Behind the scenes at the Northern Line Extension
Published: Friday 4th August 17
Here’s a peek at work going on in Battersea to extend the Northern Line – including the giant boring machines drilling their way up to Kennington.
Leader of Wandsworth Council Ravi Govindia (right) visits one of the new shafts
In April work started boring the tunnel from Battersea, and since then the two giant boring machines, Helen and Amy, have made significant progress in their 3.2m journey to join the existing Northern Line, and are currently somewhere underneath Nine Elms.
The Battersea construction site is near the Power Station
In an incredible feat of engineering, as the machines progress along the route digging the tunnel, the precast concrete segments that line the tunnel are put in place, and the material removed is taken out of the tunnel on a conveyor belt. It’s then taken away by barge where it’s used to create arable farmland – which means bits of Battersea now form part of Essex.
One of the giant boring machines
Two new tube stations are being built – Nine Elms station in Pascal Street and Battersea Power Station on Battersea Park Road next to the Power Station development. These 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.
The Northern Line Extension helped to kick start the regeneration of Nine Elms and Vauxhall which is on course to create around 25,000 new jobs and more than 20,000 new homes.
The giant concrete segments that will line the tunnel wait to be fitted
Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia was taken on a tour of the site to check on progress. He walked inside the tunnel at Battersea to see one of the tunnel boring machines in action and went down one of the huge shafts being created in Kennington.
Underground at Kennington. Trains can be heard running through the existing tunnel on the left
He said: “This was an amazing experience – seeing this new tube tunnel actually being created in front of my eyes was a spectacular sight.
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.
Get regular updates on progress of the Northern Line Extension from Transport for London