"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."

Transport for London (TfL) today (Monday 20 September) opened the doors to its two new Tube stations making up the Northern Line Extension, at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station. The two step-free Zone 1 stations are set to dramatically improve the connectivity of these vibrant south London neighbourhoods and support the capital's recovery from the pandemic at a vital time.

Major construction on the 3km twin-tunnel railway between Kennington and Battersea Power Station, via Nine Elms, began in 2015. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the construction project stayed on track for an autumn opening. 

Tube services started running on the extension, which is on the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line, at 05:28 this morning with passengers including the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan; Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP; London's Transport Commissioner, Andy Byford; Battersea Power Station Development Company's CEO, Simon Murphy; Deputy Mayor for Transport, Heidi Alexander; Leader of Wandsworth Council, Cllr Ravi Govindia and Leader of Lambeth Council, Cllr Claire Holland. In addition, the Battersea Power Station Community Choir sang at the new station at Battersea this morning to mark its opening day.

A peak-time service of six trains per hour operates on the extension and this will increase to 12 trains per hour by mid-2022 as more people move into new housing in the area and the demand increases. There are five trains per hour during off-peak times, with this set to double to 10 trains per hour next year.

The Northern Line Extension is the first major Tube extension this century and is supporting around 25,000 new jobs and more than 20,000 new homes. In addition, construction of the extension boosted the UK economy and supported around 1,000 jobs, including 79 apprenticeships. TfL has delivered the Northern Line Extension £160m under budget, bringing its estimated final total cost to £1.1bn, despite the cost pressures brought about by the pandemic. The spending authority budget was increased to £1.26bn in January 2016, but TfL has worked hard through strong collaboration with suppliers to ensure the project provides value for money.

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."

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."

Both new stations, which have been constructed primarily from stone, concrete, stainless steel and glass, use double-height ceilings to create large airy spaces. The new Tube station at Nine Elms has a very visible presence on Wandsworth Road, serving developments including the US Embassy and the re-developed New Covent Garden Market, as well as existing communities. The station has been designed so that 479 new much-needed rental homes, 40 per cent of which will be affordable, can be delivered above and around it. 

The new station at Battersea, which sits in the shadow of Gilbert Scott's Power Station and includes a gold-painted geometric roof with a giant skylight, opens onto Battersea Park Road and will hold a prominent position within Prospect Park when this new community space opens next year. Art on the Underground's major new permanent artwork by London-based Brazilian artist Alexandre da Cunha - titled 'Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset' - stretches to a total of over 150m in length inside the ticket hall of the new station, which at 2,225m², could fit 80 electric double decker buses side-by-side. 

Andy Lord, Managing Director of London Underground, said: "It is with enormous pride and excitement that we welcome our first customers to our new Northern line stations today. This is the first major Tube extension we've opened this century and the first new stations to open on the Northern line for 80 years. It has been a monumental effort during the most challenging of times but the opening of the Northern Line Extension could not have come at a more vital moment as London's recovery from the pandemic gathers pace and people continue to return to the Tube network for work and leisure."

Simon Murphy, CEO of Battersea Power Station Development Company, said: "The launch of the Northern Line Extension is a major milestone in the regeneration of Battersea Power Station. Improving transport links and connectivity to this area of London has been fundamental to the development from the very beginning, and we are delighted to have played a key role alongside TfL and others in delivering the first major extension to the London Underground this century.

"Seeing trains coming into the new station this morning was a very proud moment, which wouldn't have been possible without the unwavering commitment of our shareholders. As we count down to the Power Station opening its doors to the public next year, we look forward to welcoming more visitors travelling on the new tube line from across the capital and further afield to enjoy the thriving riverside neighbourhood we are creating here at Battersea Power Station."

Councillor Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council and Co-chair of the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership, said: "Travelling on the Northern Line Extension as it opened its doors today, and seeing excited passengers use these stations for the first time, is a once-in-a-lifetime moment that I will never forget.
"Wandsworth Council has always had huge ambitions for this area and we are delighted that our vision and planning to improve the connectivity of Battersea and Nine Elms has come to fruition. We worked closely in partnership with Battersea Power Station, the GLA, Transport for London, Lambeth Council and all the developers in the area to get this crucial transport link planned, funded and delivered.

