Posted by TomIrvin on

The DfT have published a letter from the minister of state, confirming that dispensation notices have been issued to operators allowing non PRM-TSI complian stock to be used beyond the end of 2019, subject to steps being taken to modify or replace them.

The figure of 1200 quoted will include the Northern 153s used on the Barton Line, currently expected to be replaced by compliant class 156s in May.

The letter also confirms a one month extension to the deadline for rail replacement buses.

I understand that there is current legal advice within the industry that the regulations will apply to both planned and emergency rail replacements.


The ORR have also launched a consultation on the accessibility of rail replacement services. This can be found at:

The deadline for this consultation to be completed is 14th February 2020, so we can discuss this at the OGM on Wednesday 15th January 2020 at the No 1, Cleethorpes.

Posted by TomIrvin on

For reference, the exemption documents for the two fleets of Northern 153s are linked below:



The dispensation expires on 31st December 2020, however it is expected that crew training at Cleethorpes on the replacement class 156 units will start in February 2020 with introduction in May 2020.


The dispensation documents allow the use of 153s across the Northern network when coupled to compliant units and on selected lines singly.