The Latest News
From FBDP

UPDATED:  JULY 16, 2014

In Chronological Order


July 16, 2014  Volume 20, Issue 2

The next newsletter issue is at the printer. This edition contains insights into the Middlesex Central Railroad, the company that extended the Lexington & Arlington Railroad from Lexington Center to Bedrord and Concord in 1873.

July 14, 2014  Options for Connecting with the Reformatory Branch Trail

Bedford's engineering consultant has identified four possible options to link the Minuteman Bikeway with the Reformatory Branch Trail via Railroad Avenue. See the study here.

July 14, 2014  Navigating the Minuteman Bikeway

A consultant working for the Towns of Arlington, Lexington and Bedford has completed a study about current conditions along the 10-mile Minuteman Bikeway. Various amenities and other improvements are recommended. Read the report here. (It is a 52 mb PDF. Please allow time for the file to load in your web browser.)

June 30, 2014  Minuteman Bikeway Repairs in Bedford

The Bedford DPW has issued a notice concerning repairs that are to be made to the Bedford segment of the Minuteman Bikeway. Click here to read the PDF.

May 21, 2014  Depot Facade Project Progresses

While awaiting custom-made window units, which are expected to arrive sometime in June, the contractor is building a new ramp and platform in front of the Depot to provide access to the first floor.

  • These progress update photos were taken on May 21, 2014.
    Depot facade restoration
  • Depot facade restoration
  • Depot facade restoration
  • Depot facade restoration

May 19, 2014  Restored Baggage Cart Unveiled

An antique baggage cart, similar to the type that was used at Bedford Depot during the first half of the 20th Century, was unveiled in a small ceremony in the plaza outside the Freight House today. The Bedford DPW did a masterful job restoring the old cart. A $488.00 Bedford Cultural Commission grant provided the means to purchase materials and supplies. Click on the image at the right to view a slide show of snapshots from the event.

 
  • A restored antique baggage cart was unveiled at Bedford Depot Park on May 19, 2014.
    Restored antique baggage cart at Depot Park
  • Restored Baggage Cart
  • Restored Baggage Cart
  • Restored Baggage Cart
  • Restored Baggage Cart
  • Restored Baggage Cart
  • Restored Baggage Cart
  • Restored Baggage Cart
  • Restored Baggage Cart

May 13, 2014  Baggage Cart Ceremony on May 19

The Bedford DPW will unveil a restored antique baggage cart in the plaza in front of the Freight House on Monday, May 19, at 3:30 P.M. The public is invited to attend.

May 7, 2014  Web Site Improvements

Your webmaster is gradually making improvements to this web site, primarily so the pages may be better viewed on the smaller screens of mobile devices. A new drop-down menu system and thumbnails for popup images are being added. To advance the organization's goal of educating the public about the railroad history that predates our local rail-trails, a new "photo gallery" page is under development.

May 7, 2014  Special Places Sign Repaired

The "Special Places" that is adjacent to Bedford Depot sparked the beginning of the Depot Park project in 1995. The sign's original wooden framework had decayed over the years since then. Our thanks to Carl and Paul at the DPW for building an attractive new frame, making the sign look better than ever before!

  • Front of Special Places sign
    Special Places sign
  • Special Places sign
 

May 2, 2014  Depot Facade Restoration Project Has Begun

The Town's contractor has begun a project to restore Bedford Depot's facade and to improve accessibility to the building's first floor. With the siding now removed, it is possible to see the Depot's original window and door openings.

  • Depot facade restoration project - May 2, 2014
    Depot facade restoration
  • Depot facade restoration
  • Depot facade restoration

April 26, 2014  Annual Meeting on Saturday, October 4, 2014

FBDP's 2014 Annual Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, October 4, at noon, inside the railroad car at Depot Park. Lunch will be available. Rail-trail pioneer Craig Della Penna has offered to be a guest speaker after the business portion of the meeting. We look forward to Craig's interesting presentation! Members and guests are welcome.

April 26, 2014  Baggage Cart Restored by DPW

Carl and Paul at the Bedford DPW have restored an old railroad baggage cart for display in the plaza outside the Freight House. It is to be unveiled sometime in May.