"In less than 10 years we have achieved a fantastic new Tube connection here, transforming what was once a transport backwater south of the river. These stations help our residents to get to work and other parts of London more quickly, as well as opening up new opportunities for thousands of jobs and businesses in the capital. We're all looking forward to welcoming visitors to Battersea, some perhaps for the first time, so I do encourage everyone to jump on the Tube and discover what a fantastic part of central London this is."

John Dickie, CEO of London First, said: "We are delighted to see the Northern Line Extension open to better connect Battersea. Bringing more public transport options will attract more jobs and more housing, boosting the economic potential of the area and supporting the capital's recovery."

The Northern Line Extension excavated around 850,000 tonnes of waste material in total during the lifetime of the construction project. Ninety-two per cent of the excavated material was carried in around 700 barge journeys along the River Thames to East Tilbury in Essex where it was used to create arable farmland. Transporting the excavated material in this way removed around 47,000 lorry journeys from the capital's busy roads, reducing traffic congestion and helping to keep people walking and cycling safe. It also saved more than 2,600 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Around 100 members of station staff work at the two new stations, which are both step-free from street to train. Their opening today takes the total number of London Underground stations to 272 and means that 88 of these stations are now step-free.

Working with stakeholders including the London Borough of Wandsworth and the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership, a number of schemes making it easier for people to walk, cycle and use public transport in the Nine Elms and Battersea areas have also been completed. Key among these is the opening of a Victorian railway arch in Nine Elms, known as Arch 42, to create a vital new walking route between Nine Elms station, Nine Elms Lane and the River Thames. Santander Cycles are also available to hire across the Nine Elms and Battersea area.

The new stations will also feature new outdoor advertising opportunities, including a giant LED backlit gateway banner at Nine Elms, as 120 new advertising sites have been installed. Working with TfL and its advertising partner, Global, brands will be able to use these new assets to share their exciting campaigns with customers.

The opening of the Northern Line Extension comes ahead of the transformational Elizabeth line launching in the first half of next year, revolutionising travel across the capital.

Notes to editors
•    Images telling the construction story of the Northern Line Extension are available here https://www.flickr.com/photos/193975261@N04/albums 

Timeline of the Northern Line Extension: 

  • 2008: First public consultation on the principle of the Northern Line Extension (NLE)
  • 2010: NLE included in the consultation draft Mayor's Transport Strategy
  • 2012: Vauxhall Nine Elms Area Planning framework published, highlighting the number of homes and jobs that could be delivered with the NLE project
  • 2013: Transport and Works Act Order Public Inquiry
  • 2014:Secretary of State granted Transport and Works Act Order (November) 
  • 2015:Start of major construction works (November) 
  • 2017:Two tunnel boring machines - Helen and Amy - launched at Battersea (March) and broke-through at Kennington (November) - named in honour of the first British astronaut, Helen Sharman, and British aviation pioneer, Amy Johnson, who was the first female pilot to fly solo from Britain to Australia 
  • 2018:Tunnelling work undertaken for new customer passageways linking platforms at Kennington Tube station 
  • 2019: Completion of track installation throughout the NLE. Engineering train travels the length of the extension for the first time (June) 
  • 2020:Power supplied to stations (November) and energisation of track (December). Start of dynamic testing with first test passenger train travelling the length of the extension (December) 
  • 2021: Trial operations begin (July); start of passenger services (20 September) 

