Tunnelling has finished for the £1.2bn Northern line extension (NLE).
Since April two 650t and 100m long tunnel boring machines (TBMs) have been carving out two 3.2km long, 5.2m diameter tunnels (running northbound and southbound) as part of the Nine Elms development. Both cutter heads will now be lifted out at Kennington by crane while the rest of the TBM parts will be lifted out at Battersea.
When finished in 2020 the extended line will travel from Kennington through a new station at Nine Elms and finish at the new Battersea station.
Funding for the NLE is being raised through business rates, although TfL has recently experienced controversy over some associated costs. It is being delivered by a Ferrovial, Agroman and Laing O’Rourke joint venture.
“I’m delighted to welcome the two tunnelling machines to Kennington after their epic journey,” said Transport for London (Tfl) commissioner Mike Brown.
“Both machines have had to navigate a challenging, congested path under south London which included sewers, power cables, a Victorian-era well, and existing Victoria and Northern line tunnels. This achievement brings us a significant step closer to the delivery of the first major Tube extension in nearly two decades.”
Tunnelling was originally due to start in in summer 2016 but was pushed back six months as modifications were made to the work schedule. It was again pushed back from March until April this year.