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Northern line extension tunnelling machines ordered

London Underground has announced that the contract to design and manufacture the two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) for the Northern line extension (NLE) has been awarded to NFM Technologies.

Design and build contractor Ferrovial Agroman Laing O’Rourke Joint Venture (FLO) is expected to launch the TBMs next summer from Battersea.

The 2.5km drive to Kennington, which will be predominantly in London Clay, is scheduled to take seven months to complete.

London Underground managing director Mike Brown said: “The award of this contract is a key milestone in the extension of the Northern line. We are well on track for the tunnelling work to commence next year and, once it’s complete, this vital addition to the underground network will help develop the Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea areas, supporting 24,000 new jobs and over 18,000 new homes. Customers in Battersea and Nine Elms will also benefit from quicker journey times, with the West End and the City being just under 15 minutes away.”

The cost of the Northern line extension is expected to be up to £1bn, which is being funded entirely through contributions from the developments in the area that will benefit from the extension.

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