Work's started on a new £225-million pound rail link at Luton Airport.

The Luton DART (Direct Air-Rail Transit) will connect Parkway Station to the terminal with a journey time from Luton Airport Parkway to the airport terminal in under four minutes. It will also link the airport to central London within 30 minutes.

Work should be complete by 2021, with 500 construction jobs created over the next three years.

Construction of the rail link has begun Credit: ITV News Anglia

Earlier a ground-breaking ceremony took place with Lord Porter of Spalding, Chairman of the Local Government Association, turning the first sods of earth.

Staff on the Luton Dart project 'break ground'. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"The Council is proud to be at the forefront of creating a brighter future for Luton, and this is another exciting landmark moment in the ongoing transformation of our town under the £1.5 billion Luton Investment Framework. The Luton DART will benefit not only airport passengers but also the people and businesses of Luton in that it supports our ambitions to secure long-term economic growth and ensure local people have access to high-quality employment opportunities. "

Cll Hazel Simmons
Work on the Luton DART is now underway. Credit: ITV News Anglia
  • Watch a computer animation of how the DART will look.

The cost of the Luton DART is around £200 million; including construction of the stations, and associated infrastructure, and an additional £25 million has been allocated for a new Network Rail overbridge at Luton Airport Parkway railway station.

The Luton DART Credit: London Luton Airport

"“As more and more passengers choose to travel through London Luton Airport, it has never been more important that they can reach the airport easily. The DART represents a great stride. To make the journey even better, we are also calling for the introduction of four fast trains per hour at Luton Airport Parkway station as part of the new East Midlands rail franchise. These developments will reduce the journey time from central London to under 30 minutes.”

Nick Barton, CEO, London Luton Airport