The Northern line extension has reached a major milestone as trial operations start on the new 3km line between Kennington and Battersea Power Station.
The extension, which runs via Nine Elms, is now operating with trial runs every weekend.
It is hoped the extension is on track for an Autumn opening, with six peak trains per hour – increasing to twelve per hour by mid-2022.
Over the coming weeks, staff are testing all the new systems and train drivers are also completing training on the new route. Practice exercises, including trial emergency evacuations, will also be completed throughout the summer with around 100 station staff members.
Heidi Alexander, deputy mayor for Transport said: “The beginning of trial operations on the Northern Line Extension marks a major milestone in the project and it’s really exciting to see final training and testing taking place.
“When the extension opens this autumn, it will make a real difference to transport links south of the river, supporting thousands of new jobs and homes and boosting London’s recovery.”
Stuart Harvey, TfL’s director of major projects, said: “The start of trial operations on the Northern Line Extension means we are now counting down to opening the first major tube extension this century.
“It’s been a collaborative effort to get to this milestone, and we’ve worked closely with suppliers and stakeholders to make progress on the project, despite the challenge of the pandemic.
“We have been running isolated test trains through the extension since late 2020 but the successful integration of its software and signalling with the rest of the Northern line means the trials to test safety and reliability can start.
“It’s a busy time as we will also be training the drivers and station staff so they are ready to welcome our first customers.”