Major breakthrough for Northern Line Extension as tunneling machines reach final destination


Workers at completion of tunneling for Northern Line Extension

Ferrovial AgromanLaing O’Rourke and JV FLO have completed tunneling work on the Northern Line Extension as boring machines break through at Kennington.

The Northern Line Extension reached a major milestone today with the completion of tunneling work. Huge tunnel boring machine, Amy, broke through at Kennington today, which means that the two 3.2km tunnels from Battersea Power Station, via Nine Elms, have now been built.

Since their launch in the spring, Helen and sister tunneling machine Amy have been working around the clock to create the north and southbound tunnels that will extend the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line. The project is the first major extension to a Tube line since the Jubilee line in the late 1990s.

It will add vital new capacity to the Capital’s transport network, bringing Battersea and surrounding areas to within 15 minutes of the City and West End. It will also enable the regeneration of the Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea areas, spurring economic growth by supporting around 25,000 new jobs and more than 20,000 new homes. In addition, the construction of the extension is boosting the UK economy and supporting around 1,000 jobs, including around 50 apprenticeships.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

“Today’s breakthrough is a momentous moment for a project that is going to bring huge benefits to south London. The Northern Line Extension is not only going to make travelling to Battersea and Nine Elms easier, it’s also going to bring tens of thousands of new jobs and homes to the area. It’s another great example of why new infrastructure is so vital to London’s success and the wider economy.”

Ignacio Clopes, International Director Europe Asia Australia, Ferrovial Agroman, said:

“Today’s milestone further deepens the positive legacy and impact Ferrovial Agroman is having on London’s transport network. This includes key roles in the delivery of Crossrail, Heathrow and now the much anticipated Northern Line Extension. We are delighted to be part of London’s transformational future together with the prestigious bodies providing solutions for the capital and its communities.”

A conveyor system was used to take more than 300,000 tonnes of excavated earth to barges on the River Thames where it was transported to Goshems Farm in East Tilbury, Essex, saving thousands of lorry journeys from the capital’s roads. The earth has been used to create arable farmland.

The cutter head of both machines will now be lifted by crane out of the shafts at Kennington while the rest of the machines will travel back to Battersea and be lifted, in parts, out of the ground there.

Work on the new stations at Battersea and Nine Elms is progressing well. Services on the Northern line have continued uninterrupted while the work has taken place.


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