London Luton welcomes new rail service

The new link has been integrated into the May timetable, increasing connectivity to the airport

London Luton Airport (LLA) has announced that East Midlands Railway (EMR) are planning to implement a new service between London St Pancras and Luton Airport Parkway.

This connection has been added to the May timetable and will run every half an hour. It is also the first move towards the airport creating its own separately branded service – ‘Luton Airport Express’.

Operated by electric trains, the service will run between 6am and 10pm daily, with extra early and late journeys added to coincide with airport departures.

Photo East Midlands Railway

Passengers travelling from Central London will be able to reach the airport in around 30 minutes when using the new service. It also means that those coming from destinations in the East Midlands, such as Corby, will be able to utilise a new half-hourly service. This allows passengers taking the train from these towns to reach the airport in under an hour.

Alberto Martin, CEO of LLA, believes now is a great opportunity to “prepare for the return of air travel”. By introducing the new service, he feels that “it will be even easier to passengers to reach the airport as soon as it is safe to do so again”.

Airlines and local businesses – including easyJet, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Federation of Small Businesses – have been consistently campaigning for an express service. These industries recognise the benefits of the new link, which helps to enhance the local economy and community.

The rail connection also serves an environmental purpose, as it is thought there will be a reduction of 70,000 car journeys per year.

“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,” said Will Rogers, managing director of EMR. “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.”

Connectivity of the new link is set to be enhanced further by the construction of the Direct Air-Rail Transit (DART) service, a £225m investment which is almost at completion. This fixed route between the airport and the station will replace the current bus services.