Airport welcomes express service proposed in new rail timetable

Feb 24, 2020

Luton Airport Parkway station.

LONDON Luton Airport has welcomed plans by East Midlands Railway to introduce a Luton Airport Express service into its proposed December 2020 timetable.

The operator is proposing a half-hourly non-stop service between London St Pancras and Luton Airport Parkway operated by electric trains. The express service would be separately branded and run every 30 minutes between 06:00 and 22:00, with additional late night and early morning services to serve departures from the airport.

The plans also outline the introduction of a half hourly service from Corby and other stations in the East Midlands to the airport, allowing passengers to travel from these towns to the airport in under an hour.

London Luton has campaigned extensively for an express rail service, supported by national and local business groups including easyJet, employers organisation the CBI and the Federation of Small Businesses, all of whom recognise the benefits that a direct rail link would bring to the local community and the national economy. 

This includes a reduction of up to 70,000 car journeys to the airport a year. 

A final decision on the proposed timetable is expected to be made by Network Rail in late spring, with the new timetable implemented from December 2020.

The DART rapid transit system that will link Luton Airport Parkway station with the airport

The proposed introduction of a Luton Airport Express Service will be significantly enhanced by the construction of the Direct Air-Rail Transit service, due to be completed in 2021. The £225 million investment will see the creation of a fixed link between the airport and the station, allowing passengers to travel from central London to the airport in 30 minutes.

Alberto Martin

London Luton chief executive Alberto Martin said: “We fully support EMR’s proposals to introduce express services, which are vital to encourage more passengers to travel to the airport by rail. 

“I look forward to working with Abellio as the new franchise operators throughout their franchise term, to see how we can further enhance the service with more trains and direct access to major cities in the north.” 

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