Tunnelling for the Northern Line extension is set to begin in March, kickstarting work for two 3.2km underground tunnels in the first major underground extension since the 1990s.
Two 650t tunnel boring machines (TBMs) – named Helen and Amy – are currently undergoing final testing before starting work on the tunnels between Kennington and Battersea.
The tunnelling will extend the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line via Nine Elms. Two new stations are being created as part of the project, one in the centre of the Battersea Power Station redevelopment and a second at Nine Elms.
“This is a historic moment for London Underground as we prepare to start tunnelling to create the first extension to our iconic Tube network for nearly two decades,” said London Underground managing director Mark Wild.
“The Northern Line extension will bring Battersea and surrounding areas to within 15 minutes of the West End and City. It will also help us to support jobs, homes and growth in this part of south London, help keep pace with the capital’s rapidly rising population, and is creating jobs through the supply chain across the UK.”
The TBMs will tunnel to depths of up to 26m during construction of the 5.2m diameter east and westbound tunnels. Roughly 20,000 pre-cast concrete segments will be set in rings behind the machines.
A Ferrovial Agroman Laing O’Rourke JV was awarded the work in 2014 by TfL.