About the Northern Line Extension

  • The last major Tube extension was the Jubilee Line Extension, which opened in 1999
  • From Monday to Saturday, the first train will depart from Battersea Power Station at 05:28 and the last train will depart from Kennington to Battersea Power Station at 00:48. On Sundays, the first train will depart from Battersea Power Station at 07:12 and the last train will depart from Kennington to Battersea Power Station at 23:57
  • All of the northern terminuses on the Northern line (High Barnet, Mill Hill East and Edgware) will have trains running to/from Battersea Power Station. Customers are, however, advised to take the first train and change where necessary
  • The Northern Line Extension has also unlocked the potential for the delivery of new homes, which will help to tackle the capital's housing crisis. Connected Living London (CLL) - the formal partnership between TfL and Grainger plc - is bringing forward more than 600 new, quality rental homes, including 40 per cent affordable housing, across two sites linked to the Northern Line Extension. The homes will be a mixture of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom properties, providing options for all types of households
  • In Nine Elms, the new station has been designed so that 479 new rental homes and commercial space can delivered above and around it. At Montford Place in Kennington, a new mixed-use development of 139 new rental homes and more than 2,700 sqm of light industrial workspace has been given the go-ahead and will occupy a Northern Line Extension worksite. Both of these schemes by CLL have been shaped to incorporate sustainability into their design, with air source heat pump energy systems as well as solar panels at Montford Place. Both schemes also include biodiverse roofs and bird boxes to help to provide shelter and roosting sites for birds. Between them, the schemes also offer a range of amenities for the local community, with Montford Place providing a central mews street that could be used to host pop-up markets and street vendors and Nine Elms incorporating a new public square

Art on the Underground invites artists to create projects for London Underground that are seen by millions of people each day, changing the way people experience their city. The new artwork at Battersea Power Station titled 'Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset' from artist Alexandre da Cunha, stretches to a total of over 150m in length inside the ticket hall of the new station. Da Cunha uses an outdated advertising mechanism - the rotating billboard - to create two friezes of colour which face each other along the length of the ticket hall. Inspired by Battersea Power Station and its system of vertical bars that regulated the production and output of electricity into the city and, informed by the colours of London sunsets and sunrises, the work refers to cycles, routine, the everyday and eternity. For more information, please contact: Sutton PR, Elise Hammond, elise@suttoncomms.com

Battersea Power Station is one of central London's largest, most visionary and eagerly anticipated new riverside neighbourhoods. The £9bn regeneration project will see the creation of a vibrant, mixed-use destination offering a community of homes, shops, restaurants, offices, culture and leisure venues, as well as 19 acres of public space, all serviced by the extension to the London Underground Northern line. Circus West Village, the first chapter in the regeneration of Battersea Power Station, is already a thriving riverside destination home to over 1,500 people and an eclectic mix of independent and design-led retailers. The second chapter, the Grade II* listed Power Station, will open its doors to the public next year and will house over 100 shops, restaurants and cafes, a 1,400-person capacity events venue, a unique chimney lift experience offering 360-degree panoramic views of London's skyline, new office space, 500,000 sq. ft of which will be home to Apple's new London Campus and 254 new residential apartments

The Battersea Power Station Community Choir sang 'Hey Ya, We're Going Underground', arranged by Dan Swana, Battersea Power Station Community Choir Producer. Sam Evans is the Battersea Power Station Community Choir Musical Director.

About Nine Elms
Nine Elms and Vauxhall have always been a critical part of London's landscape - the area's past is one of commerce and industry, its future is of enterprise, culture and living. 
The Opportunity Area is being regenerated by Wandsworth and Lambeth Councils working together to establish the area as a successful part of London's Central Activities Zone. To support the long-term development programme, a £1bn transport package has delivered an extension to the Northern line with two new Zone 1 stations at Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms. Bringing the Tube to Battersea for the first time, the new line is also the first major extension to London's Tube network this century. The wider package of infrastructure investment includes new river taxi piers, opening up sections of the Thames path and improved cycleways and roads. 
Investment in the transformation of utilities infrastructure, notably telecommunications, sustainable drainage, electricity and heating, is creating an ultra-modern and business-friendly environment and a sustainable low-carbon urban district.
A 4.5 hectare park is opening in phases alongside new community, health and school facilities to support the area's growth. The new US Embassy is there, and development partners are delivering 20,000 new homes, a redeveloped New Covent Garden Market, and 6.5m sq ft office space, shops, hospitality and cultural spaces with the creation of 25,000 post-construction jobs.
Follow the progress on Twitter @NineElmsTeam, Instagram @NineElmsLondon, Facebook @NineElmsLondon or find out what there is to see and do at www.nineelmslondon.com