Passenger trials have begun on the 2.1km (1.3-mile) people-mover serving Luton Airport (UK). The automated rail system uses two four-car Doppelmayr Cable Liner shuttles to offer a shuttle service to Luton Airport Parkway station on the Midland Mainline in four minutes.
Afull opening of the system,known as Luton DART (Direct Air-Rail Transit), is expected atEaster– the weekend of 9 April. Onward connections to London St Pancras station can be achieved from the airport in around 30 minutes. Doppelmayr is responsible for operations and maintenance of the line for an initial period of five years.
Planning permission for the project was received in July 2017, withsystem design undertaken by Arup. Construction began in April 2018, with major works contracted to a joint-venture of VolkerFitzpatrick and Kier. With an opening planned for early 2021, DART was originally estimated to cost GBP225m (EUR250m).
The final cost of the project, funded by London Luton Airport owner Luton Rising (a not-for-profit company owned by London Borough Council), is still ‘subject to ongoing discussions’ but is likely to exceed GBP290m(EUR323.5m).
King Charles III rode the line in early December 2022 in a visit to the city.