The extension of the London Underground Northern Line has passed a major milestone after passenger trains successfully completed the journey through the new tunnels in a test.
It is the first major Tube line extension since the Jubilee line in the late 1990s and will connect Kennington to Battersea Power Station, via Nine Elms.
A step-plate junction expands a tunnel to allow the track to diverge
Trains entered the new 3.2km tunnels at Kennington, travelling through the newly constructed ‘step-plate junction’ (pictured above) that connects the existing Northern line tunnels to the extension.
They continued to Nine Elms Tube station before arriving at the extension's second new station at Battersea Power Station and then turning around using the new crossover junction to complete the journey back to Kennington.
TfL said work to finish the extension, ‘remains scheduled for completion in autumn this year’and is now focused on completing necessary signalling software upgrades and the fit-out of the two new stations, which will be the first to be added to the Northern line since the extension to Morden in 1926.
Speaking before the announcement of a new lockdown for England, Heidi Alexander, deputy mayor for transport, said: 'I'm delighted that the Northern Line Extension has reached this major milestone, with the project on track to welcome its first passengers in the autumn.
‘Last year was one of the hardest in TfL's history so it's great to start 2021 on a positive footing, not least because the extension will support thousands of new jobs and homes for our city.'
Diamond crossover track installed at Battersea
Stuart Harvey, TfL's director of major projects, said it planned to open the extension in the autumn.
TfL said the project supports 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’.
A battery-powered engineering train first travelled through the Northern Line Extension in summer 2019.
Tube map of Northern Line extension