Restored baggage cart for Bedford Depot Park
Restored baggage cart

April 26, 2014  Wayland Depot Brush Clearing 2014

The Wayland Historical Commission is sponsoring its 13th annual volunteer Spring brush clearing at the Wayland Depot (1 Cochituate Road) on Saturday, May 3 from 9:00 A.M .to 4:00 P.M. Click here for more information.

April 9, 2014  Freight House to Reopen for the 2014 Bikeway Season

Pending receipt of a permit from the Health Department, the Freight House is scheduled to reopen for the season on Patriot's Day weekend (Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 to 6:00). We need volunteer shopkeepers to help keep the Freight House open on weekends. Please contact Jim Shea for more information.

April 9, 2014  Volume 20, Issue 1

Marcia Sternberg is bulk mailing the latest issue of our newsletter on April 10. Highlights include information on the upcoming Depot facade restoration project, an article about the Bedford Veterans Hospital's connection with the local railroad, and more news reports about the hard winters the Lexington and Reformatory Branches endured during the 1920s.

March 25, 2014  Depot Facade Restoration Project to Begin

Bedford's Annual Town Meeting appropriated an additional $215,000 in support of exterior restoration of and accessibility improvements to the historic former Boston & Maine Railroad Passenger Station at Depot Park. This money will enable the contractor, Campbell Construction Group, to restore the entire exterior in a single phase versus in two separately funded projects over time. The contractor is to begin work in mid-April and be finished by September 30, 2014. More information will be published in Volume 20, Issue 1, of FBDP's newsletter, which is currently in the works.

January 22, 2014  Volume 19, Issue 4

Thanks to Marcia and Peter Sternberg for preparing the latest issue of our newsletter for mailing. This issue features an interesting compilation of 1920s newspaper reports about the tribulations encountered on the Lexington and Reformatory Branches during snowstorms.

November 23, 2013  The Last Train to Bedford

FBDP produced two videos that chronicle the move of ex-Boston & Maine Railroad Budd Rail Diesel Car 6211 from the old Billerica Shops to Bedford, Massachusetts. These programs are now available for online viewing.

The Last Train to Bedford - 1998

6211 Crosses the Road - 2003

November 17, 2013  Billerica & Bedford Railroad 125th Anniversary Event

Do you remember the special event we held with the Maine Narrow-Gauge Railroad to commenorate the 125th anniversary of the Billerica & Bedford Railroad? Here is the video we recorded on that memorable weekend in September 2002.

Billerica & Bedford Railroad event

November 10, 2013  Two More Oral History Videos

Parl Harling recalls the Lexington Branch from the perspective of Arlington Heights:  Part 1

Conductor Robert M. Howe is a 40-year B&M veteran who worked in Lexington Branch passenger and freight service:  Part 1

November 6, 2013  Enhanced Oral History Videos

We are enhancing FBDP's oral history videos with photos and making them available for viewing via YouTube, which is accessible on mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad. First up is Part 1 of a 2004 conversation with former B&M brakeman Ralph E. Fisher.

October 19, 2013  Officers Elected at the Annual Meeting

At FBDP's Annual Meeting on October 5, members unanimously elected the following officers to two-year terms.

Treasurer:  Marcia Sternberg
Clerk:  David Shamlian
Vice President:  William Deen
President:  James Shea

Click here to view a PDF of the 2013 Annual Report that was distributed at the meeting.

October 19, 2013  Depot Park Workshop Slide Shows

Click here to view the informational slides that were presented at the Depot Park Workshop on October 5, 2013. The workshop was a joint meeting of the Depot Park Advisory Committee and the Bedford Selectmen to discuss future plans for Depot Park, further restoration of the Depot Building, and continued rental of Depot offices to tenants.

October 2, 2013  2013 Annual Meeting on October 5

Please join us for the 2013 Annual Meeting and Officer Elections on Saturday, October 5, at noon, inside the Depot Park railroad car. A complimentary lunch will be available. Bob White of the Concord Trails Committee will reveal some oscure historical facts about the Reformatory Branch. Terry Gleason of the Bedford Bicycle Committee will give an update on the project to pave the Reformatory Branch Rail-Trail and link it with the Minuteman Bikeway at Depot Park. Don Corey of the Historic Preservation Commission will present plans for restoration of the Bedford Depot facade.

