Luton Airport Parkway station has ‘come of age’ and is celebrating its 21st birthday this month.
The station was opened in November 1999 to serve Luton Airport. Nine years later it became the first on the north Thameslink route to have its platforms extended to accommodate longer 12-carriage trains as part of the Thameslink Programme (see picture). In April 2013, a new northern entrance was also opened on Kimpton Road.
Thameslink’s upgraded rail service has provided thousands of additional rush hour seats each day on new, longer trains which feature air-conditioning, dedicated areas for the disabled, and the latest on-board passenger information.
The station’s lifts have also just been replaced in collaboration with Network Rail, to improve reliability.
Thameslink and Great Northern Managing Director Tom Moran said: “We’ve made great changes here to improve the service. The £7bn Thameslink Programme – a collaboration between Thameslink, Network Rail and the Department for Transport – has brought passengers longer platforms and, with it, longer, modern air-conditioned trains, which have transformed our passengers’ journeys.
“Luton Airport Parkway is more than just a gateway to the airport; it is also used by thousands of commuters in normal times and, now, key workers. I’m proud of the work our station manager, Joe, and his team have been doing to keep people moving through the pandemic.”
Station Manager Joe Healy, who celebrated the birthday with some individually wrapped cakes for his team, said: “I love this station. We have a great team here and some wonderful customers. It’s very quiet at the moment with lockdown and the situation at the airport but we’re here day-in, day-out keeping our services running for those who need it.”
Photo credit: GTR