Move over, Heathrow Express: the UK has a new most expensive railway journey

The fare for the new Luton Dart service equates to £3.90 per mile

Amy Houghton
Written by
Amy Houghton
Contributing writer
Train ticket machines
Photograph: Alena Veasey /

Few people would describe Britain’s train journeys as ‘cheap’, especially as fares are set to rise even further at the beginning of March. But there has to be one journey that’s spennier than all the rest. The title of most expensive line in the country will soon be held by a rail link to Luton airport, due to open next month. 

The Luton Dart will replace the Heathrow Express as the most expensive rail journey in Britain. Tickets for the route amount to £3.70 per mile and a four-minute one-way trip between Luton Airport Parkway Station and the terminal will cost £4.90 with no discount for return trips. By comparison, a single ticket on the Heathrow Express is £25, or £1.50 per mile for the 16.5-mile trip.

However, the new Luton train will be free of charge for those with a concessionary bus pass such as pensioners, passengers with a disability or people acting as companion travellers. 

The line will ‘soft launch’ on March 10. It will operate for four hours a day before expanding to a full 24-hour service three weeks later. 

Luton Council argues that the line is actually good value for money and that comparing fares based on cost per mile does not offer an accurate representation. 

A spokesperson said: ‘The fare is based on independent assessment and sound rationale, reflecting the value of time saved and convenience and the quality of what we are providing compared to what went before.’

Stay in the loop: sign up to Out There, our free newsletter about all the best stuff to do across the UK.

You may also like
You may also like