October 2, 2013  Depot Park Workshop on October 8

The Depot Park Advisory Committee will hold a workshop with the Bedford Selectmen of Tuesday, October 8, at 7:30 P.M., at Bedford Town Hall. The purpose of the workshop is to reach agreement on the purpose of the Depot Park complex and Freight House, future rental of the Depot building, and continued restoration of the Depot. The workshop is open to the public to attend. Click here to read the meeting agenda.

October 1, 2013  Reformatory Branch Rail-Trail Meeting

On September 25, the Bedford DPW held an informational meeting about possible plans to link the Reformatory Branch Rail-Trail with the Minuteman Bikeway at Depot Park via Railroad Avenue. Click here to view a PDF of the slide show that was presented at this meeting.

October 1, 2013  Volume 19, Issue 3

Marcia Sternberg mailed the latest issue of our newsletter today. Included in it is an interesting story about section men on the local railroad.

September 10, 2013  Depot Park to Be Highlighted in Book

Michael Enos, a retired Boston & Maine Railroad engineer who authored The Railroad Was Our Life! - an interesting book about life on the B&M - returned to Depot Park in early September. He plans to highlight the Freight House and RDC 6211 in a new book that he is writing.  Photo  (left to right: RDC 6211 consultant Dan O'Brien, FBDP president Jim Shea, retired B&M conductor Lee Atkins, Michael Enos)

July 29, 2013  Member Merchandise Discounts

FBDP members are entitled to receive a 5% discount on most merchandise in our online store. Enter 5%member (no spaces) in the coupon field of the shopping cart. This discount applies to FBDP merchadise and not to membership dues, charitable contributions and merchandise from the Bedford Historical Society and Bedford Minuteman Company.

Visit the online store to see a variety of local history items. online store

July 11, 2013  Volume 19, Issue 2

The latest newsletter is back from the printer and is to be mailed today. The 100th anniversary of the former Boston & Maine Railroad Billerica Shops facility, which connected with the Lexington Branch, is covered in this issue.

July 10, 2013  2013 Annual Meeting

Please mark your calendar to join us for the 2013 Annual Meeting and Officer Elections on Saturday, October 5, at noon, inside the Depot Park railroad car. A complimentary lunch will be available. Entertainment is to be announced later.

March 22, 2013  Volume 19, Issue 1

The next newsletter issue has been printed and is headed to the Post Office. This issue contains articles about the final freight customers on the local railroad and plans to rehabilitate Bedford Depot.

February 26, 2013  Depot Park Slide Shows

FBDP is marking the 10th anniversary of the construction of Depot Park by opening its scrapbook.

Click here to view a slide show of photos that chronicle the extensive Depot Park site work that occurred between 2002 and 2005.

Click here to view a sequence of photos that show the renovations made to ex-Boston & Maine Budd Rail Diesel Car 6211 between 1998 and 2009.

Click here to see how the Bedford Freight House building was renovated between 2006 and 2009.

January 31, 2013  54 Loomis Street Project

A mixed-used development is being proposed to replace the vacant commercial building at 54 Loomis Street, adjacent to the Depot Park complex. Property owner David Cerundolo has shared with FBDP information about this project. Click here to open a PDF that shows renderings of the proposed residential/retail buildings and a site plan.

December 31, 2012  Volume 18, Issue 4

The next newsletter issue is headed to the printer. This issue contains interesting articles about water stations (tanks and columns) on the Lexington Branch and the B&B-related contents found within this 1928 letter from the War Department.

December 9, 2012  Freight House Is Ramping Down for the Season

Bedford Freight House will soon close for the winter. If you are considering a weekend visit during December, we recommend that you phone (781-687-6180) in advance to check whether the building is open. Merchandise may be ordered year-round through the online store.

December 9, 2012  Annual Appeal for Financial Support

Vice president Bill Deen and the other FBDP directors sent this letter to members to request that they consider supporting the organization's work with a contribution.

October 23, 2012  2012 Annual Report

If you did not obtain a copy of the 2012 Annual Report at the Annual Meeting, you may view a PDF version of it online. Control-click on the link to download the PDF to your computer.

October 18, 2012  Bedford Depot Painting Project

A contractor for the Bedford Facilities Department is painting the exterior of the Railroad Station Building in the classic B&M "cream and maroon" color scheme.  Photo

October 7, 2012  Volume 18, Issue 3

The next newsletter issue is back from the printer and ready for mailing. Included in this issue is a reprint of a 1928 Boston & Maine Railroad Employees Magazine article about the Billerica & Bedford Railroad. Also, read how you can help solve a mystery about a Hollywood movie that was partly filmed at Lexington Depot in 1952.

