Luton DART and Luton Airport Parkway Updates

Scotrail88

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I’m presuming that with an around 4 min journey and a min at each end this will be a 5 min frequency.
Any idea of the unit size and capacity?
 
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Ianno87

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Yes 24/7. Pricing similar to current bus shuttle AIUI, probably a bit more to reflect the much improved utility. Fairly sure it will be included in the rail ticket price.

Guess overnight it will run as a one train / on-demand service like the Birmingham Airport one?
 

ta-toget

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Is it basically a funicular [1]? If so, it could be 'on demand' but it cannot be single vehicle operating.

[1] I think I read that it is, but cannot remember.
I believe it is a Cable Liner® Double Shuttle (product page) funicular made by Doppelmayr (press release), as shown on the LLAL Dart website. Also see the Doppelmayr project page, which contains a few facts:
Length 2,080 m (6,824 ft)
ConfigurationCable Liner® Double Shuttle
Operating Speed50.4 km/h (31.3 mph)
Headway225 s
Dwell Time45 s
GuidewaySteel Running Surface on H-Frames
installed on a Continious Concrete Slab
System Capacity2,700 pphpd
Stations2
TrainsTwo 4-car trains
Train Capacity170 passengers/train


edit: Also the product page states that (my emphasis):
Its companion design, the Double Guideway Shuttle, provides two independently operating trains, which run side-by-side, each with its own guideway, haul rope, and drive machinery.
 
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Ianno87

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I believe it is a Cable Liner® Double Shuttle (product page) funicular made by Doppelmayr (press release), as shown on the LLAL Dart website. Also see the Doppelmayr project page, which contains a few facts:



edit: Also the product page states that (my emphasis):

Sounds like Birmingham, where the cars are normally set to operate in a "funicular-like" way (to even out the service) but do move independently (you can tell they don't set off from each end at exactly the same time as each other).
 

itfcfan

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I did an update for the Luton Parkway Project (the bit in the Station that connects to the DART ) the other three parts are on my blog www.dbmbridges2.com
Great video - thanks for sharing! It's fantastic to get an insight in the work taking place. The labels on the different days work help to get some context on what's involved. I really appreciate you taking the time to do this. Looking forward to using the infrastructure once it's ready!
 

edwin_m

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A funicular has two cars interconnected by cable so they always operate opposite each other and pass in the middle. They are only used on sloping routes where the cars counterbalance each other (and a few are powered by filling a water tank on the upper car to make it heavier).

Despite being on a steep gradient, the Luton one appears to be two independent cars each with its own cable system and winding motor, which also allows one to be taken out of service at night for maintenance while the other continues to operate. This system is normally used on near-level routes like the one in Birmingham, so probably doesn't have any counterweight (which would have to run on another pair of tracks). The motor must be able to lift the car and lower it at a safe speed without this assistance, although if the system is running in a "funicular like" mode the power from one motor regenerating could be used to feed the other one.
 

Bald Rick

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To answer an earlier question: The DART will be free to ride.

That’s not what the planning documentation said - it said it would have a charging system similar to the existing shuttle. Ie included in the price of a rail ticket to Luton Airport (vs Luton Airport Parkway), or a small fare if you don’t have the right rail ticket.

Otherwise, the airport will start losing a lot of cash both from the shuttle operation itself, and from taxis / drop offs avoiding the airport drop of charge - just drop punters at the station. They would also lose short stay car park revenue, as it would be rather simple to park a the station (£9/day) and get the shuttle to avoid the short stays stay the airport (up to £50/day). I don’t suppose the station operator would be too happy with several hundred extra people an hour using their premises as a lay-by either.

Something may have changed, of course.
 

Watershed

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from taxis / drop offs avoiding the airport drop of charge - just drop punters at the station
Surely the shuttle will be within the station barrier line? Whilst some punters might think to buy a single to Luton, it is probably enough to put off the majority. Of course the fundamental issue here is that drop off charges are pure revenue spinners unless combined with a reasonable (preferably public transport) alternative.

They would also lose short stay car park revenue, as it would be rather simple to park a the station (£9/day) and get the shuttle to avoid the short stays stay the airport (up to £50/day)
The same applies at Birmingham International and other rail station car parks in popular areas (e.g. Oxford). Why couldn't the solutions that are applied there (e.g. on-platform parking code displays) be used here?
 

Ianno87

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Otherwise, the airport will start losing a lot of cash both from the shuttle operation itself, and from taxis / drop offs avoiding the airport drop of charge - just drop punters at the station. They would also lose short stay car park revenue, as it would be rather simple to park a the station (£9/day) and get the shuttle to avoid the short stays stay the airport (up to £50/day). I don’t suppose the station operator would be too happy with several hundred extra people an hour using their premises as a lay-by either.

Although Stansted has an official 'free drop off' arrangement; you drop off at one of the long stay car parks, and then shuttle bus from there.
 

