London, United KingdomNorthern Line Extension (NLE)
Fifty kilometers separate the centuries-old land where London sits from its new life.
Along the Thames near its mouth, the subsoil of the British capital becomes farmland in the limits of Goshems Farm in Tilbury. More than a million tons of earth were excavated in the expansion of the London subway’s north line.
The twin tunnels that will link Kennington Station and the new stations at Battersea and Nine Elms have already been excavated. When construction is finished towards the end of 2021, the 3.2 kilometers of subterranean tracks each way will shorten travel times with London’s West End by 15 minutes. This will help rejuvenate the areas of Vauxhall, Nine Elms, and Battersea.
The consortium is composed by Ferrovial Construction and the british company Laining O’Rourke, which was chosen by London Underground for the design and construction of the Northern Line extension in London’s Underground.
The Northern Line runs from north to south London since 1890. That was the year its first stretch from Stockwell to Borough opened. The oldest underground section of the network is still running today. It is also one of the city’s most used lines with traffic throughout the day. Taking on a large-scale work of this kind without altering the line’s operational capacity is not easy.
One of Ferrovial’s main tasks with this project is to maintain good, reliable interim service while the line expansion is underway. Building information modeling (BIM) systems and new approaches like redesigning the tie plates at Kennington Station to reduce construction times were used, along with other methods.
Above all, new life will be found in London’s underground. To date, more than 845,000 tons of excavated soil has been sent downstream to Ghoshems farm. There, it was incorporated into farmland. Through the end of construction, another 300,000 tons will travel the Thames in search of a new life far from the hustle and bustle of the northern line.