The Northern Line Extension reached a major milestone today with the completion of tunnelling work.
Tunnel boring machine, Amy, broke through at Kennington, which means that the two 3.2km tunnels from Battersea Power Station, via Nine Elms, have now been built.
Since their launch in the spring, Helen and sister tunnelling machine Amy 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 extension, targeted for completion in 2020, is the first major extension to a Tube line since the Jubilee line in the late 1990s.
It will bring Battersea and surrounding areas to within 15 minutes of the City and the West End. It will also help deliver the regeneration of Nine Elms, spurring economic growth by supporting around 25,000 new jobs and more than 20,000 new homes.
The 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.”
Mike Brown MVO, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “I’m delighted to welcome the two tunnelling machines to Kennington after their epic journey. Both machines have had to navigate a challenging, congested path under south London which included sewers, power cables, a Victorian-era well, and existing Victoria and Northern line tunnels. This achievement brings us a significant step closer to the delivery of the first major Tube extension in nearly two decades.”
The leader of Wandsworth Council, Ravi Govindia, said: “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.
“Working with the private sector we are now seeing our hard work come to fruition and the tunnelling machine breaking ground is a tangible reminder that the Tube extension will soon be a reality, transforming the fortunes of north Battersea and making the Nine Elms regeneration programme one of the greatest sources of new jobs and homes in the country.”
Work 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.