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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  • School buses still stop for trains that don't come

  • School buses still stop at the rail crossings in Hawley Borough, as they are supposed to. Along with fuel trucks and certain other vehicles, school bus drivers are required to stop, wait for any passing train and then proceed. Unfortunately, the only thing moving on the tracks recently are the weeds and grass as the plants grow and hide the once regularly used rails.
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  • School buses still stop at the rail crossings in Hawley Borough, as they are supposed to. Along with fuel trucks and certain other vehicles, school bus drivers are required to stop, wait for any passing train and then proceed. Unfortunately, the only thing moving on the tracks recently are the weeds and grass as the plants grow and hide the once regularly used rails.
    Due to the current suspension of rail traffic, Wallenpaupack Area School District will apply to the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for a waiver so that buses won't have to stop at the crossings on Main Avenue and Church Street. Superintendent Michael Silsby said that Wayne Highlands School District in Honesdale applied for a similar waiver; a councilman in Honesdale notified Silsby. The PUC granted the waiver this summer to Wallenpaupack Area School District and Honesdale Borough.
    The PUC will then request PennDOT to inspect the site. Silsby contacted Hawley Borough about the request. Hawley Council voted to approve the request at their Oct. 9th meeting, allowing the District to seek the waiver. Council President Don Kyzer said that the Borough road crew would install the signs once provided by PennDOT.
    If approved, the waiver would apply to all commercial traffic now required to stop. Once granted, PennDOT will provide signs to post at the crossings. Silsby said that should train traffic resume, the signs could be removed and commercial vehicles required to stop now, would do so again.
    He told the School Board on Oct. 14th that not having to stop may not seem like a "big deal" in terms of time, but it adds up and slows down traffic behind the buses.
    Stourbridge Railroad Company ceased operations in January 2012 and the historic 25-mile rail spur between Honesdale and Lackawaxen is presently up for sale. The last Stourbridge Line rail excursion used the tracks in December 2011.
    SEE THE WEDNESDAY NEWS EAGLE FOR MORE SCHOOL BOARD MEETING ITEMS.
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