BEDFORD FREIGHT HOUSE
120 South Road, Bedford, Massachusetts
PAGE UPDATED: NOVEMBER 26, 2016
The Bedford Freight House welcome center is normally open on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) during the bikeway season, April through October, between 10:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M. It might be open during other days on a "hit or miss" basis if a volunteer happens to be working there. We recommend that you phone (781-687-6180) in advance to verify that the Freight House is open if you plan to travel a significant distance to visit it. The adjacent railroad car museum is ordinarilly open on weekends when the Freight House is open.
* If you are unable to visit in person, please order merchandise through our online store.
This web camera provides a view of the Freight House plaza through a window. The image is updated every 15 seconds.
Volunteer shopkeepers: Please click here to add your name to the shopkeeper schedule.
FBDP's calendar system was designed and written by Sturman Enterprises.
ABOUT THE HISTORIC BEDFORD FREIGHT HOUSE
Friends of Bedford Depot Park operates the historic Freight House as a public service to Minuteman Bikeway users and the general public. It's a place where visitors may come to relax upon arriving in Bedford, learn about the railroad history that predates the bikeway, ask questions, and receive local travel information. Old photos and railroad artifacts are on display. Cold and hot beverages, snacks, and historical merchandise are available. Proceeds from the sale of these items are used to advance historic preservation projects and to maintain Depot Park.
The Freight House building was built in 1877 as the Engine House for the narrow-gauge Billerica & Bedford Railroad. After the demise of the B&B, the building was acquired by the standard-gauge Boston & Maine Railroad for use as a freight shed. For many decades, this is where goods were received and shipped in Bedford. A platform and siding provided boxcar access to the facility.
In the mid-1950s, the B&M decommissioned its Freight House at Bedford and sold the property. During the ensuing years, the building was used as a grain store, a Veterans of Foreign Wars headquarters, a bakery and a sandwich shop. The new owners made modifications to the structure, such as the addition of a second floor and a bay window that faces South Road.
The Town of Bedford purchased the Freight House in 1999 as part of the Depot Park project. It was renovated by the Massachusetts Highway Department and the Town in 2008. Click here to view a sequence of photos that show the building's renovations.
Operation of the Depot Park complex is funded by Freight House food sales proceeds, revenues from rental of Bedford Depot office units, and rentals of the Budd Rail Diesel Car. Since first operating the Freight House welcome center in August 2000, the Friends organization has raised over $50,000 for Depot Park.
For travel directions to the Freight House, click here for a map in the Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format.