EXTENSIONS TO dispensations against Persons with Reduced Mobility (PRM) regulations have been granted for East Midlands Railway’s original HSTs and Pacers operated by Transport for Wales. Both fleets were originally granted dispensations expiring in late July but have now received an extension until the end of the year as their replacements have been delayed.
TfW’s further dispensation covers 15 Class 142s and 15 Class 143s. These were due to be displaced following the arrival of Class 769s, on which driver training was beginning in March but had to be suspended due to social distancing requirements imposed by Covid.
For EMR’s HSTs the dispensation covers seven rakes of Mk 3s and five spare vehicles; the operator was planning to replace its original HST sets with cascaded sets from LNER which have a lesser degree of PRM non-compliance and were granted a dispensation until the end of the year. However, the extensive work needed to the ex-LNER sets has delayed this cascade. A further PRM dispensation will be needed as EMR will retain some HSTs into 2021 following the delay to the recast of the Midland main line timetable planned for December 2020 (p12, last month).
Meanwhile, EMR has begun applying an interim livery to its Class 222 Meridian fleet, although not all units will be treated. No 222104 receive full purple livery for the franchise launch in August 2019, and No 222101 was first to receive the purple and white interim colours, with a further 11x5-car and 3x7-car sets to follow.