Northern line extension to Battersea
|Northern line extension to Battersea|
A redeveloped Battersea Power Station will be served by the new terminus for Charing Cross branch Northern line trains
Battersea Power Station
|Planned opening||Autumn 2021|
|Operator(s)||Transport for London|
|Line length||2 mi (3.22 km)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
|Northern line Battersea extension|
The Northern line extension to Battersea is an extension of the London Underground Northern line currently under construction from Kennington to Battersea in South West London, terminating at the redeveloped Battersea Power Station. The extension will form a continuation of the Charing Cross branch of the line. Two new underground stations will be built at Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms which will serve a new embassy district including, amongst others, the Embassy of the United States and the Embassy of the Netherlands.
The extension is a partially privately funded project by the site developers, SP Setia and Sime Darby, with contributions from other sources such as the new Embassy of the United States. Construction began in 2015, and the extension was planned to be open by 2020. Both stations will be in Travelcard Zone 1. However, in December 2018, TfL announced that the opening would be delayed until Autumn 2021.
A May 2010 consultation resulted in four proposals for the extension, two with slightly different locations for Nine Elms station, one with an interchange at Vauxhall for the Victoria line, and one with a direct link with no intermediate station. In the light of the consultation results, Transport for London decided to develop the extension with two new tube stations, one at Nine Elms, next to Wandsworth Road and Pascal Street, at a site used as a Sainsbury's car park, and one serving the Battersea Power Station development. The proposed routing via Vauxhall was the second most popular choice, however this option would have increased congestion further on the already busy Victoria Line and at an already crowded station without providing new transport links. In addition to serving the mostly residential communities, Nine Elms tube station will also provide improved access for the nearby New Covent Garden Market and the future US and Dutch embassies.
The Greater London Authority advised landowners, developers and council leaders (forming the Nine Elms and Vauxhall Strategy Board) in November 2010 that the extension will be mostly privately funded via developers' contributions and will provide an economic windfall for its regeneration area, it costed the new link at £560 million. Financing of the extension has been aided by the fact that the developers of the area have been made exempt from the Crossrail Levy and instead are required to pay towards the extension.
On 11 November 2010, Wandsworth Council granted planning permission for the development of the Battersea Power Station site, and this permission was then approved by the Mayor of London on 22 December 2010. Although the plans rested upon the new link, the extension itself has been the subject of a separate planning application.
In June 2012, the Battersea Power Station site was sold to a Malaysian consortium, SP Setia and Sime Darby, following the liquidation of Real Estate Opportunities PLC.
In November 2012, Transport for London launched a consultation on its preferred route option, giving people living in the area a chance to submit their views.
In December 2012, HM Treasury confirmed that it would allow the Greater London Authority to borrow up to £1 billion from the Public Works Loan Board, at a preferential rate, to finance the construction of the line.
On 19 November 2013, the Secretary of State for Transport announced the start of a public inquiry into the proposed construction of the extension. The inquiry, conducted by an independent planning inspector, finished on 20 December 2013. The planning inspector in Spring 2014 recommended that the scheme proceed along with other recommendations. Ground investigation works commenced from 2010 to understand the soil and subsoil where the new tunnels are to be engineered.
In August 2014, Mike Brown, Managing Director of London Underground (within Transport for London), announced that a forecasted £500 million six-year contract had been awarded to Ferrovial Agroman Laing O’Rourke to design and build the Northern line extension to Battersea  with Mott MacDonald as design engineer.
The extension was given the final approval by the Secretary of State for Transport in November 2014 with it projected to open in 2020. In the draft edition of the TfL 'Business Plan 2014', issued as part of the TfL Board papers for their December 2014 meeting, the map TfL's Rail Transport Network at 2021 labelled the terminus as "Battersea Power Station".
Opening of the extension has now been delayed until Autumn 2021.
Preparation works started on the route in 2015, and in mid-February 2017 the two large tunnel boring machines were delivered to the Battersea construction site, and lowered to tunnel level by a large crane. The boring machines were named Helen and Amy - after the first British astronaut, Helen Sharman, and British aviation pioneer Amy Johnson, who was the first female pilot to fly solo from Britain to Australia - following a competition amongst local school children. The main tunnelling started in April 2017 and was completed on 8 November 2017. On 14 June 2019 an engineering train travelled the full length of the tunnel from Kennington to Battersea for the first time.
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