Major Breakthrough For Northern Line Extension In Wandsworth

All tunnelling work for two new tube stations now complete

Major Breakthrough For Northern Line Extension In Wandsworth

The Northern Line Extension at Nine Elms has reached a major milestone with the completion of tunnelling work.

The huge tunnel boring machine nicknamed 'Amy' broke through at Kennington this week, which means that the two 3.2km tunnels from Battersea Power Station, via Nine Elms, have now been built.

The tunnels will supply the area's two new tube stations – Nine Elms station in Pascal Street and Battersea Power Station on Battersea Park Road next to the Power Station development. They will serve new developments such as the US Embassy, the Power Station and the redevelopment of New Covent Garden Market, as well as existing communities.

Since their launch in the spring 'Amy', and sister tunnelling machine 'Helen', have been working around the clock to create the north and southbound tunnels that will extend the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line.

The new route, which is targeted for completion in 2020, is the first major extension to a tube line since the Jubilee Line extension in the late 1990s.

It will add vital new capacity to London's transport network, bringing Battersea, Nine Elms and surrounding areas to within 15 minutes of the City and the West End. The construction of the extension is supporting around 1,000 jobs, including approximately 50 apprenticeships.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, “Today’s breakthrough is a momentous moment for a project that is going to bring huge benefits to south London. The Northern Line Extension is not only going to make travelling to Battersea and Nine Elms easier, it’s also going to bring tens of thousands of new jobs and homes to the area. It’s another great example of why new infrastructure is so vital to London’s success and the wider economy.”

Leader of Wandsworth Council, Ravi Govindia, added, “Today’s event is a real milestone in London’s first new Tube line extension for almost 20 years. This is an extremely important project, not just for the borough but the whole Capital, and Wandsworth has put in a lot of time and effort to shape the unique funding package that has taken us to where we are today.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss said, “It's very exciting to see this new phase of the Northern Line delivered. Great infrastructure, including the Tube, is vital to a thriving London. That is why we backed this important project which is supporting thousands of jobs and new homes in our capital.‎ And that is why we are backing projects across the country that will help drive enterprise and growth.”

The cutter head of both 'Amy' and 'Helen' will now be lifted by crane out of the shafts at Kennington while the rest of the machines will travel back to Battersea and be lifted, in parts, out of the ground there.

According to tunnelling tradition, tunnel boring machines cannot start work until given a name. Following a vote by local school children, the machines were named in honour of the first British astronaut, Helen Sharman, and British aviation pioneer, Amy Johnson, who was the first female pilot to fly solo from Britain to Australia.

TfL says that w ork on the new stations at Battersea and Nine Elms is "progressing well" and services on the Northern line have continued uninterrupted while the work has taken place.

How the tube map will be re-drawn

“It really was fascinating to gain an insight into the hard work involved and to speak to some of the highly skilled engineers and other staff who are making this happen, and it was reassuring to see that the team is dedicated to building these tunnels, shafts and stations as quickly, cleanly and safely as possible.”

Tunneling is expected to be completed this year, and the stations will be completed and fitted out by 2019. Passengers should be able to ride the Northern Line to Battersea in 2020.

November 9, 2017