With the capital’s tube lines handling up to five million passenger journeys per day with peak times having more than 543 trains speeding through the undergrounds, service connectivity and availability is key to the overall running of the service.
This has seen Transport for London delivering the Northern Line extension for an estimated total cost of £1.1bn – £160m under budget – to not only improve connectivity to the areas but to provide jobs for over 25,000 people.
The development of these two new tube stations is the first of its kind with the last major tube station development being carried out at the Jubilee Line in 1999. The opening of these two new tube stations sees the London Underground network increasing to 272 tube stations.
The construction of these two major station developments began in 2015 with the construction of a 3km twin tunnel railway line between Kennington and Battersea Power Station via Nine Elms. Despite the social distancing challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, staff being off sick and furlough coming into play, construction continued and it stayed on track for the autumn opening.
Both of the new stations, which have been constructed from stone, stainless steel, concrete and glass, boast double-height ceilings to create large light-filled, airy spaces for passengers. The development of the tube station at Nine Elms has been designed with 479 rental homes in mind which will be delivered above or around the station with 40% being stated as being affordable.
Along the line at Battersea, the tube station includes a bright gold-painted geometric roof that showcases a giant skylight. The station holds a key position in its location close to Prospect Park where a new community space is set to open next year. The underground also features the artwork ‘Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset’ by London-based Brazilian artist, Alexandre da Cunha, which spans over 150m inside the ticket hall of the underground station.
Alongside the tunnel preparations, the lines saw new paving and landscaping work being carried out at the front of both stations alongside new ticket machines, ticket barriers and advertising screens. Accessibility was also prioritised in development which sees the stations being step-free access which is hoped to dramatically improve connectivity and accessibility within the south London area.
The line was opened at 05:28 on the morning of 20 September 2021 and saw several notable passengers including Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Secretary of State for Transport, RH Hon Grant Shapps MP, London’s transport commissioner Andy Byford and many more.
Speaking on the opening of the new stations in a press release, 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 neighbourhoods 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.”
What a morning! Extremely proud to introduce the newest additions to the Northern line: Battersea Power Station & Nine Elms ????
This is the first major addition to the Tube network this century, sitting at the heart of one of London’s biggest ever regeneration projects. pic.twitter.com/fysAJqDbUr
— Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (@MayorofLondon) September 20, 2021
The new service
Initially, six trains per hour will operate along the new extension from Kennington station on the Charing Cross branch during peak hours. It is hoped that by mid-2022 the number of these train services will increase to 12 per hour.
At present, the lines see five trains per hour operating during off-peak times which is set to double to 10 trains per hour at some point next year.
From Monday to Saturday the first train will depart from Battersea Power Station at 05:28 with the last train departing at 00:48 – these train times are hoped to dramatically improve passenger accessibility across the area.
Speaking on the new service in a press release, 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.”
The successful launch of this Northern Line extension comes ahead of the highly anticipated new transformation of the Elizabeth line which is set to arrive in the early half of next year.
???? ???? Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms
The first major Tube extension this century brings key parts of south London within 15 minutes of the West End and the City
Which station are you visiting first? pic.twitter.com/17Et82ZmtK
— Transport for London ???? (@TfL) September 20, 2021