Two brothers have been inspired by a childhood timetable to set a new record for the greatest distance by train in 24 hours.
Rickly and Richard Wong from Hong Kong travelled 4967.8 km (3086.6 miles) from Changsha to Hezhou in a journey that took them all round China.
Their route included:
- Changsha-Nanchang (342 km east)
- Nanchang-Jinhua (421 km east)
- Jinhua-Shanghai (320 km north east)
- Shanghai-JiNan (912 km north)
- JiNan-Beijing (406 km north)
- Beijing-Guangzhou (2,298 km south)
- Guangzhou-Hezhou (261 km north west)
Their achievement has been recognised for Guinness World Records Day, a global day of record-breaking which this year has the theme "Spirit of Adventure".
Learn about more record-breaking exploits in the Spirit of Adventure chapter in Guinness World Records 2020
Since they were kids growing up in Hong Kong, Rickly and Richard regularly travelled to Guangzhou during their school holidays. Their mother bought them a train timetable to help them and it was that very timetable which inspired them to travel further by train.
"The high-speed railway network in China made traveling effortless. It is so much quicker compared to the timetable my mother gave to me 30 years ago. And for me, the journey, not destination, matters,” explained Rickly.
The 43-year-old is a sales director in his family's company which requires regular travel from city to city as well as visits abroad. However trains are his first choice.
One rainy day while travelling back to Hong Kong, Rickly found himself asking: "Since the speed of China railway is well developed but how can I quantify it?"
After learning about the record for train traveling, Rickly realised there may be a chance to achieve a childhood dream.
"It's a combination of being in the right place at the right time," Rickly said.
"When we changed trains at Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station that day, the whole process only took 19 minutes, we have to run from one end of the station to the other to get on the train and took the second security check, and then finally there were only a few minutes left for us to get on the train.
Their journey fits into the theme of this year’s day, Spirit of Adventure (also a chapter in Guinness World Records 2020) which celebrates records by those who have gone on a journey to break a record.
Read about other achievements celebrated on Guinness World Records Day:
- Real-life Iron Man smashes his jet-powered suit record by flying at 85 mph along Brighton Pier
- Explorer becomes youngest person to reach the South Pole on their own after 51-day trek across Antarctica
- Riding the length of Japan on a scooter: why a red samurai has embarked on an 8,000-km journey
- Disabled son inspires proud dad’s record-breaking swim for Guinness World Records Day
- Adventurer rides 10,000 km across the width of China on his electric scooter
- Doctors pedal more than 28,000 km to circumnavigate the globe on a tandem