Over the Easter weekend, Northern line trains made their first test trips through Bank tube station’s new southbound platform.

The Bank station upgrade has seen a brand new and much larger southbound platform built alongside the existing station, and during the current Northern line closure, they’ve been linking the new platform into the old Northern line tunnels. Joining the new and old tunnels was completed a few weeks ago, and since then, they’ve been laying the new track in the joints and joining up the signalling systems.

Test train heading north through the new southbound platform (c) TfL

Over the Easter weekend, works had progressed enough to allow them to run their first test trains down the closed Northern line and through the new platform to ensure that all the tracks are aligned correctly and there are no problems.

Using two passenger trains, multiple runs were made through the new Northern line tunnels and new southbound platform over the weekend, which gave engineers the opportunity to check both the new railway systems and station systems. In addition, over the Easter weekend, engineers on the project began testing the new signalling software as well as the new signalling hardware for the new southbound tunnel.

Jason Benka, Senior Project Manager for TfL, said: “We have been making great progress in the intricate and complex work that is required below ground at Bank to boost capacity and make it easier to navigate. Having worked on the project for five years, it was a really exciting moment to finally see a train travel through the new section of tunnel. This huge milestone is testament to the hard work of the team. We’re looking forward to reopening the station in mid-May and showing customers the new platform, passageways and concourse – with further improvements to come later this year.”

New concourse between the Northern line platforms (c) TfL

In the next few weeks, the focus will move to installing and testing the final station systems and familiarising station staff with the new layout and systems.

The Northern line’s Bank branch is currently on schedule to open in the middle of May.

When the Northern line reopens, Bank station will have a brand new large Southbound platform, while the old southbound platform will be cleaned up to become part of an expanded northbound platform

Later this summer, a new moving walkway will link the Northern line to the Central line, doing away with the narrow staircases, and then at the end of this year, a brand new entrance will open on Cannon Street, with escalators and lifts direct to the Northern line and DLR.

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3 comments
  1. Danny Thomas says:

    Great work. Can’t wait!

  2. Nigel Headley says:

    Anything that cuts the transfer walks is welcome. It is a terrible maze down there. It would be nice if someone could invent an underground satnav system for occasional visitors to get through efficiently. Get it wrong and you can pop up miles from your preferred exit.

    • Paul says:

      It’s significant that Stratford station actually displays topological maps of its layout on the walls of the main passageways – maybe Bank needs the same!

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