Luton DART
Map of the planned transit
Map of the planned transit
OwnerLuton Borough Council
Transit typeAutomated guided people mover (light metro)
Number of stations2 or 3
Operation will start2022
System length1.4 miles (2.3 km)
No. of tracks2

The Luton DART is an under-construction automated guided people mover (light metro) which will connect Luton Airport Parkway station and Luton Airport in England. DART is an acronym for Direct Air-Rail Transit. It is scheduled to open in 2022 and will replace the existing Shuttle Bus, relieving its roads in peak times and providing a higher capacity.[1]


In April 2016, Luton Airport's owner announced a proposal to connect the airport with Luton Airport Parkway station and the adjacent part of the town which is being upgraded via an automated guided people mover.[2]

The project involves construction of bridges over the A1081 road and tunnels, along with two/three stations. The plans see the first station built at Bartlett Square in Napier Park on the east side of Luton Airport Parkway station, and the final station at the airport. There is an option for a third station midway, beside the airport's Mid-Stay Car Park. The link was approved by Luton Borough Council in June 2017.[3][4] In April 2018, a VolkerFitzpatrick / Kier Group joint venture commenced construction work.[1][5] If Terminal 2 of the airport goes ahead, which requires central government approval, an additional DART station would be built there.[6]

In 2018, it was announced that the system would be a Cable Liner, manufactured by the Austrian transit manufacturer, Doppelmayr Cable Car (DCC), who also have a contract to operate the system for the first five years.[7] The vehicles will be built by the Austrian cabin manufacturer, Carvatech.[8]

In December 2019, a ready-constructed, 80-metre (260 ft)-long, 1,000-tonne curved bridge was moved into place over the A1081 road on large jacks.[9] Construction work on the line was halted briefly in April 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic over concerns related to Coronavirus Health Protection Regulations, but has since resumed after a safety assessment.[10] The cable propulsion system was completed in February 2020 and work has now begun to install the people mover vehicles on the guide rails.[11]

The system is scheduled to open in 2022.[12]

Examples of other Doppelmayr Cable Car (DCC) transit systems
Examples of DCC transit systems similar to the Luton DART that are already operating worldwide


  1. ^ a b "Work begins on new £225 million rail link at Luton Airport". ITV News Anglia. 17 April 2018. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  2. ^ Luton airport peoplemover plan announced Railway Gazette International 15 April 2016
  3. ^ "New railway connection to London Luton Airport approved". BBC News. 22 June 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  4. ^ "London Luton Airport peoplemover approved". Metro Report International. Sutton: DVV Media Group. 6 July 2017.
  5. ^ VolkerFitzpatrick-Kier jv wins £119m Luton airport rail link Construction Enquirer January 2018
  6. ^ "Future LuToN Statutory Consultation 2019" (PDF). London Luton Airport Ltd. October 2019. pp. 4, 26.
  7. ^ "Doppelmayr Cable Car to build Cable Liner in London" (Press release). 18 April 2018. Archived from the original on 22 December 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  8. ^ "Luton Dart". Carvatech. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  9. ^ Sketchley, Elisha (3 December 2019). "1,000 tonne Luton DART bridge opens". Planning, BIM & Construction Today. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Work restarts on the Luton DART after review of how government's COVID-19 guidance was being implemented". Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  11. ^ "DART train between London Luton Airport and St Pancras one step closer". ITV News. 20 February 2021. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  12. ^ Luton DART London Luton Airport Limited