The new Northern Line Extension to London’s underground network reached a significant milestone as an engineering train travelled the entire 3.2km length of the new tunnels, from Kennington to Battersea, for the first time.
Entering the new tunnels at Kennington station, the battery-powered train travelled through the newly constructed step-plate junction, which connects the existing Northern line tunnels to the extension. It then continued through the new Nine Elms tube station before terminating at the extension’s second new station, at Battersea.
The train carried 750 metres of power cable, which was then installed by 15 engineers.
Running this train along the full length of the Northern Line Extension marks the completion of the tunnels and track work. Attention now moves to focus on the fit-out of the new stations, installing the power supply and extending the signalling system into the extension.
This extension, which is expected to be completed in September 2021, is the first major extension to the tube network since the Jubilee line in the late 1990s.
TfL’s director of major projects Stuart Harvey said: “Running a train through the new section of railway tunnel is an exciting moment and demonstrates the hard work of hundreds of men and women who are working around the clock to build the first new Tube extension in two decades. The Northern Line Extension will support jobs, homes and growth in one of the most exciting new destinations in London, help keep pace with the capital’s rising population, and is creating jobs through the supply chain across the UK.”
The extension will mean that residents of Battersea and its surrounding areas are within 15 minutes of the West End and City. In addition to the benefits this will bring, construction of the extension is boosting the UK economy and supporting around 1,000 jobs, including 50 apprenticeships.