September 23, 2012  Annual Meeting on October 13 at Noon

Please join us for a complimentary lunch at the Annual Meeting on Saturday, October 13, at noon, in the railroad car at Bedford Depot Park. After the business portion of the meeting, a collection of rare Albert G. Hale photos of our local railroad will be displayed. Guests are welcome!

September 23, 2012  Panorama Photos of Depot Park

These panorama snapshots of Bedford Depot Park and surroundings that were taken with an iPhone 5 on September 23, 2012.  Photo 1  Photo 2  Photo 3  Photo 4  Photo 5  Photo 6

August 30, 2012  MBTA Lexington Branch Railroad Study

We scanned and converted for Web display a mid-1980s MBTA study that considered future uses of the former B&M Railroad Lexington Branch right-of-way between West Cambridge and Bedford, Massachusetts.

August 18, 2012  Rainbow Over the Freight House

We thank Heather Lawson for sending this photo and kind words.

I snapped this photo right after the thunderstorm that we had on Sunday and wanted to share it with you. Depot Park and the Rail Trails are truly a "Pot of Gold" that everyone can enjoy.

I also want to thank you for all of the great work that you do to preserve this important community resource! Thank you!

August 6, 2012  Depot Park Directional Sign

The Bedford DPW installed directional signs to Depot Park at the intersection of The Great Route (Routes 4 and 225) and Loomis Street.  Photo

August 6, 2012  Volume 18, Issue 2

The next newsletter issue is at the printer. This issue recognizes the 20th anniversary of the Minuteman Bikeway, which was built upon the roadbed of the old B&M Lexington Branch in 1992. Photos show locations in West Cambridge, Arlington and Lexington before and after the rail-trail's construction. A large 1950s photo of a Pacific-type steam engine in Bedford Railroad Yard appears in the centerfold.

July 1, 2012  Annul Meeting on October 13

Please save the date for FBDP's Annual Meeting:  Saturday, October 13, 2012. A "members appreciation day" is planned. Details will be published in the newsletter.

July 1, 2012  George Mansfield and the Billerica & Bedford Railroad

We are pleased to have Donald Ball's new hardcover book about the Billerica & Bedford Railroad available for sale in the Freight House and through our onliine store.

Billerica & Bedford Railroad book


May 8, 2012  Volume 18, Issue 1

The next newsletter issue is at the printer. This issue includes articles about the 35th anniversary of the end of passenger service on the Lexington Branch and the intersections of the Middlesex & Boston Street Railway and the local railroad. A large 1956 photo of Arlington Station appears in the centerfold.

March 7, 2012  Charles Dee and the Derailment at the Concord Filter Beds

Click here to listen to excerpts from our 1999 conversation with Charles Dee about his Reformatory Branch memories.

February 22, 2012  New Book About the Billerica & Bedford Railroad

Donald Ball has completed his thoroughly researched and illustrated book about the Billerica & Bedford Railroad. It is available at a special pre-publication price until June 1, 2012. Click here for more information.

February 7, 2012  Web Site Revisions

Changes are underway with this web site to make it more compatible with mobile devices such as the iPad and iPhone by removing Adobe Flash from the pages. The Flash-based menus were replaced with simple HTML menus. Next, oral history Flash videos are to be replaced with H.264 files. Should you encounter a broken link or technical problem, please contact the webmaster.

January 8, 2012  "The Last Train to Bedford"

Click here to view a video of the January 1998 move of ex-Boston & Maine Rail Diesel Car 6211 from Billerica Shops to Bedford Depot Park.

January 8, 2012  Volume 17, Issue 4

Volume 17, Issue 4, of FBDP's newsletter is now at the printer and ought to be mailed durng the week of January 8. Members, please contact clerk Meredith Clark should you not receive it within a reasonable period of time.

January 5, 2012  Bedford Whole Foods Fundraiser on January 12

Bedford Whole Foods has generously offered to help FBDP raise funds to keep the Freight House open on weekends during the 2012 bikeway season. The store has planned a "5% Day" on Thursday, January 12, 2012. Five percent of the store's sales proceeds from the day are to be contributed to the Friends to help pay for part-time cashiers this year. We are enormously grateful to Whole Foods for this community support!

