Northern line extension to Battersea

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Northern line extension to Battersea
Battersea Power Station - - 829933.jpg
Battersea Power Station in 2008. It is being redeveloped and will be served by the new terminus for Charing Cross branch Northern line trains.
StatusUnder construction
Battersea Power Station
TypeRapid transit
SystemLondon Underground
Operator(s)Transport for London
Planned openingAutumn 2021
Line length2 mi (3.22 km)[1]
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Operating speed45mph
Northern line Battersea extension
Bank branch
reversing loop
under construction
Nine Elms
London River Services
Power Station
Battersea Park National Rail South London Line
reserved extension
below Battersea Park
Clapham Junction National Rail London Overground Crossrail 2

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.[2][3][4][5][6]

The cost of the extension is expected to be up to £1.2bn, of which £1bn is funded by the private sector including the developers of Battersea Power Station, SP Setia and Sime Darby, with contributions from other sources such as the new US Embassy.[7]

Construction began in 2015, and the extension was planned to be open by 2020.[8][9] However, in December 2018, TfL announced that the opening would be delayed until autumn 2021.[10] Both stations will be in Travelcard Zone 1.[11][12]

Provision will be made for a possible future extension to Clapham Junction by notifying the London Borough of Wandsworth of a reserved course under Battersea Park and subsequent streets.[13]


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.[14] 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.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17]

The proposed route, including possible further extension to Clapham Junction.

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.[18][19]

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.[20]

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.[21]

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.[22]

In April 2013, Transport for London applied for a Transport and Works Act Order to proceed with the extension.[23]

On 19 November 2013, the Secretary of State for Transport announced the start of a public inquiry into the proposed construction of the extension.[24] 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.[9]

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[25] with Mott MacDonald as design engineer.[26]

The extension was given the final approval by the Secretary of State for Transport in November 2014 with it projected to open in 2020.[27] 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".[citation needed]

Opening of the extension has now been delayed until autumn 2021.[28]


Preparation works started on the route in 2015,[29] 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.[30] The main tunnelling started in April 2017[31] and was completed on 8 November 2017.[32] On 14 June 2019 an engineering train travelled the full length of the tunnel from Kennington to Battersea for the first time.[33] By February 2020, construction of the extension was nearly complete, with platforms, escalators and the Tube Roundel installed in the stations.[34]


  1. ^ Sheppard, Owen (3 November 2016). "Northern line extension from Kennington to Battersea 'halfway there'". Southwark News. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Corps". Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  3. ^ David Spittles. "The 'Great Embassy Exit' returns London to its residents". Homes and Property. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Dutch Embassy coming to Nine Elms | Nine Elms on the South Bank". 3 April 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Dutch follow US in plans to move embassy to Nine Elms | London Evening Standard". 28 March 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  6. ^ "Governments cashing in on the prime property locations of their embassies". Financial Times. 10 March 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Tunnelling for the Northern Line Extension to begin in March". London City Hall. 20 January 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
  8. ^ "Update – Proposed extension of the Northern line to Nine Elms and Battersea NLE" (PDF). Transport for London. Summer 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Northern line extension". Transport for London. 15 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  10. ^ Prynn, Jonathan; Sleigh, Sophia (21 December 2018). "TfL under fire as Battersea Tube extension is delayed by 'miscalculations'". Evening Standard. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  11. ^ "Northern line extension to Battersea gets go-ahead" (Press release). Transport for London. 12 November 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  12. ^ "Battersea Power Station". Battersea Project Land Company Ltd. 28 December 2015. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  13. ^ Henderson, Jamie (23 June 2013). "Clapham Junction next for Northern Line says Londo Assembly member". Wandsworth Guardian. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  14. ^ Nine Elms Wandsworth | Regeneration in the heart of London
  15. ^ Northern line extension. Factsheet J: Alternatives to the Northern line extension
  16. ^ "Study shows Nine Elms tube link viable" (Press release). Wandsworth Council. 5 November 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
  17. ^ "Boris: Nine Elms developers won't pay Crossrail levy". Architect's Journal. 29 October 2009. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  18. ^ "Battersea Power Station scheme approved" (Press release). Wandsworth Council. 11 November 2010. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  19. ^ "Mayor approves £5.5bn Battersea Power Station revamp". BBC News. 22 December 2010.
  20. ^ "Battersea Power Station: Malaysian company beats Chelsea bid". BBC News. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  21. ^ "TfL would like to hear your views on plans to extend the Northern line" (Press release). Transport for London. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  22. ^ "Boost for Battersea as Osborne puts power station on the Tube". London Evening Standard. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  23. ^ "TfL applies for Northern Line extension legal powers". Railway Gazette International. London. 30 April 2013.
  24. ^ "Northern line extension public inquiry starts today" (Press release). Transport for London. 19 November 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  25. ^ "Next Step for Northern Line Extension" London Borough of Wandsworth.
  26. ^ "Four teams in for £600m Battersea Northern Line extension" Building magazine.
  27. ^ "Northern Line extension to Battersea and Nine Elms gets go ahead". London Evening Standard. 12 November 2014. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  28. ^ Smale, Katherine; Horgan, Rob (14 December 2018). "Northern Line Extension to open nine months late". New Civil Engineer. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  29. ^ "Northern line extension". Transport for London. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  30. ^ Delivery and competition reported at Londonist website.
  31. ^ "Tunnelling starts to extend the Northern line to Battersea". Transport for London. 11 April 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  32. ^ "Northern Line extension: Tunnelling work on £1.2bn extension to Battersea completed ahead of 2020 opening". 8 November 2017. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  33. ^ "Engineering train travels full length of the Northern Line Extension for the first time". Ian Visits. 14 June 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  34. ^ "Battersea Power Station signs unveiled at new Northern Line hub". Evening Standard. 20 February 2020. Retrieved 13 April 2020.

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Coordinates: 51°28′49″N 0°08′25″W / 51.4803°N 0.1403°W / 51.4803; -0.1403