Sunday, May 11, 2008

Bedford Depot Freight House Closes For Renovations

Renovation has started on the Bedford Freight House which is located at Depot Park at the end of the Minuteman Bikeway. The Freight House was originally used by the Billerica and Bedford Railroad to house it's train engines. While the building is too small to house a regular train engine, the Billerica and Bedford Railroad was one of the first in the country to use a 2 foot narrow gauge track (most "standard gauge" tracks are just over 4.5 feet wide). After the Billerica and Bedford Railroad went out of business, the Freight House was taken over by the Boston and Maine Railroad. Since the Boston and Maine Railroad used a wider gauge track, it's engines would not fit and the building was used as a Freight Shed by the railroad. The railroad sold the building in the 1950's and over the next 40 years, it was used for a variety of retail businesses. About 10 years ago the building was sold to the Town of Bedford and is now run by the Friends of Depot Park which use the depot to provide drinks and snacks as well as historical information about Bedford's Railroad History to users of the Minuteman Bikeway.

As previously noted, money has recently been appropriated by the state for the renovation of the Freight House. The renovation includes a complete overhaul and will include public bathrooms and a information Kiosk containing a map of Bedford and local points of interest.

The renovation work started last month and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2009.

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