New Northern line stations open as Tube extends to Battersea Power Station

New Northern line stations open as Tube extends to Battersea Power Station

Transport for London (TfL) (Monday 20 September) opened the doors to its two new Tube stations making up the Northern Line Extension, at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station. The two step-free Zone 1 stations are set to dramatically improve the connectivity of these vibrant south London neighborhoods 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. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the construction project stayed on track for an autumn opening. 

Tube services started running on the extension, which is on the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line, at 05:28 this morning with passengers including the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan; Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP; London’s Transport Commissioner, Andy Byford; Battersea Power Station Development Company’s CEO, Simon Murphy; Deputy Mayor for Transport, Heidi Alexander; Leader of Wandsworth Council, Cllr Ravi Govindia and Leader of Lambeth Council, Cllr Claire Holland. In addition, the Battersea Power Station Community Choir sang at the new station at Battersea this morning to mark its opening day.

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.

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. In addition, the construction of the extension boosted the UK economy and supported around 1,000 jobs, including 79 apprenticeships. TfL has delivered the Northern Line Extension £160m under budget, bringing its estimated final total cost to £1.1bn, despite the cost pressures brought about by the pandemic. The spending authority budget was increased to £1.26bn in January 2016, but TfL has worked hard through strong collaboration with suppliers to ensure the project provides value for money.

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 neighborhoods 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.”

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “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 percent of which will be affordable, can be delivered above and around it. 

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. 

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