Nine Elms & Battersea Power Station born today at 05:28 after 6 year labour. Mother doing well…

It’s not often that London gets a new tube station, let alone two and a new line (the upcoming Elizabeth Line: ‘Hold my beer’) but that happened this morning as, at approximately 05:28, the first scheduled train rolled down the Northern line spur from Kennington to Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station. Here’s everything you need to know (well ‘need’ to know, but it’s Monday morning and anything other than work, huh?)

How often does London get a new tube line?

Well I hate to be a pedanist but –

I think you’ll find it’s ‘pedant’

Gotcha. Anyway, I hate to be pernickerly but it’s not actually a new tube line. It’s a ‘spur’ off the existing Northern Line. Meaning these are the first two stations to be added to the Northern Line since Morden opened in 1926.

The last ‘new tube line’ was the Jubilee Line, which opened between 1978 and 1999. So it’s relatively rare. Though the Elizabeth Line will drive a 10 coaches and no horses through that when it finally opens next year. Though technically that’s not a tube line either, so. Um. Today’s a big day.

And what’s the purpose?

Nine Elms has undergone considerable upgrading in the last decade. What used to be industrial sites, and a really handy dockside tip, has been transformed into fancy pants overseas investment properties, the American Embassy and the craziest swimming pool in the world.

And then there’s Battersea Power Station.

Battersea Power Station spent decades as both one of London’s most loved and yet least cared for landmarks. But the last few years have seen it completely transformed into a retail, food and drink and living destination.

One befitting a £1.1bn underground line?

Yup.

How regular a service do I get for that much moolah?

Five trains an hour will serve the two stations, so one every 12 minutes.

Isn’t Nine Elms to Vauxhall Tube like a five minute walk?

Let’s move on…

So which Tube Zone will this new station be in?

A fun question. Because it should totally be in Zone 2, after all Kennington is the preceding station and it’s in Zone 2. And Vauxhall, within spitting distance, is on the Zone 1 and Zone 2 border. Similarly, nearby Wandsworth Road is firmly considered Zone 2. So why exactly are the stations in the new spur in Zone 1?

Let me guess… money?

Is it all about the Benjamins? It looks like it…

Despite the project coming in under budget by £116m (unheard of!) TFL still finds itself incredibly cash strapped right now. The combination of covid and mismanagement have left it dependent on government handouts and it seems unlikely that five trains an hour to Battersea Power Station is going to recoup that.

The least they can do is pretend it’s Zone 1 and make a little bit more on the side. Who cares if it makes sense?

Alright, well you’ve been stringing this out for about ten paragraphs now, are you going to tell us what happened this morning?

What, is it obvious that I’m writing this last Friday and it’s all not yet happened yet?

No, you’re styling it out. I won’t tell them if you don’t

Agreed. Let’s keep that fourth wall unbroken…

…Okay, I’m back, refreshed after the weekend. And, by all accounts the opening went smoothly (like I was going to be up for a 05:28!

The stations are clean and look quite a lot like the Jubilee Line in style, but without those funky automatic screen doors.

The first new tube stations of the century are open!

I’ve got a question…

Go on…

Is it Battersea Power Station, or Battersea Power Station Station?

What?

So is it Battersea Power… Station. Or Battersea Power Station?

Go away


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