January 5, 2012  Freight House to Reopen in April

Bedford Freight House is closed for the winter season. Please visit our online store!

December 3, 2011  Freight House December Schedule

Bedford Freight House will continue to be open on weekends in December 2011 provided that volunteer cashiers are available and the weather is not inclement. It is a good idea to phone the Freight House (781-687-6180) to confirm it is open before traveling a significant distance to visit.

November 27, 2011  Volume 17, Issue 3

Volume 17, Issue 3, of FBDP's newsletter was mailed to members on November 27. Members, please contact clerk Meredith Clark should you not receive it within a reasonable period of time.

October 25, 2011  New Minuteman Bikeway Map

In response to many requests from Depot Park visitors, the Bedford DPW has produced a color paper version of the rail-trail map that is displayed on the kiosk at Depot Park. It is available for only $2.00 inside the Freight House, from the Bedford Historical Society, or through our online store.

October 25, 2011  Results of the 2011 Annual Meeting

Members Meredith Clark and William Deen offered themselves as candidates for the offices of clerk and vice president, respectively. Treasurer Marcia Sternberg and president Jim Shea agreed to become candidates for reelection. Meredith, Bill, Marcia and Jim were elected to two-year terms by a unanimous vote of the members in attendance.

Director Jeffrey Lucas praised the organization for being successful in achieving its initial goals, notabley the establishment of Bedford Depot Park and the acquisition and cosmetic restoration of Budd Rail Diesel Car 6211. He suggested this is a proper time to reassess the organization's future goals. President Jim Shea appointed Jeff Lucas, Bill Deen and Donald Corey to a special task force to evaluate FBDP's current activities, particularly its operation of Bedford Freight House, and to make recommendations to the Board of Directors at an upcoming meeting.

August 10, 2011  Officer Candidates Needed for Annual Meeting on October 1, 2011

FBDP members, please click here for important information about the Annual Meeting.

June 8, 2011  Volume 17, Issue 1

Volume 17, Issue 1, of FBDP's newsletter was mailed to members on June 8. Please contact clerk Edward Stickney should you not receive it within a reasonable period of time.

May 4, 2011  Springtime at Bedford Depot Park

Photo 1  Photo 2  Photo 3  Photo 4  Photo 5

May 4, 2011  2011 Annual Meeting Is Scheduled for October 1

Please save the date for FBDP's Annual Meeting and Officer Elections:  Saturday, October 1, at 1:00 P.M., at the Depot Park railroad car. A guest speaker is to be announced later.

April 4 2011  Freight House Open for 2011 Bikeway Season

Bedford Freight House is again open on weekends as a service to Minuteman Bikeway users. We need the help of volunteer cashiers! Please contact us for more information about this rewarding and fun opportunity.

April 4, 2011  MBRRE/B&MRRHS Joint Meeting in RDC 6211

The Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts and the Boston & Maine Railroad Historical Socity are holding their joint annual meeting in RDC 6211 at Bedford Depot Park on Thursday, April 21, 2011, at 7:30 P.M.

February 11, 2011  Volume 16, Issue 4

Volume 16, Issue 4, of FBDP's newsletter was mailed to members on February 11. Please contact clerk Edward Stickney should you not receive it within a reasonable period of time.

January 2, 2011  Minuteman Bikeway Plowed During Winter

Following the lead set by Arlington and Lexington, Bedford has begun the practice of plowing its segment of the Minuteman Bikeway during the winter.  photo 1   photo 2

January 2, 2011  FBDP to Attend Amherst Hobby Show

Barry Sampson will represent the Friends at the Amherst Railway Society's "Big Railroad Hobby Show" in West Springfield on January 29 and 30, 2011. Click here for more information.

November 6, 2010  Billerica & Bedford Railroad Researcher Visits Area

Donald Ball visited the towns of Bedford and Billerica during the final week of October to conduct further research into the history of the B&B. Over the years, he has gathered much insightful information about the two-footer, particularly from the perspective of the geneaology of proprietor George Mansfield and his associates. Look for an article in the next newsletter issue that is due to be published in December.

