Luton airport is set to gain a new twice-an-hour “express” rail service from London and greater regional connectivity after Abellio last week took over the East Midlands rail franchise, promising £600 million fresh investment.
A new “Luton Airport Express”-style service from St Pancras – operated by a fleet of new all-electric trains – will debut in December 2020, alongside additional services from Bedford, Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough.
East Midlands Railway will introduce 33 new trains in total, while Abellio will invest £20 million in East Midlands-operated stations, including new waiting areas and seating at St Pancras. It will also introduce smart ticketing by the end of 2020.
Alberto Martin, Luton airport chief executive, said he welcomed the investment, which follows confirmation of a new £225 million direct “air-rail” transit service linking Luton Airport Parkway station with the airport terminal.
“Once the developments are completed, passengers will be able to reach the airport terminal in a little under half an hour from central London,” said Martin.
“This transformation of service with sub-brand, website, easier ticketing and dedicated platform at St Pancras will be welcomed by all passengers who travel to us by rail.”