Blitz brings the WOW to Northern Line extension breakthrough

November 29, 2017

The London Underground reached a major milestone in November 2017 with the final tunnelling breakthrough of the Northern Line extension project.

A huge tunnel boring machine affectionately named ‘Amy’ broke through at Kennington, which meant that the two 3.2km tunnels from Battersea Power Station, via Nine Elms, have now been built.

The extension, targeted for completion in 2020, is the first major extension to a Tube line since the Jubilee line in the late 1990s.

Blitz was called upon to apply its technical production magic to the final tunnelling breakthrough ceremony.  The event took place to celebrate the completion of the main tunnelling works with national news channels and high profile guests in attendance including representatives from central government and TfL.

London Mayor, Sadiq Khan said of the ceremony, "Today's breakthrough is a momentous moment for a project that is going to bring huge benefits to south London. The Northern Line Extension is not only going to make travelling to Battersea and Nine Elms easier, it's also going to bring tens of thousands of new jobs and homes to the area. It's another great example of why new infrastructure is so vital to London's success and the wider economy."

Blitz were appointed by NLE main contractors FLO, a joint venture between two of the biggest engineering and construction companies Ferrovial Agroman and Laing O’Rourke.  Our  delivery included  projection mapping onto the tunnel face, live streaming of the tunnel breakthrough and lighting which set the scene of the space into an spectacular event.

A small number of guests were taken down the 18 metre deep shaft to watch the breakthrough up close starting with a projection mapping display depicting the construction journey, whilst guests at ground-level watched a live relay on a giant screen.

Every department at Blitz from sound and lighting, through to scenic design & build and Health & Safety collaborated to deliver the monumental event.  

Mabel Garcia, Stakeholder Communications manager at FLO said: “Thanks Blitz for your professionalism and delivery. We are delighted to have partnered with you on this important milestone for the NLE project. It was once-in-a-generation event for the London Underground and with your help we made this a spectacular memory for all attending, and those watching through the stream. We look forward to continuing working with you in the future.” 


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