One step closer to 30 minute train journeys between London Luton Airport and St Pancras

The new passenger cabins will be lifted onto the guide-rails Credit: London Luton Airport

The next stage of work on the £225m Luton Direct Air Rail Transit (DART) is underway.

The fast transit's energy-efficient, cable-hauled propulsion system at London Luton Airport is already in place and now the carriages are being lifted onto the guide rails.

The trains will shortly be seen moving for the first time along the 2.1km route between the terminal and Luton Airport Parkway station, on their way to the maintenance units for works to prepare them for service.

Artist's impression of London Luton Airport terminal building Credit: London Luton Airport Ltd

The Luton DART brings a new competitive advantage to our airport’s position in the London system, supports the ongoing prosperity it brings to our town and the region, and demonstrates our ambition to become the greenest as well as the number one community airport in the UK.

Graham Olver, Chief Executive Officer of London Luton Airport

Work started on the project in 2018 and in 2019 a 1,000 tonne bridge was built over the A1081.

The DART is due to open in 2022. Credit: London Luton Airport

The DART aims to provide faster and greener rail transfers between London Luton Airport and London St Pancras, passengers are expected to be able to travel between the stations in a minimum of 30 minutes. 

Network Rail continues to work on construction of a new bridge, escalators and canopies at Luton Airport Parkway station that will allow train passengers to continue the next phase of their journey.

The scheme's final major building work will be constructing the link building between the DART and mainline stations at Parkway.

It is without doubt the biggest and most complex construction project that either the council or London Luton Airport have undertaken to date, and a key part of our long-term goal for 45 per cent of passengers to access the airport by public transport.

Councillor Andy Malcolm
1,800

People have worked on the project

1.4million

Hours have been spent working on DART

57km

Of cabling have been used for the tracks

The Luton DART has employed 38 apprentices and provided bespoke training for more than 720 people to gain work experience and qualifications that will help them enter the construction industry.

The DART is due to open in 2022.