HONESDALE - The "exempt" status of the railroad crossings will be kept in place when the Stourbridge Rail Line excursions resume in the spring.

The exempt status - which went into effect in 2013 - means buses, trucks and other vehicles are not required to stop at the tracks.

If the exempt status was removed, new signs would have to be put in place, in addition to gates and flashing lights.

As a result, motorists would have to stop before the tracks.

That would have caused significant traffic problems, particularly at the heavily traveled intersection of Route 191 and Terrace Street, said borough Councilman Robert Jennings, who is chairman of the borough's safety committee and worked to get the exempt status in place.

The exempt status allows vehicles on 4th Street to turn right at the red light at Terrace Street, allowing traffic to move more smoothly.

The train operator will have to provide manpower at the crossings on days of train runs, according to the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission.

When the train comes upon a crossing a member or the crew, equipped with a red flag during daylight hours and a lighted fuse during nighttime hours, must be present to stop traffic until the train gets through the crossing.

The borough has three crossings, at 4th, Chapel and Brown streets. The 4th Street crossing is the most heavily traveled.

The exempt status is expected to remain in place at crossings in Hawley and Lackawaxen, officials said.

The exemption status is important to Wayne Highlands School District, whose buses utilize 4th and Terrace streets.

Having the buses move along smoothly is very important, Jennings said.

The councilman noted that traffic will only temporarily be backed up when the flaggers are present.

The train's resurgence is being headed by the Delaware Lackawaxen & Stourbridge Railroad, which is owned by the Lackawaxen & Honesdale Shippers Association.

Officials expect the runs to resume on May 9, 2015. The date of the first excursion in about four years coincides with National Train Day.

The Stourbridge Line's last excursion was Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011.

The line was started in September 1979 by the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce.