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First passenger trains complete journeys on London’s new Northern Line Extension

For the first time in 20 years, the London Underground is being extended - train at the new Nine Elms I station © TfL

It is the first underground extension in London since the 1990’s: The Northern Line Extension passed a major milestone at Christmas after test passenger trains successfully completed the journey through the new tunnels from Kennington to Battersea Power Station.

The Northern Line is one of the oldest and busiest lines of the London Underground network. It has a length of 58km with 50 stations (36 of them below ground). The line connects Morden in the south with High Barnet, Edgware and Mill Hall East in the north.

The history of the Northern Line goes back to the City & South London Railway (C&SLR) between Stockwell and King William Street. Inaugurated in 1890, it was the world’s first railway line to operate underground electric trains. The C&SLR was later extended from both ends to Clapham Common and Euston by 1907.

A video showing the new Northern line Extension can be watched here:

The 3.2km connects Kennington to Battersea in the north including two new stations at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station. The cost of the extension is around £1bn (€1.11bn).

The application for the construction permit for the extension was submitted in April 2013. Construction started in mid-2015 and the opening is scheduled for autumn 2021.

Overview of the Northern line Extension I © TfL

These first test journeys mark the completion of a number of complex milestones in 2020 which include:

  • Switching on a permanent electricity supply to the new Tube stations at Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms
  • Energising the traction power supply to the rails, enabling passenger trains to run along the new tracks
  • Successfully commissioning the latest edition of signalling software that connects the extension to the existing Northern line at Kennington

Work to finish the extension, which remains scheduled for completion in autumn this year, is now focused on completing necessary signalling software upgrades and the fit-out of the two new stations which will be the first to be added to the Northern line since the extension to Morden in 1926.

One of the first test trains on the new line, here at Nine Elms station I © TfL

The Northern Line Extension is the first major Tube line extension since the Jubilee line in the late 1990s. The extension will connect Kennington to Battersea Power Station, via Nine Elms, bringing Battersea and surrounding areas to within 15 minutes of the City and West End.

Picture gallery (please click to open):

The extension is enabling the regeneration of the Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea areas, spurring economic growth by supporting around 25,000 new jobs and more than 20,000 new homes. In addition, construction of the extension is boosting the UK economy and supporting around 1,000 jobs, including 50 apprenticeships.

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1 year ago

I honestly can’t wait, I love subways, and this is an exiting project for me!!!