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London’s Northern line extension opens

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Two new Tube stations have opened in London as services commence on the Northern line extension.

The new step-free Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms stations are set to improve the connectivity of these vibrant south London neighbourhoods dramatically and support the capital’s recovery from the pandemic at a vital time.

Major construction on the 3km twin-tunnel railway between Kennington and Battersea Power Station, via Nine Elms, began in 2015. Construction of the extension supported around 1,000 jobs, including 79 apprenticeships, and was brought in £160 million under budget, despite the cost pressures brought about by the pandemic.

The total spending authority budget was increased to £1.26 billion in January 2016, but TfL delivered the project for £1.1 billion, having worked hard through strong collaboration with its sup[pliers and contractors.

On the map – the first new London Underground extension since the Jubilee line extension opened in 1999.

The Northern Line Extension is the first major Tube extension this century and is supporting around 25,000 new jobs and more than 20,000 new homes. Tube services started running on the extension, which is on the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line, at 05:28 on Monday 20 September 2021.

A peak-time service of six trains per hour operates on the extension and this will increase to 12 trains per hour by mid-2022 as more people move into new housing in the area and the demand increases. There are five trains per hour during off-peak times, with this set to double to 10 trains per hour next year.

Sadiq Khan. Mayor of London.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “After years of hard work, I’m delighted that we’re able to open the Northern Line Extension today and it was great to have the chance to travel on one of the first trains between Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station.

“This extension will hugely improve the links between these vibrant, growing south London neighbourhoods and the rest of the capital, and will also help to support thousands of new jobs and homes as we move forward with London’s recovery from the pandemic.

“The new stations are beautiful and I encourage Londoners and visitors to start using the Northern Line Extension to get around and help them enjoy everything the capital has to offer.”

Grant Shapps MP, Transport Secretary.

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, added: “London’s world-famous Tube network has two new stations from today, the first stops to be added so far this century, with names that will soon become familiar to Londoners as they return to public transport after the pandemic.

“Ahead of the opening of the Elizabeth line next year, these upgrades extend vital connectivity across the greatest city in the world and show the power of transport connections.”

Both new stations, which have been constructed primarily from stone, concrete, stainless steel and glass, use double-height ceilings to create large airy spaces. The new Tube station at Nine Elms has a very visible presence on Wandsworth Road, serving developments including the US Embassy and the re-developed New Covent Garden Market, as well as existing communities. The station has been designed so that 479 new much-needed rental homes, 40 per cent of which will be affordable, can be delivered above and around it.

At the opening: (L-R) London Transport Commissioner Andy Byford, Grant Shapps, Sadiq Khan and London Deputy Mayor Heidi Alexander.

The new station at Battersea, which sits in the shadow of Gilbert Scott’s Power Station and includes a gold-painted geometric roof with a giant skylight, opens onto Battersea Park Road and will hold a prominent position within Prospect Park when this new community space opens next year. Art on the Underground’s major new permanent artwork by London-based Brazilian artist Alexandre da Cunha – titled ‘Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset’ – stretches to a total of over 150m in length inside the ticket hall of the new station, which at 2,225m², could fit 80 electric double decker buses side-by-side.

Andy Lord. London Underground.

Andy Lord, managing director of London Underground, said: “It is with enormous pride and excitement that we welcome our first customers to our new Northern line stations today.

“This is the first major Tube extension we’ve opened this century and the first new stations to open on the Northern line for 80 years. It has been a monumental effort during the most challenging of times but the opening of the Northern Line Extension could not have come at a more vital moment as London’s recovery from the pandemic gathers pace and people continue to return to the Tube network for work and leisure.”

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