Northern Line London tube extension to open within a fortnight

·4-min read

The first extension of the Tube this century will open in a fortnight, Transport for London confirmed on Friday.

Trains will start running to Battersea on a new branch of the Northern line from Kennington on Monday September 20, linking the £9bn redevelopment of Battersea Power Station to the Underground for the first time.

The £1.2bn project includes two new stations – Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms – and brings a vibrant new cultural and residential quarter within 15 minutes of the West End and the City.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “After an incredible effort from the huge number of people who worked on this project, it’s fantastic that we are now on the final countdown to the Northern Line Extension opening later this month.

“The two new stations at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station are the first new stations on the Northern line for 80 years.

“They will hugely improve connectivity [with] the rest of London, and play a major part in the capital’s recovery from the pandemic by supporting thousands of new jobs, homes and businesses.”

Battersea station (TfL)
Battersea station (TfL)

Part of the Battersea riverside redevelopment, known as Circus West Village, is already home to more than 1,500 people and a range of shops and restaurants.

The transformed Grade II* listed former power station will open next year with more than 100 shops, restaurants and cafes, a 1,400-capacity events venue, new offices including Apple’s new London Campus, and 254 residential apartments.

Visitors will be able to take a lift to the top of one of the four iconic chimneys, which is being turned into a 360-degree panoramic viewing platform.

Simon Murphy, chief executive of Battersea Power Station Development Company, said: “The Northern Line Extension is a game-changer for this area of London and an extremely significant milestone in the regeneration of Battersea Power Station.”

The two new Tube stations will both be in zone one. Trains will run via Charing Cross. Passengers wanting the Bank branch of the Northern line will have to change at Kennington.

There will initially be five trains an hour, increasing to six at peak times. This will double next year to 10 and 12 trains an hour. There will also be an increase in service levels on the Morden branch for the busiest hour in the morning.

The 1.8-mile twin tunnel extension is the first on the Underground since the Jubilee line extension opened in 1999.

 (TfL)
(TfL)

It was given the go-ahead in 2015 by then mayor Boris Johnson and was originally meant to open in December 2020, but was delayed after the specifications for the station at Battersea Power Station changed.

However TfL was able to keep to the revised schedule despite the slowdown caused by the pandemic.

Stuart Harvey, director of major projects at TfL, said: “It’s going to be a fantastic moment when this thriving south London neighbourhood makes it onto the Tube map for the first time.”

Wandsworth council committed £259m towards the cost of the project, using infrastructure contributions from local developments including Battersea Power Station. Lambeth council committed £7.3m.

Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth council and co-chair of the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership, said: "This huge £1bn transport investment to extend the Northern line to Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms has been over 10 years in the making, so we are delighted that this growing Wandsworth neighbourhood is now firmly on the London Underground map.”

A major new permanent artwork by London-based Brazilian artist Alexandre da Cunha is being installed at Battersea Power Station station, as part of the Art on the Underground initiative. The piece, titled Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset, is almost 100m long.

The extension was dug by two boring machines named Helen and Amy, in honour of the first British astronaut, Helen Sharman, and British aviation pioneer, Amy Johnson.

It is likely to be the only expansion of the Tube for at least a decade as the Bakerloo line extension has been shelved until 2030 at the earliest due to TfL’s funding problems.

The £700m upgrade of Bank station is due to be completed by September or October next year. The Northern line’s Bank branch will be closed for 17 weeks from January 15 until mid-May next year between Kennington and Moorgate to enable a new platform and entrance to be integrated with the existing station.

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