Tunnelling work begins (credit: TFL)

Five quick facts about the Northern Line Extension

08 November 2017

The extension of the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line hit a major breakthrough this week, as the second tunnel from Battersea Power Station reached Kennington - its final destination.

Here are five things you might not know about the Northern Line Extension:

1. It will whizz you across London in no time (almost). Two new stations at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station will reduce journey times to the City to as little as 15 minutes.

2. It’s brilliant news for the economy. The Northern Line Extension will support the creation of 25,000 new jobs and more than 20,000 new homes in the Battersea, Vauxhall and Nine Elms areas. Mayor Sadiq Khan described it as “a momentous moment for a project that is going to bring huge benefits to South London”. (Click here to read more about the Mayor's plans to tackle London's housing crisis). 

3. The diggers are named Helen and Amy. Tunnelling tradition dictates that “boring machines” cannot start work until given a name. Local school pupils named these after Helen Sharman, the first British astronaut, and Amy Johnson, the first female pilot to fly solo from Britain to Australia.

4. The dug-up earth is being used in farming. Around 680,000 tonnes of material will be excavated over the project’s lifetime - equivalent to the weight of two Empire State Buildings. More than 90 per cent of it is being transported out of London by river and much will be used to create arable farmland, minimising the impact on the environment.

5. It’s a millennium first. This is the first major extension to a Tube line since the Jubilee line was extended east to Stratford in the late 1990s. Work on the Northern Line Extension is set to be completed in 2020.

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