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July 21, 2015

Luton Airport reveals plans for new direct rail service

The UK's London Luton Airport has reportedly revealed plans to build a new direct railway line to reduce the journey time from central London to the airport to 20min.

The UK’s London Luton Airport has reportedly revealed plans to build a new direct railway line to reduce the journey time from central London to the airport to 20min.

The new rail link, which would connect directly to the Midlands mainline, is part of the airport’s £100m redevelopment project that would increase its passenger capacity by 50%, as well as improve the customer experience.

Currently, passengers take a 20-minute direct train from St Pancras International to Luton airport Parkway station but with waiting times and stops along the way, journey time to the airport can be more than doubled.

"We know the need. Connectivity is the priority. We know the future is to be an integrated part of the transport network."

London Luton Airport CEO Nick Barton was quoted by The Times as saying: "The bus service meets the basic criteria (but) the plan is to come up with a long-term solution.

"The options are around a mass passenger system, which could be light rail or heavy (conventional) rail.

"We know the need. Connectivity is the priority. We know the future is to be an integrated part of the transport network.

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"Davies (the commission on London airport expansion) is also about how the current airports maximise their capacity. We have the capacity and the challenge is how we get all these passengers here."

Luton is seeking to speed up transport to the terminal as a first step towards serving long-haul flights.

The project is to upgrade the airport and increase its capacity from handling 12 million to 18 million passengers a year.

The airport is currently working with the UK Department for Transport (DfT) to see whether there could be a direct rail solution.

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