Gatwick Airport Shuttle Transit

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Gatwick Airport Shuttle Transit
Shuttle train at Gatwick North Terminal (geograph 3996833).jpg
The latest generation of rolling stock approaching the North Terminal
LocaleLondon Gatwick Airport,
Transit typeAutomated people mover
Number of lines1
Number of stations2
Began operation1987
Number of vehicles6
Train length3
System length0.75 miles (1.21 km)
No. of tracks2
System map
North Terminal 
to London
South Terminal 
National Rail Gatwick Airport
to Brighton

The Gatwick Airport Shuttle Transit is a 0.75 miles (1.21 km) long elevated automated people mover that links the North and South Terminals at London's Gatwick Airport. The line is ground-side, and besides linking the two terminals also serves to link the North terminal to the airport railway station. Although sometimes colloquially, but erroneously, known as a "monorail",[1] the transit vehicles are carried on rubber tyres running on a concrete track with twin running surfaces and are steered by separate guide rails.


Until 1987, Gatwick had a single main terminal, now known as the South Terminal. In 1983, an air-side people mover system opened to link that main terminal to the (then new) circular satellite pier. This was the UK's first automated people-moving system. This system has since been replaced by a walkway-and-moving walkway link, although the remains of the elevated guideway are still visible.[1]

In 1987, a new North Terminal was opened. At the same time the current people mover opened to connect the new terminal to the existing South Terminal and the adjacent railway station. The line initially used Adtranz C-100 people-mover cars, which remained in operation until September 2009, by which time they had travelled a total of 2.5 million miles (4 million km). Gatwick began upgrading its shuttle service in April 2008, with a bus replacement service in place from September 2009. A new operating system and shuttle cars (six Bombardier CX-100 vehicles)[2] was installed, and the guideway and transit stations were refurbished at a total cost of £45 million. The system re-opened on 1 July 2010, two months ahead of schedule;[3][4] it featured live journey information and sensory technology to count the number of passengers at stations.


The transit has two parallel guideway tracks, running on a concrete elevated structure with an emergency walk-way between the tracks. There are enclosed stations at each terminal, which allow boarding from a central platform between the tracks while passengers disembark to platforms outside the tracks. Doors on the edges of each platform line up with the train's doors. There is no connection between the two tracks, each of which hosts a single three-car train shuttling backwards and forward. The line is automatic and driver-less. The normal service uses both trains, with a departure from each terminal every 5 minutes and a 2 to 3 minute journey time. The service operates 24-hours a day, although service levels are reduced to every 10 minutes between 23:00 and 06:00. No fares are charged.[5][6]



  1. ^ a b Hudson, Kenneth (1984). "Airports and Airfields". Industrial history from the air. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-25333-8.
  2. ^ "Bombardier Signs 32 Million Euro Contract for Automated People Mover System at London Gatwick Airport, United Kingdom ; New APM Will Replace Existing Inter-Terminal Transit System Previously Supplied by Bombardier". 19 December 2007. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2010.
  3. ^ "Gatwick transit closed". UK Airport News. 29 September 2009. Archived from the original on 15 October 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
  4. ^ "Press release 2010 – London Gatwick – we have lift on!" (Press release). Gatwick Airport. Archived from the original on 3 August 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2010.
  5. ^ "Inter-terminal Shuttle - Gatwick Airport: South Terminal - North Terminal". Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Inter-terminal shuttle". Gatwick Airport. Retrieved 23 May 2019.