Two new London Underground stations on the Northern Line opened on Monday and fresh pictures show what the first major tube extension in decades looks like.
The £1 billion Northern line extension to Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station has been over 10 years in the making.
The new extension runs from Kennington station on the Charing Cross branch.
But the two-minute journey hasn’t been easy to make a reality, with TfL bosses saying the hardest challenge was 11 weeks of halted work due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Martin Gosling, TfL project director for the Northern line extension said: “A big project like this, there are always demands in terms of bringing it from the drawing board into fruition.
“Needless to say, it’s been compounded in the later delivery by the pandemic.
“We had to shut the site down for about 11 weeks, from March through to June in 2020 because of the pandemic.
“We’ve recovered from it well and the important thing is we’ve maintained our opening date we said back in 2018 that we’d open in Autumn 2021.”
In order to catch up, Transport for London looked at ways to overlap work and reduce trial period test running times safely.
The first train from Kennington to Battersea Power Station was tested in December 2020, with 2021 being a period of signal system testing.
Martin added: “This is no longer a construction site. This is a major station for the future. We’re really proud of what we’ve done here.”
While tunnelling into Kennington Tube station, builders had to hand mine with primitive tools including their hands around the existing tunnel because you can’t bring big machinery into the station.
Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station are the first two Northern line stations in 80 years – the first major tube extension this century.
The last one was Mill Hill East in 1941 – then before that it was Morden in the 1920s.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, previously said: “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 between these two areas and 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.”
Councillor Ravi Govindia, the leader of Wandsworth Council, said: “This huge £1 billion 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.”
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