Bald Rick

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Surely the shuttle will be within the station barrier line? Whilst some punters might think to buy a single to Luton, it is probably enough to put off the majority. Of course the fundamental issue here is that drop off charges are pure revenue spinners unless combined with a reasonable (preferably public transport) alternative.

AIUI it’s a separate barrier line for the DART; there is potential traffic from the hotels at the station end, and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that long distance coaches would swap to there to save q5 minutes on their journey. But as I said, things might have changed.

The Transport Assessment for the planning application does say the system is barriered, but doesn’t state whether separate or simply using the existing station barriers.



Although Stansted has an official 'free drop off' arrangement; you drop off at one of the long stay car parks, and then shuttle bus from there.

Luton has that too at the mid stay. It’s a right pfaff, and is generally quicker to walk the 5/600metres. If the DART was free everyone would surely use that as it would be quicker and easier.
 

Edvid

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Some details missing from the full outline application (17/00283/FUL) are covered by the reserved matters application (17/01261/REM). The footbridge and new station entrance are bundled with the latter.

NR platform level: NR platforms / Kimpton Road entrance
DART platform level: New footbridge / DART platforms
Roof level: NR / DART

The DART building will have a single gateline, ergo the station complex will have a common ticketed area.

More pictures from Arup engineer Paul Baralos (attached to save space this time):
Station building & DART track / On-site view of trains & bogies

Looks like the simple Kimpton Road entrance is now closed (third picture). I had wondered if it was possible to keep it open during construction; seems not.
 

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MatthewRead

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That’s not what the planning documentation said - it said it would have a charging system similar to the existing shuttle. Ie included in the price of a rail ticket to Luton Airport (vs Luton Airport Parkway), or a small fare if you don’t have the right rail ticket.

Otherwise, the airport will start losing a lot of cash both from the shuttle operation itself, and from taxis / drop offs avoiding the airport drop of charge - just drop punters at the station. They would also lose short stay car park revenue, as it would be rather simple to park a the station (£9/day) and get the shuttle to avoid the short stays stay the airport (up to £50/day). I don’t suppose the station operator would be too happy with several hundred extra people an hour using their premises as a lay-by either.

Something may have changed, of course.
So like the one at Pisa Airport you have to pay to get a ride on that one as well.
 

dbmbridges

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Some details missing from the full outline application (17/00283/FUL) are covered by the reserved matters application (17/01261/REM). The footbridge and new station entrance are bundled with the latter.

NR platform level: NR platforms / Kimpton Road entrance
DART platform level: New footbridge / DART platforms
Roof level: NR / DART

The DART building will have a single gateline, ergo the station complex will have a common ticketed area.

More pictures from Arup engineer Paul Baralos (attached to save space this time):
Station building & DART track / On-site view of trains & bogies

Looks like the simple Kimpton Road entrance is now closed (third picture). I had wondered if it was possible to keep it open during construction; seems not.
No the Kimpton Road entrance is very much still open - the access for the public has been moved about 4 or 5 times as the bridge in the Station was constructed and installed - it took a bit of doing but we even kept the access open when the bridge was slide in with the station open and live
 

Edvid

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Do passengers still go through the hut, then? Because if there's still a path linking it to the street, it's well hidden at the station end!

I've used the station in-between some of those access changes, though I haven't been there since the COVID lockdowns started.
 

dbmbridges

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Do passengers still go through the hut, then? Because if there's still a path linking it to the street, it's well hidden at the station end!

I've used the station in-between some of those access changes, though I haven't been there since the COVID lockdowns started.
The path is still open and the access to the rear of Platform 1 is via the “hut” which has had the gate line moved 90 degrees. The first steelwork was installed in March 2020 at the start of the first lockdown.
 

InOban

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The airport has tweeted a picture of a unit outside, on its track
 

Edvid

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Here it is. For the record, are there separate Twitter handles for the airport owner and operator (it's the former in this case).

 

edwin_m

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Why are there what appear to be boxes inside.
Probably to conceal the seats and thereby delay the storm of criticism on this forum when someone works out they are ironing boards. For a journey of 5min or so.

Looks to me like the designers have tried to make this look like a "proper" train rather than a peoplemover - picking up the initial publicity which had Photoshopped in a picture of the Dubai metro. This suggests to me that they will be charging for travel on it.
 

westcoaster

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Saw footage of one of the LRV vehicles moving up the incline out of parkway station. It was moving at a snail's pace so some form of dynamic testing has started.

Also it might be the same LRV, but one is currently parked up in parkway station on the line closest to the railway.
 

southern442

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That's got to be one of the nicest-looking people mover's I've ever seen! In fact maybe even one of the nicest-looking UK trains I've seen.
 

Edvid

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Another video by dbmbridges - focusing on the escalator canopies and the overbridge

 

DDB

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Are they still planning not to open it until 2022? Is it the buildings they are waiting for? Obviously testing is required but persumably it is two isolated single car systems so I wouldn't of thought there were that many perturbations to test?
 

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