First trains Complete Journey on Northern Line Extension
Northern Line ExtensionLaing O'Rourke

First trains Complete Journey on Northern Line Extension

The Northern Line Extension passed a major milestone at Christmas after test passenger trains successfully completed the journey through the new tunnels

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 passenger 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. The trains then continued to Nine Elms Tube station before arriving at the extension’s second new station at Battersea Power Station. They then turned around using the new crossover junction to complete the journey back to Kennington.

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.

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.

The Northern Line Extension is being delivered by FLO, a joint venture between Ferrovial Construction and Laing O'Rourke.

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