Clip #4 is from the stairs by Defoe House to Carthusian Street – just past the Barbican station. Clip #5 is from Peter’s Lane (just off St. John Street) and into Farringdon station. Clip #6 is the jump onto the platform.

Right at the start they make it clear they indicate they are getting on a Circle Line train from Aldgate, however when the camera switches to the inside of the train its a Metropolitan! Yet the first sequences at the very start show a Metropolitan train in platform 3. Presumably this is the one they get. Where the Circle Line train arrives and they say this is the one were getting on, there’s no Met line train in platform 3.

The camera shots are clearly done to show the scrolling (as well as the sound to pick up the announcements) that the train is indeed going via Liverpool Street and Moorgate to Uxbridge. And it does indeed arrive at Moorgate westbound platform. However as soon as the doors open its clear at that point a switch to the eastbound platform has been made. Obviously this is because of the temporary arrangements at the station which at the time were in place for the construction of Crossrail/Elizabeth line.

That was done in order they could film a seamless journey from the station as far as the Barbican Centre. Had they done it from a westbound train instead the temporary entrance at Fore Street which was extant at the time happened to be the problem because it wasn’t really a convenient route to the Barbican – except perhaps the south side of the estate & not where one wants to go if racing the tube to Farringdon!

Wait! This is the eastbound platform at Moorgate they are getting onto from a westbound train? And at a time the Barbican schools had finished – which would be well after 4pm? If one looks at the Farringdon part of the video clearly they arrived there at 15.14pm! Time travellers perhaps?

Storror then race through the square and shops between Moorgate and Moor Lane and scramble up a lamp post into the Barbican. There is a cut here because the video shows them getting over the top of the wall and immediately there is another flight of steps beyond. This just isn’t possible because there are flats in that very location, not only that there’s another wall to climb first once they had got up there! A cut was therefore made to switch to a different part of the Barbican, in fact the stairs by the bottom of the Shakespeare Tower. Thus nearly 300 metres of the alleged route has already been cut out. The map I did (shown above) illustrates the different sections filmed and clearly there are huge gaps in the route.

The first part of the parkour route from Moorgate to the Barbican. Clearly they could not have continued beyond the wall they had climbed in Moor Lane for the Barbican flats were in the way!

The Barbican Estate

Storror are next seen jumping across flat roofs, an amazing feat, its just incredible they way they do it and jump over those walls and down these stairwells. Its one of the reasons I am drawn to these videos. The only problem with the filming is this bit takes Storror’s crew away from the direction they should be taking! These flat roofs head southwards to the rear of Lauderdale Tower where the blue fence is then jumped. There’s clearly a cut here and the camera then switches to a position by the Defoe Tower which is over on the other side of the estate!

140-150 Aldersgate can be briefly seen in the distance as the guys jump the gate.

The one thing about this section is it cuts out 380 metres or so from Moor Lane to Defoe House where they jump yet more stairs and then a row of flat roofs before turning to jump over a blue gate. As they jump over that gate at 2.24 the buildings belonging to 140 and 150 Aldersgate (seen here on Google) can be very briefly seen in the background, so there’s evidence they headed south over those roofs and then turned west in order to jump over that gate.

The route taken through the Barbican estate. What seems a continuous parkour run was in fact filmed in three different parts of the estate.

After that they are clearly running eastwards because the flat roofs they have just jumped can be seen to the right. This is made more obvious because Tower 42 (the old Nat West tower) as well as 22 Bishopsgate (then under construction) can be seen straight ahead and to the right in those scenes.

If they were really heading towards Farringdon this scene wouldn’t be possible because both 22 Bishopsgate, Tower 42 and the flat roofs would be behind them. They’ve sort of tried to make it look like its one location with what is a very good jump cut.

Defoe House, Tower 42 (former Nat West tower) and 22 Bishopsgate is visible plus the flat roofs which can be seen on the right! The guys are running in the wrong direction – eg towards the east and not west!

In the early part of the video they point out the route was looked at previous to the attempt hence clearly they had prior knowledge of what to expect and worked out what could be filmed. Don’t get me wrong, its a brilliant video despite the edits.

When Storror get down the stairwell by Defoe House and onto the Barbican tunnel road (its actually Beech Street) it seems they are at least on the right track towards Farringdon. But wait, the Storror guy with the Go pro puts his hands on the camera and suddenly one sees a totally different road! In other words they are much nearer to Farringdon than Barbican station!

Farringdon

That very moment is another subtle switch at 3.05. Instead of going past the Charter House and the north side of Smithfield they are instead at the entrance to Peter’s Lane/Cowcross Yards, where they jump the railings surrounding a ramp leading to Save the Children’s charity head offices.

That’s around 400 metres of route missed out between Barbican station and Cowcross Street! Anyway they continue down the passages and through the ITSU cafe into Cowcross Street itself. From there its a straight run towards Farringdon station. There are at least six transitions within the video with the final one being the pole vault down onto the platforms at Farringdon. If there are others its difficult to see these. In the comments below the video many people are commenting on the edits and cuts they say they have spotted, however for the purposes of this post those six edits aforementioned are the primary focus.

Now I know some might rub me for the Farringdon station bit but I really loved it and I’m sure many other did. That mad dash through the station, jumping over the barriers, one guy actually sliding down one of the station’s roof columns lol! I simply wish I could do this sort of thing! It doesn’t mean I condone people jumping barriers – this is part of the plot and I assume it must have been done in part with the prior acknowledgement of the station’s staff.