November 6, 2010  Freight House to Close for Season on November 15

As winter approaches and activity on the Minuteman Bikeway slows down, we plan to close the Freight House for the year effective November 15. Please use our online store to order merchandise until the Freight House reopens in the spring.

November 6, 2010  2010 Annual Meeting Recap

Members and guests enjoyed three presentations at the Annual Meeting on October 2 that was held inside Rail Diesel Car 6211. Terry Gleason of the Bicycle Advisory Committee spoke about a pending grant application that would provide new amenities along the Minuteman Bikeway. The process of restoring the Bedford model railroad was highlighted by Arthur Ellis. This HO-scale layout is displayed inside the Freight House. Then, Richard Conard, a member of the Wayland Historical Commission gave an excellent talk about the history of the former B&M Central Massachusetts Branch and preservation efforts that are underway in the town.

During the business portion of the meeting, members voted in favor of proposed changes to Article Five of FBDP's Bylaws that establish two Directors At-Large.

A PDF version of the 2010 Annual Report may be downloaded here.

July 24, 2010  Online Supplement to Volume 16, Issue 2

View color snapshots of the Bedford model railroad that is displayed at Bedford Freight House. Also, read a series of colorful anecdotes about "life as a Bedford station agent" from former Boston & Maine Railroad spare agent William L. Patto, Jr..  Click here.

July 18, 2010  Stained Glass Art at the Depot

Bedford Depot has a new tenant, The Glass Cooperative, Inc. Learn more about this nonprofit art studio through the organization's web site.  Photo

July 18, 2010  Minuteman Bikeway Map

Although the (free) Minuteman Bikeway map that was published by the Town of Arlington some years ago is now out of print, a PDF version of the guide is available at this web address:

www.minutemanbikeway.org/Media/MinutemanBikewayBrochure2.pdf

Please note that the Minuteman Bikeway is well covered in the Rubel "Boston's Bike Map" that is sold at the Freight House and through FBDP's online store.

July 18, 2010  Volume 16, Issue 2

Volume 16, Issue 2, of FBDP's newsletter is at the printer. Among its features are a continuation of William Patton's A Day in the Life of a Bedford Station series and a reminisces from a reader who lived along the far western end of the Reformatory Branch in Concord.

For this issue, the editor dug through FBDP's photo collection to find this image of the Reformatory Branch roadbed that is west of the Assabet River. The photo dates to circa 1996.

June 13, 2010  Farmers' Market Resumes for 2010 Season

Farmers' Market at Bedford Depot Park kicks off its 2010 season on Monday, June 14, between 2:00 and 6:30 P.M. The event is scheduled to occur weekly each Monday afternoon, rain or shine, through October 18.

While at Farmers' Market, consider visiting the Freight House. With the participation of volunteer cashiers -- please let us know should you be able to help -- we shall endeavor to have the establishment open concurrent with Farmers' Market.

June 12, 2010  Freight House Office Is Back in Service

Four years after the Freight House second floor was emptied of furniture, equipment and archives to accommodate the building renovation project, the upstairs area has received new flooring and a fresh coat of paint. Marcia and Peter Sternberg and Jim Shea have put in much effort to reassemble FBDP's office, archives and storage area in recent weeks.

We thank Richard Michelson for providing space to store FBDP's furniture while the Freight House was closed for renovations!

May 22, 2010  Depot Park Is Subject for Local Photographer

Commercial photographer Carlton SooHoo chose Bedford Depot Park as the focus of a recent photo shoot.  Photo

March 31, 2010  The View From Bedford Freight House

Video from a Freight House web/secutity camera was sped up to show 13 hours of activity in only 10 minutes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vms9cuPJdbQ

March 24, 2010  Surfacing Planned for the Reformatory Branch Trail

At Bedford's Annual Town Meeting on March 23, voters amended and approved an article to design an asphalt-surfaced trail upon the Reformatory Branch beginning at a point near Railroad Avenue. The article was amended to extend the design of the improvements beyond Concord Road/Route 62 to the Concord town line. In a subsequent article, voters approved the expenditure of $210,000 in Community Preservation funds to pay for the 25% design plans.

These actions do not necessarily mean that the Reformatory Branch Trail would soon be paved. Concurrent with preparation of the 25% design, the Town intends to seek Federal and/or state funding for construction. The estimated construction cost is $2 million.

