An 88-year-old Epsom resident with a pace maker and mobility issues has beaten a Southern rail train on a race between his home town and central London.

Clive Stilton, who had to stop for breaks every three minutes or so over the course of the 15 mile walk, made the journey in 16 hours and 12 minutes – around an hour quicker than the train.

The exhilarating race looked at one point like it would come down to the wire, as the retired plumber had to stop for a half hour rest just outside Sutton, but he managed to pull away when the train was delayed at West Croydon due to a 33rd signal failure.

And in the end Stilton was even able to have a leisurely sausage roll at London Bridge station, before the Southern train pulled in, weary and in need of a refuel.

Speaking to the London Gonzo, Stilton said: “It was fairly easy in the end, I think I got lucky though. In fairness, it usually does the trip in around 14 hours.”

Transport secretary Chris Grayling complained that the race wasn’t a fair assessment of the state of Britain’s railways, saying that Stilton had only chosen to race the train on a February because he knew that the cold and wet weather would delay it further.

Stilton next intends to travel to France carrying more luggage than is allowed on a Ryanair plane.

By Callum Mason

Image: Matt Buck