London Underground trains have run through the new Northern line extension tunnels between Kennington and Battersea Power Station for the first time.
The trains entered the new 3.2km tunnels at Kennington, travelling through the newly constructed step-plate junction that connects the existing Northern line tunnels to the extension.
They then continued to Nine Elms Tube station before arriving at the extension’s second new station at Battersea Power Station. After using the new crossover junction to turn around, they then completed the journey back to Kennington.
Work to finish the extension, which remains scheduled for completion in autumn 2021, 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.
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.
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.
Transport for London (TfL) director of major projects Stuart Harvey said: “Seeing a Northern line train travelling through the extension for the first time is a really significant milestone and demonstrates the commitment of our brilliant team who have been working so hard during such a challenging year.
“The Northern Line Extension continues to support jobs, homes and growth in this exciting riverside destination and has created employment through the supply chain across the UK.
“We are now focused on making sure the signalling software and systems are ready, along with completing the final stages of fit-out of the two new stations, before the planned opening of the extension in the autumn.”
Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport, added: “I’m delighted that the Northern Line Extension has reached this major milestone, with the project on track to welcome its first passengers in the autumn.
“Last year was one of the hardest in TfL’s history, so it’s great to start 2021 on a positive footing, not least because the extension will support thousands of new jobs and homes for our city.”