March 12, 2010  Depot Park Rentals

For information about using Rail Diesel Car 6211 for a meeting or special event or to rent an office unit at Bedford Depot, please visit this web page:

www.bedforddepot.org/rentals

March 12, 2010  Bedford Depot Train Order Signals

The DPW is working to restore the Depot's rooftop train order signals. New blades have been fabricated, roundels (lenses) were ordered to replace those that are missing or cracked, and the rusted mechanisms have been freed from their "stop" positions.

March 12, 2010  Volume 16, Issue 1

Volume 16, Issue 1, of FBDP's 12-page newsletter was mailed on March 11.

February 8, 2010 Calling All Modelers

Arthur Ellis would appreciate your help with the HO-scale model railroad of Bedford that is inside the Freight House. Please contact him for more information and to be placed on his e-mail list:  ArtEllis@BedfordDepot.org
Photo   Photo

February 8, 2010 Meeting Minutes and Reports Are Online

The meeting minutes page of this web site was recently updated with PDFs of meeting minutes from the FBDP Board of Directors and the Depot Park Advisory Committee. Included are Annual Reports.

February 8, 2010 2010 Annual Meeting

Please save the date for FBDP's Annual Meeting:  Saturday, October 2. Additional information will be published in the newsletter as the date grows nearer.

February 8, 2010 Volume 16, Issue 1

The first newsletter issue of 2010 is currently in the works. Subjects include memories of Lexington's Section House (maintenace-of-way facility) from member Paul Callahan, research performed by member Leonard Bachelder about Lexington Branch station stops in the 1970s, and the second installment of William Patton's Bedford station agent essay. Publication is scheduled for March.

December 26, 2009 Bedford Freight House to Reopen in April

Beginning in January 2010, the Freight House will be closed for the winter. It is to reopen when the bikeway season resumes in April. Meanwhile, please visit FBDP's online store to order any of our railroad history merchandise.

December 26, 2009 Help Needed at Future Hobby Shows

Barry Sampson wishes to represent FBDP at three upcoming hobby shows -- but he needs assistance with the setup, operating the cash register, and packing up. Can you help? You'll receive a free pass to the shows and our gratitude. Please contact Barry (vp@BedfordDepot.org or 781-862-5152).

Upcoming hobby shows in 2010:  Amherst Railway Society on January 30 and 31; Mystic Valley Railway Society on March 7; a possible trolley-related show in April.

December 26, 2009 Volume 15, Issue 4

"The Life of a Bedford Station Agent" is a new series of essays by William Patton that begins in the next newsletter issue. It is at the printer now; and ought to be in the mail the week of December 28th.

November 22, 2009 Rent RDC 6211 for Your Next Meeting or Event

The vintage ex-Boston & Maine Railroad passenger car at Depot Park is now available for rentals. For information and to make reservations, please contact Fay Russo at Bedford Town Center: 781-275-4880.

Please pick up a copy of this flyer the next time you visit the Freight House or #6211.

November 12, 2009 Freight House Holiday Sales

The Bedford Historical Society and Bedford Minuteman Company are teaming with FBDP to keep the Freight House open on weekends for holiday gift shopping, now through December 20. In addition, the Freight House is to be open the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 27. Hours are 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

See this flyer (PDF format) for a sampling of the unique history-related merchandise that is on sale and to get a discount coupon!

October 21, 2009 Freight House Web Camera

Now that Internet service has been reestablished at the renovated Freight House, the second floor web camera is back online.

http://www.bedforddepot.org/webcam

September 4, 2009  Speakers Announced for Annual Meeting on October 3

Members and guests are invited to attend FBDP's Annual Meeting and Officer Elections on Saturday, October 3, 2009, at 1:00 P.M., at Bedford Depot Park, 120 South Road. After the business portion of the meeting, we'll hear from two speakers.

William Patton will share memories of life as a Boston & Maine Railroad station agent. He was a temporary agent at depots on the Lexington Branch during the 1940s and '50s.

Arthur Ellis will describe work that is underway to cosmetically and operationally restore a large HO-scale model of the railroad in Bedford. This layout is displayed inside the Freight House. (Read more about this model railroad below.)

Also, this meeting will provide an opportunity to see the recently renovated Freight House building and ex-Boston & Maine Rail Diesel Car 6211.

