Rail Industry Focus


Northern Line extension clears another hurdle

Source: Rail Technology Magazine June/July 2013

Transport for London has now formally lodged its proposals to build and operate an extension of the Northern Line from Kennington to Battersea. Adam Hewitt reports.

South London is one step closer to a possible new Tube extension,” says TfL managing director of planning Michèle Dix, after its application for a Transport and Works Act Order to build the Northern Line extension was formally lodged on April 30, after the last edition of RTM went to press. The proposals include a new Tube station at Battersea Power Station plus one at Wandsworth Road in Nine Elms, cutting travel times into the West End down to around 15 minutes.

As well as the economic and regeneration benefits, the project is designed to cut pressure on Vauxhall station and provide relief to the existing Northern Line south of Kennington. TfL notes that the area at the moment is “in part characterised by poor access to public transport...The Northern Line Extension will contribute to making the area more typical of central London in terms of providing alternatives to car travel.”

Dix’s letter to the transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, says: “The proposed order authorises London Underground Limited (LUL) to construct and operate an extension to the Northern line (Charing Cross branch) from Kennington to Battersea, diverging from the existing railway south of Kennington station from a section of track used by terminating trains (known as the Kennington Loop).

“The order also proposes the construction of permanent ventilation and intervention shafts and head houses, temporary shafts and construction tunnels, a terminus station at Battersea Power Station, an intermediate station in the Nine Elms area, the compulsory purchase and temporary use of land, the temporary stopping up of streets, street works and ancillary works.”

The Government has already confirmed a £1bn loan guarantee to fund the scheme, which won general support during its first and second round public consultations. See the panel for a breakdown of the estimated costs by TfL.

Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council and co-chair of the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership, said: “Bringing the Tube to Battersea has long been the ambition of this council and we are now within touching distance. This project is the key to unlocking Nine Elms on the South Bank’s full potential, restoring the power station and delivering 25,000 new jobs and 16,000 new homes.”

TfL is considering two potential construction approaches for the necessary ground treatment work: either temporary shafts in Radcot Street and Harmsworth Street, each with a small chamber at the bottom to dismantle the TBMs used to dig the tunnels; or gallery tunnels with a diameter of three metres, 10m under the surface, which would be backfilled once the works are complete.

The station at Nine Elms would have two entrances, a ground level ticket hall, two platforms, and step-free access, while the Battersea Power Station Tube station would have a single entrance, a below-ground ticket hall, two platforms and step-free access.

McLoughlin will have to decide whether a public inquiry is required, which would probably be held this autumn if so, with a final decision by autumn 2014.

If approved, building work could start in 2015, with the extension opening in 2019-2020.

Forecasted passenger numbers in the 7am-10am peak

Battersea – Nine Elms: 4,100
Nine Elms – Kennington: 8,200

Kennington – Nine Elms: 6,400
Nine Elms – Battersea: 4,300

TfL said: “Analysis shows that these additional passengers will not significantly affect crowding on the existing Northern line. Whilst there are relatively large increases in passengers northbound and southbound between Kennington and Waterloo, there is relatively modest usage of this section of the Northern line and the increases make better use of available capacity.”

Source: TfL

Estimate of costs

• Surveying, drilling and soil sampling:
• Acquisition of land and rights over land:
• Earthworks (including land reclamation
and landscaping): £319,061
• Fees of professional and other advisers
for the project once authorised:
• Tunnels and bridges: £289,193,582
• Highway works: £2,127,074
• Permanent way or other supporting/
guiding structures: £76,160,566
• Workshops, depots, stations and other
buildings: £285,092,193
• Electrical plant and equipment:
• Signalling and communications:
• Vehicles: £68,378,149
• Alteration, modification and removal of
existing works: £16,811,263

TOTAL: £868,290,056

Source: TfL


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