Latest Rail News

12.04.17

Tunnel boring starts to extend Northern Line to Battersea

Tunnelling work to extend the Northern Line to Battersea started today as the first of two boring machines began its 3.2km tunnelling journey to lengthen the line between Kennington to Battersea.

The two machines, called Helen and Amy, were lowered 20 metres below ground in Battersea back in February, and Helen has started her work moving underneath south London to create the first new tunnel that will extend the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line from Kennington to Battersea Power Station via Nine Elms.

Amy will start her work in a month’s time. The extension is predicted to be completed in 2020 and is the first major tube line extension since the Jubilee Line in the late 1990s.

As the two machines slowly bore underneath the capital, around 20,000 precast concrete segments will be put in place to form rings to line and support the tunnels. Then, a conveyor system will take spoil from the worksite to barges on the River Thames. The spoil will then be transported to Goshems Farm in East Tilbury, Essex, where it will be used for agricultural purposes.

Around 300,000 tonnes of earth will be excavated by Helen and Amy, who are capable of moving up to 30 metres a day, being operated by around 50 workers.

Tunnelling tradition dictates that boring machines can’t start work until they are named. After a vote by London school children, the machines were named after the first British woman to go to space, Helen Sharman, and British aviation pioneer Amy Johnson, the first female pilot to fly solo from Britain to Australia.

Last year, RTM reported that the project was at high risk of being delayed, although today’s news indicates works are currently on track to be completed on time, as it was actually ahead of schedule back in January.

Top Image: Ian Simpson Architects

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Comments

Andrew Gwilt   12/04/2017 at 19:25

It's such a shame that the new Northern Line extension to Battersea may not be extended to Clapham Junction. But instead Battersea tube station will not be too far from Clapham Junction railway station and other national rail stations near to Battersea Power Station including Battersea Queens Road, Wandsworth Road (London Overground), Battersea Park and Balham stations (also on the Northern Line) that are near to Battersea power station and to Battersea itself.

James Palma.   12/04/2017 at 19:57

Andrew, the line was purposefully not designed to go to clapham junction. If it had been it would not serve its intended purpose of providing services for passengers from battersea and nine elms as trains qould be full before they got there.

Andrew Gwilt   13/04/2017 at 00:03

Thanks James. At least Battersea tube station will not be too far from Clapham Junction and Battersea Park stations via walking distance and local bus connection and Nine Elms which is situated in Battersea and isn't that far from Wandsworth Road (London Overground) and Battersea Queens Road stations and also via walking distance and local buses.

The Northern Line Commuter   14/04/2017 at 20:12

I do think that the Northern Line extension to Battersea could be completed in late 2018 and to start operating from early 2019. Plus the Northern Line could be split into 2 different tube lines. The current Northern Line could operate between Morden and Barnet and between Finchley Central and Mill Hill East but to remain as the "Northern Line" or to be renamed as the "City Line" and to be in Olive Green or Cream or to remain in Black. And the Northern Line between Battersea and Edgware to remain as the "Northern Line" or to be renamed as the "Morgan Line" and to remain in Black or to be in Cream or Gold. Or could the Northern Line expire and the new "Morgan Line" could be branded and to operate between Battersea and Edgware and the new "City Line" to be branded and to operate between Morden and Barnet and Finchley Central-Mill Hill East. It might happen if the Northern Line is split into 2 different tube lines in different colours.

Ryan   16/04/2017 at 21:28

Another Andrew Gwilt above? How on earth do line colours make a difference to the service.

Andrew Gwilt   16/04/2017 at 23:26

Ryan. Just shut up.

The Northern Line Commuter   16/04/2017 at 23:33

@Ryan. I am a regular passenger who travels on the Northern Line and lives in London and yes the Northern Line could be split into 2 different lines once the Battersea extension is completed. But I may be wrong as the the Northern Line will remain as it currently is once the extension is completed.

Ryan   17/04/2017 at 19:34

B*llocks. Firstly, you are clearly Andrew Gwilt under a different name (your comments are always one after the other). Secondly, the Northern line split depends on when the Camden Town rebuild is complete. Also, if you supposedly live in London, what district of London do you live in?

Andrew Gwilt   17/04/2017 at 20:26

Why do you want to know Ryan. Dude give up will you. I think you are trolling me Ryan.

Andrew Gwilt   17/04/2017 at 20:29

RTM. Is there a chance you can tell Ryan to stop accusing me.

Theresa   19/04/2017 at 15:48

Accusing you of what, Andrew?

Andrew Gwilt   20/04/2017 at 23:53

Rubbish Theresa.

Jean Chevalier   27/08/2017 at 11:22

@James You say the line wasn't designed to go to Clapham as otherwise trains could be full when it got to Battersea. But that is not logical. A transport company would want to run trains full, not empty. And besides, if trains would be full it means there'd be plenty of demand for it. I would have thought meeting demand was a top priority, and ultimately their mission. Also, even if more people would travel North of Clapham on the new line, surely that'd relieve passenger numbers on the other lines? If people found that this route is more suitable, they'd stop using other less suitable routes. Overall, people travelling over shorter/faster routes, possibly with fewer intermediate stations - what's not to like? There may be even people who aren't travelling this route now that would travel if a new, faster route existed. Really, keeping trains empty or half-full is not the way to think about things.

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