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Airport welcomes plans for new direct express rail service

NEWS of a new non-stop train service from London to Luton Airport Parkway station has been welcomed by executives at London Luton Airport.

East Midlands Railway is to introduce a new half-hourly non-stop service between London St Pancras and Luton Airport Parkway as part of the May timetable change and is the first significant step towards a separately-branded Luton Airport Express service. 

The service will operate using electric trains and run every 30 minutes between 6am and 10pm daily, with additional late night and early morning services to serve departures from the airport. 

The new service means passengers will reach the airport in around 30 minutes from central London, making the airport one of the most accessible from the capital. The timetable change also sees the introduction of a half-hourly service from Corby and other stations in the East Midlands.

London Luton Airport chief executive Alberto Martin said: “With ongoing travel restrictions, there are far fewer passengers using the airport than there normally would be. However, we need to take the opportunity to prepare for a return to air travel and these changes do just that.”

Alberto Martin

The airport has long campaigned for an express rail service, supported by national and local businesses including easyJet, employers organisation the CBI, and the Federation of Small Businesses. They all recognise the benefits that improved links bring to the local community and the national economy. 

An express rail link will also bring environmental benefits, including a reduction of up to 70,000 car journeys a year.

The additional connectivity will be significantly enhanced by the construction of the Direct Air-Rail Transit service, which is nearing completion. The £225 million investment sees the creation of a fixed link between the airport and the station, replacing the current bus service.

The DART rapid transit system linking London Luton Airport and Luton Parkway rail station.

EMR managing director Will Rogers said: “Overall, our May 2021 timetable will provide more seats, quicker journeys and a simpler and more resilient timetable for passengers across the East Midlands and along the Midland Main Line.

“A key part of this enhancement is our step change in service for Luton Airport and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the airport to further develop the service.” 

Mr Martin added: “It will be even easier for passengers to reach the airport as soon as it is safe to do so again, and I look forward to welcoming them back.”


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