Not far from the new Battersea Power station development yesterday, a massive crane lowerd two drilling machines into the ground for the first time.Helen and Amy as they have been named were lowered to begin tunnelling the new Northern line extension to Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station. The extension has been funded mostly by the private sector at a cool 1.2 billion pounds. This will bring two completely new underground stations to an area that has been crying out for extra transport links, and especially underground links for years.The machines weighing 650 tonnes and the length of a football pitch will tunnel into life in March this year.

Helen and Amy, as they were named by local school children, will work tirelessly 20m underground in an effort to get the line open in 2020. It’s the first Tube line extension since the Jubilee extension in the 1990’s. The new extension will open in 2020 and is thought to be creating up to 25,000 new jobs in the area.

It’s estimated they will remove over 350,000 tonnes of earth during the project. The earth will be loaded onto Thames barges and floated down to East Tilbury to be spread on farmland.

Of the cost, £1 billion in funding will be provided by the private sector.