Northern Line Extension – London's first major extension in this century opens its doors.

  • September 21, 2021

Northern Line Extension – London's first major extension in this century opens its doors.

On Monday, 20 September, Transport for London (TfL) opened the doors to the two new Tube Stations at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station. Both step-free Zone 1 stations making up the Northern Line Extension are dubbed as this century’s first major extension project in London. The extension is welcomed open-heartedly by Londoners, as it will dramatically improve the connectivity of southern London neighbourhoods to the central and west city and help transform this part of London.

How it all began?

The significant milestone was planned in 2014 and the construction on the 3 kilometres twin-tunnel tube project started in 2015 between Kennington and Battersea Power Station through Nine Elms. And despite the global lockdown challenges due to COVID-19 induced pandemic, the construction project continued (with all possible precautions) to meet the target of the Autumn inauguration. Eventually, the £1.1 billion project added two new tube stations that has created a buzz in London, especially, for the Nine Elms area. -  Though the entire construction and testing took six years, yet it involved a longer bracket of design, planning and re-planning. 

What was the objective?

The foremost concern was to connect the southern city to the rest of London through a tube network and to transform this part of London. It is one of the unique kinds of development projects that provides around 25,000 new jobs and supports more than 20,000 new homes from the investment. Moreover, the Northern Line Extension also helps boost the UK economy and backs around 1,000 jobs, including 79 apprenticeships. - UK Real estate experts have a firm belief that the extension will not just benefit the Battersea Power Station but put the surrounding areas on the radar as well, as Battersea is now just a 15 minute direct ride from the city and west end. - Eight million passengers a year could use the line eventually, therefore, Londoners are invited to visit this vibrant side of the city and evaluate what opportunities it offers in terms of connectivity and investment.

At the present day…

The tube service started operation at 05:28 on 20th September on the extension, which is on the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line. To make the day memorable and cheerful for the first passengers, the Battersea Power Station Community Choir sang at the new station at Battersea, to mark the opening day.

It is announced that initially, there will be six trains per hour during peak time serving the passengers on the extension, which will be increased to 12 trains per hour by mid-2022. There will be five trains per hour during off-peak times, which will also be doubled to 10 trains per hour next year. - A street festival is taking place this weekend. Do not forget to join and get a glimpse of the already vibrant riverside quarter.

The dignitaries who were present to mark the opening day…

Grant Shapps – Secretary of State for Transport and Sadiq Khan – Mayor of London, along with a few local Councillors and MPs were among the stakeholders to travel on one of the first passenger trains from Nine Elms to Battersea Power Station’s new Zone 1 London Underground station this morning.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said, "It's great to see the difference teamwork makes, it's great to see the difference investing in infrastructure makes in relation to unlocking jobs and homes." “Most of the things we are using today were built around the country. Every pound we spend on the Underground project, 55 pence goes to the rest of the country."

He also said that it would “hugely improve the links between these vibrant, growing south London neighbourhoods and the rest of the capital”, “The new stations are beautiful and I encourage Londoners and visitors to start using [them].”

About Battersea Power Station

Once a coal-fired power station, Battersea Power Station is a landmark development located on the south bank of the River Thames. The Grade II listed power station, which was decommissioned in 1983 and remained empty until 2014 and feared to fall into ruin – while defying all regeneration and redevelopment attempts. The regeneration plan that was approved includes transforming Battersea Power Station into exceptionally beautiful residential units, business centres, community clubs, corporate office spaces, restaurants, bars, entertainment spaces and high-end retail shops.

Besides offering homes and recreation options, it will be home to the most popular names. The tech giant Apple will move its UK Headquarters to Battersea Power Station that gives a major boost to this project. It will occupy 500,000 sq. ft. of office space across six floors in the central boiler house in the Power Station and shift almost 1,400 employees from its eight London offices into this building. Moreover, An Apple megastore is also expected to open along with a cinema and high-end brands like Hugo Boss, MAC Cosmetics, Uniqlo, Space NK, and Jo Malone.

**An interesting feature is **that all six floors will be accessible via iPhone-shaped glass elevators.

  • Battersea Power Station has recently welcomed it’s first-ever residents in the spring following the completion of Switch House West, the first major element of the building to complete, following the development to be completed throughout the year. Soon, the residents will move into the Boiler House and Switch House East in the coming months.
  • It is known for its red bricks façade and four chimneys – the red bricks façade is there and the symbolic chimneys have been replaced with the exact replicas. A glass elevator in Battersea is installed to take visitors on top of one of the building’s iconic chimneys.
  • It is one of the unique features of Battersea Power Station that will take the visitors 109 metres high and offers views of London’s skyline from a unique viewing platform.

About neighbouring area…

Battersea Power Station has contributed over £300 million to the Northern Line Extension, which is opened now and a tube will run from Kennington to Battersea Power Station station via Nine Elms. The extension is welcomed and termed as a huge change for the area.

With its very own Zone 1 London Underground station (now open), this entire neighbourhood is expected to draw Londoners, international visitors and investors and workers from across the city, as the entire project has created a window of more than 17,000 jobs. The travel time between the Battersea Power Station and the City and West City reduces to 15 minutes approximately, making this neighbourhood more attractive and accessible.

Nine Elms station on Wandsworth Road is on the doorstep of developments including the US embassy and the New Covent Garden Market. It seems like the area is for wealthy investors only as numerous properties are already sold to super-rich foreign and local investors.

**Note: **According to an estimate, Nine Elms station could have 479 new rental homes built above and around it, 40% of which will be categorised as affordable.

The Northern Line extension is a game-changer for Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms. It will unlock the hidden potential in the years to come, when more and more people will move towards the already thriving riverside of London. As a result of this milestone, experts believe that house prices can soar in the area up to 25% in the next 5 years.