‘Helen and Amy’ make way for the Northern Line extension


Works begin at the new Nine Elms Underground station, part of the Northern Line 

The regeneration of the Nine Elms area took a major step forward last week when the first of two drilling machines were lowered into place for the Northern Line underground extension.

The new Nine Elms Underground station will be an extension to the Northern Line’s Charing Cross branch, and is set to provide a boost to the riverside area - which is fast becoming “an ultra-modern, fashionable destination in central London”, noted in Metro’s Living is Easy article on 14 February – and will connect Battersea to Kennington. When the new Nine Elms station – which adjoins Barratt London’s Nine Elms Point development – opens in 2020, journey times to the West End and The City could take less than 15 minutes.

The huge drilling machines – named by local schoolchildren as ‘Helen and Amy’ – will help to excavate more than 300,000 tonnes of earth, and be carried down the Thames to be re-used on farmland. The two 650-tonne machines, which are each the length of a football pitch, will begin tunnelling in March 2017.

The Northern Line Underground extension is part of a wider transport development plan for the Nine Elms area focused on delivering a safe, green and accessible district for pedestrian and cyclists.

The plan will see the creation of a linear park, an extensive green, public space influenced by New York’s High Line, which will meander through the entire district from one end to the other, joining riverside walkways and cycle paths while providing a picturesque backdrop for leisurely strolls and outdoor activities.