There’s still lots of questions however and some mystified me greatly. Having had another chance to do this blog post (its because I’m doing a timed race based on the Farringdon to Liverpool Street section that I decided to revisit this old post and in the course of that deemed it was a good idea to restore it even though half of the content was missing.) Hence based on what I had written previously and the things that were left unanswered, it was time to look at the sequences/edits in even more depth,

That fantastic jump onto Farringdon’s station platforms! What a way to catch a tube train! Note there are two trains in the station however! Most of the scenes filmed here show ONE train only!

Storror get on the train at Farringdon at 4.05 minutes, having left their train in Moorgate at 1.07 minutes. This is almost three minutes (that is without the sections of the route the have cut out!) Its clearly not possible to do it. It might well be if one runs the shortest route between the two stations (via Beech tunnel) as opposed to jumping across the Barbican estate.

The Farringdon section is the most continuous segment, having been filmed from St. John Street right to the top of the station’s stairs down the the platforms. Besides the cut which reveals not two, but one train waiting in the platform, its difficult to see where other cuts might have been made.

At least the outdoor section at Farringdon was filmed in one go. The final bit inside the station however was filmed in more than one segment.

In retrospect it seems the Storror guys on the train probably filmed their sequences in one go – eg on the same train from Aldgate to Farringdon and then slotted these in with the other running/parkour bits. What about when they arrive at Farringdon how can they be on the right train that arrives and it being the one the parkour runners jump into? I mean its not an easy case of Mansion House to Cannon Street where at least its clear the runners exit and enter the same train is it?

I had wondered about that but it was not until this new look into the video that I thought about it more. The train the Storror guys are on (including car 221088) clearly draws into Farringdon, there’s no arguing about that. If one looks very closely in one corner of the picture at 3.56 its clear this is the only train drawing into Farringdon. But when we see the parkour guys jumping from the top of the steps towards the platforms we see two trains in the station! And then its back to one train. The carriage numbers change – from 23106 (or 8) back to 22108. Clearly more than one sequence was filmed and this is something a number of commenters agree on – the two trains/one train switch.

The date the attempt occurred was 3rd October 2018. The news headlines are for the Tory party conference that day.

How was it done? Well I think everyone travelled on the same train to Moorgate and Farringdon and then at the former they guys simply dashed off and back on the same train and at the latter the boys left the train and quickly dashed up the steps, then jumped down and re-joined the train. At least one simply ran along the platform to make it look like they were rushing in from the stairs. The edits made sure it looked like a whole continuity and evidently the entire thing had to be scripted so that everyone knew what they were doing.

The times and days this was done happens to be one of the days between Monday 1st and Friday 5th October 2018. How does one know that? As the guys run through Farringdon station a poster can be seen giving dates of forthcoming engineering works for the first week of October 2018. Further scrutiny reveals a news headline at 1.16 which says ‘Come together right now says May.’ This is from the conference that was held in Birmingham on 3rd October 2018 – a Wednesday so we now know it was mid week the parkour run took place.

The time at Farringdon is 15.14pm!

At Farringdon its clear the time is 15.14pm whilst at Moorgate it was likely 16.15 or later hence the main Farringdon segment was filmed earlier and the dash from Moorgate station was filmed later – most likely by getting a train back from Farringdon to Moorgate!

One interesting aspect of this is the train was held at Farringdon – maybe it had arrived a bit early or there was a problem ahead. That’s because the signals are against the train hence there was some extra time that must have proved an advantage in filming the sequences needed to impress the viewer everyone had run into the station and were getting on the same train they had left at Moorgate.

Evidently the on board train segments were filmed first with all the crew present including for the Farringdon scenes. They then returned to Moorgate to do the main part of the stunt. The first part of the parkour run was done last, whilst the second part was done first. Again to reiterate, the clocks at Farringdon were 15.14pm. Yet at Moorgate it was well past 16.15 hours or thereabouts.

As the guy jumps off the steps onto the roof pillar at Farringdon there’s no one at the bottom standing on the yellow triangle sign. Yet when we see the next short clip there is a guy standing there, Another clear sign there were different sequences filmed. For example at 3.59 one can see different people on the train and in fact where the seats where the pile of rucksacks are placed, there’s very clearly people, one with white trousers, sitting on those very seats!

The platform as it looks when the guy first jumps onto the roof pillar. Guy with cases and nobody stood on the yellow triangle area. Its different as the guy gets down there!

The guy at the bottom with cases has disappeared and the yellow triangle area is now occupied by someone!

One other giveaway is at 4.00 the other guy who is in front of the one with the go pro is seen jumping down the wall just a few feet away. All so far so good – but when the filming gets down to the platform its evident that guy isn’t seen in the rest of the sequence. He is on the train of course!

Its over almost in an instant but one of Storror’s guys is seen climbing down the sides of the staircase onto the platform! At the bottom it should be a short leap onto the train… but one never sees it happen!

The sequences are meant to give the impression everyone has just run in from Moorgate. Yet the guy with beard seems to be running straight down the platform (rather than from the bottom of the stairs). Its almost as if they had emerged from a carriage further down on the same train and run along the platform.

This guy is seen running ALONG the platform – not straight across and then towards the train itself.

Almost from the word go, the video is edited. One cannot be filmed riding on an westbound train and then race an eastbound train. Its rather like another a fantastic parkour that Storror did across the rooftops of the City of London. And the revelation is there’s a second video showing how they did it. From that we can easily deduct Moorgate to Farringdon simply couldn’t have been done in one go!

Anybody trying to do this sort of thing raw (that is without practice, choreography etc) is not going to do it, they are going to injure themselves very badly. There is no doubt it needs exceedingly astute skills, training and enormous confidence.

Storror gets ten out of ten for making the video and providing lots of thrills and excitement even though it was edited. Well done!