Construction work on a new £225m Luton direct air-rail transit (DART) that will link London/Luton Airport with the town’s Parkway station is progressing quickly and to plan according to project bosses.
London Luton Airport Limited (LLAL) is building the link to support seamless journeys from St Pancras to the UK’s fifth largest airport in just 30 minutes and to help reduce the number of passengers travelling to and from the airport by private cars. The journey on the DART itself is estimated to take as little as four minutes.
In a recent visit to the site, LLAL were able to show the progress that has been made on the project since it started in April last year, including work on the two stations, the gateway bridge over the A1081 and the tunnel under Taxiway Bravo. The new link is, according to LLAL chair Councillor Andy Morgan, “making excellent progress and is right on schedule to open in 2021”. The main contractors working on the project are the joint venture VolkerFitzpatrick-Kier, delivering the civil engineering, and Doppelmayr Cable Car UK which is providing the transportation system.
The Luton DART will be a double-shuttle, fully automated people mover and will be capable of 24 hour, seven days a week operation. The cable-driven system is both energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. During peak periods, shuttles will run on the 1.3mile (2.1km) route between the two stations every four minutes.