Tunnelling breakthrough at Victoria Tube station

14 September 2015  •  Author(s): Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, Eurotransport

Upgrade work at Victoria Tube station hits significant milestone with completion of tunnelling work linking the new North ticket hall with the existing South ticket hall.

Tunnelling breakthrough at Victoria Tube station

Proposed North ticket hall at Victoria Tube station.

The tunnelling work, part of a £700 million upgrade of Victoria Tube station, will link the brand new North ticket hall with the existing South ticket hall via 300 metres of new tunnels. In addition, the South ticket hall is being doubled in size to make journeys less crowded for the growing number of customers using the station.

The work marks completion of the complex three-year tunnelling project which in certain places occurred 30cm away from operational Victoria line platforms.

Victoria Tube station will increase in size by 110 percent

The £700 million transformation of Victoria Tube station, due for completion in 2018, will increase the station by 110 percent and bring step-free access to Victoria for the first time in its 147-year history.

Along with nine new escalators, new lifts and step-free access to all platforms, a new underground North ticket hall is being constructed at the junction of Bressenden Place and Victoria Street, and is set to open in late 2016. The new North ticket hall will significantly cut journey times for passengers who exit towards Victoria Street.

Tunnelling breakthrough at Victoria Tube station

Victoria Tube station cut away

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, MP, said: “This awesome feat of engineering is central to Victoria station’s remarkable renaissance. Without many of us even noticing, London Underground engineers have completed a mammoth task, uniting 300 metres of new tunnels right beneath our feet. Essential upgrade projects like this will help to ensure that the Tube keeps pace with the phenomenal demand for its services from Londoners and visitors to our city.”  

David Waboso, London Underground’s Capital Programmes Director, said: “This unique and tricky phase of the tunnelling project has stumped people for decades. Now, thanks to the hard work and dedication of London Underground and our supply chain with some of the best engineers in the business, it has been successfully completed, all while keeping this busy and essential station open to the public.

“Establishing a link between the enlarged South ticket hall and the brand new North ticket hall is a significant milestone for this historic station. Over 80 million customers already pass through Victoria Tube station each year, and once complete this vital modernisation work will enable us to keep pace with London’s growing population. The outcome of this project, which remains on schedule and within budget, will cut journey times and dramatically increase capacity, ensuring that Victoria is fit for the future.”

The new tunnels at Victoria have been constructed in challenging ground conditions, through fast-moving gravels and sands less than 30cm away from the Victoria line and within 60cm of the District and Circle lines. Safe tunnelling through the site – which is densely populated and borders two Grade II listed operational theatres – has necessitated innovations in construction engineering. Three thousand cubic metres of ground were excavated by hand in order to stabilise the ground and protect nearby assets.

The project will be financed by the European Investment Bank through a £1billion loan over a 35 year period. The investment will be used to fund work at Victoria Tube station, Bank station in the City of London and a track renewal programme.

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