A Week in the Life of a New Tube Station

The Northern Line Extension to Nine Elms and Battersea opened just before 5.30 a.m. on September 20, 2021, with dozens of well-wishers eager to experience the first-ever public service from Battersea Power Station to Kennington. A few hours later, both the Mayor and the Transport Secretary arrived, and there were celebrations going on. Things began to settle down after that, though the first two days were extremely busy with people taking photographs and generally admiring the new line and its cavernous tube stations.

This is the first in a series of photographs taken during the first week of the Northern Line Extension’s operation. It is not a train-specific essay, but rather a kind of social pictography of the people who came to see, photograph, and document the new stations. I too took numerous photographs of the new architecture, trains, as well as the vast ticket hall at Battersea, but eventually decided to focus on the social/human element rather than publish another round of photographs of trains, escalators, ticket barriers etc.

The following pictures are from Monday morning, the 20th September 2021 appox 10.30am to 11.45am.

Guy looks up and down Kennington Platform two and asks himself, ‘Is today the day they actually open the line to Battersea Power Station?’

Some no doubt arrived smartly dressed for the occasion!

If you had heard the earlier trains through the extension on Monday 20th September had the designation ‘Check front of train’ indicated at Kennington, well that’s right! Here’s the proof!

On my way to Battersea Power Station, this was the first person on any of the new platforms I spotted en route! Guy with folding bike at Nine Elms as seen from the train I was on.

Alighting from my first trip to Battersea Power Station, here’s some of the passengers who were in the same carriage as me.

One of the rarer occasions where another Battersea Power Station train drew in just a few minutes after ours! Generally the service is every ten minutes, but delays can cause imbalances in frequency.

Two guys in perfect sync step wise as they approach the lower bank of escalators at Battersea Power Station. The woman was in sync too but she was facing the wrong direction!

Guy reading the leaflets covering the artwork that is a prominent feature at the new terminus.

The story behind the noticeboard (Thought of the day) at Battersea Power Station is interesting. Apparently they were not planning on having one. But Ray Tang put it to them and they decided after all to have one! Here’s a picture of the first one being drawn up!

A quote from Plato gets used for the station’s first ever Thought of The Day! Source: Twitter

Its back to my photo gallery – I took a picture of Thought of the Day too!

Plato’s quote gets immortalised at Battersea Power Station’s new tube terminus!

The forecourt of the new station with lots of well wishers and photographers. There was a pop up coffee bar the first day and also a busker in the afternoon compared to the remainder of the week when it was somewhat more quieter.

Tube traveller admiring the large poster just outside the station. This poster carries a common theme used throughout the publicity for the new extension.

Guys having a chat about the new line and stations. ‘What do you think of it‘ asks one. Its fantastic! One other asks, ‘when do you think Crossrail will open?’ Another replies ‘2026 I suppose?’

Passengers pouring out of the station and admiring the new surroundings! Also some others discussing the merits of Battersea Power Station Station!

The first day of opening quite a few people were using the floor of the new ticket hall as a seating area. This wasn’t observed on subsequent days.

Back at where the trains arrive and depart, here’s a guy shooting pictures along the brand new platforms.

On the first day the staff mess room just off the platforms was very busy, doubling as a sign on point and also I imagine where train operators could discuss or report any problems they may have had whilst using the new line.

The new platforms are splendidly arranged so that enthusiasts can stand ahead of the tube trains and photograph or film these as they depart for Nine Elms and Kennington.

Next: Monday pm 21st September 2021.

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