September 4, 2009  Point-of-Information Kiosk at Depot Park

Recently, the Highway Department's contractor installed a point-of-information kiosk in the Depot Park plaza. Panels on the kiosk provide information about Rail Diesel Car 6211 and local railroad history. The Minuteman Bikeway, Depot Park area and nearby rail-trails are shown on a map panel. Additional information will be displayed on the kiosk's LCD monitor after it is made operational.  Photo

September 4, 2009  Bedford Farmers' Market Wraps Up 2009 Season on October 19th

Have you visited Farmer's Market this year at Bedford Depot Park? The weekly event continues on Mondays, between 2:00 P.M. and 6:30 P.M., through October 19, 2009.  Photo

August 4, 2009  Bedford Model Railroad Is Taking Shape

Arthur Ellis and his associates from the Hub Division of the National Model Railroad Association have started work to assemble an HO-scale model layout of the Bedford Depot area. This layout, which was donated to FBDP years ago by the children of the late Donald MacLean, is to be displayed inside the Freight House.

Photo   Photo

August 4, 2009  Watch the Bedford Depot Park "Ribbon Cutting"

Video recorded by Robert Batt of the June 15th Depot Park reception is now on YouTube.

Speakers in order of appearance are:  Joseph Piantedosi, chairman of the Bedford Depot Park Advisory Committee; Jim Shea, president, Friends of Bedford Depot Park; Angelo Colao, Selectman liaison to the Depot Park Advisory Committee; State Senator Susan Fargo; Luisa Paiewonsky, commissioner, Massachusetts Highway Department; and Richard Reed, Bedford Town Manager.

Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4

July 10, 2009  Freight House Resumes Operation

Bedford Freight House at 120 South Road is open again on weekends between 10:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M. as a service to Minuteman Bikeway users. Additionally and depending upon the availability of volunteer cashiers, the establishment is to be open on Monday afternoons 2:00 to 6:00 while Bedford Farmers' Market is occurring across the street.  Photo  Photo

June 16, 2009  The Ribbon Is Cut at Depot Park

A crowd gathered at Depot Park on June 15 to commemorate the renovation of the Freight House and Rail Diesel Car 6211. After remarks from state and local officials, the public had an opportunity to tour the building and railroad car.  Photo  Photo

This event will be covered extensively in an upcoming issue of FBDP's newsletter.

Click here to view a clip of president Jim Shea's comments at the ribbon cutting. Thanks to Robert Batt for recording this home video!

May 22, 2009  Depot Park Reception on June 15

The public is invited to attend an event to commemortate the conclusion of the Freight House and railroad car renovation projects on Monday, June 15, at 3:30 P.M., at Bedford Depot Park. After remarks from state and local officials, the public will have an opportunity to visit the renovated Freight House and Rail Diesel Car 6211. The reception is being hosted by the Town of Bedford and its Depot Park Advisory Committee.

May 9, 2009  Freight House Renovations

The state's contractor is tackling a "punch list" of items at the Freight House such as applying a second coat of paint on the building. Meanwhile, the Town is addressing the interior fit-out that includes new hardwood flooring plus electrical and plumbing work.  Photo  Photo  Photo  Photo  Photo

May 8, 2009  Depot Roof Project Is Underway

On April 30, the Town's contractor began work to replace the old Depot roof with one of cedar shingles. The project is to include millwork on the eaves. Completion is anticipated sometime in June.  Photo  Photo

March 15, 2009  Project 6211 in Final Stages

Please visit the "Project 6211" page to see snapshots of recent accomplishments. We hope to have the car ready for public viewing by the time the Freight House is reopened.

March 6, 2009  Volume 15, Issue 1

Volume 15, Issue 1, of FBDP's 12-page newsletter was mailed on March 3.

February 27, 2009  Newsletter Addenda - Volume 15, Issue 1

Supplemental information that is referenced in Volume 15, Issue 1, of Bedford Depot News is available on this web page.

January 16, 2009  Freight House Sign

The state's contractor recently returned to install a sign on the building and to work on the restrooms addition.  Photo 

December 22, 2008  Freight House Progress

Although the state's work on Bedford Freight House has slowed for the winter, substantial progress has been achieved since the project started last spring. Recent accomplishments include completion of the platform alongside the railroad car and application of one coat of paint (B&M "cream and maroon") on the building.  Photo

December 15, 2008  New DVD on Sale

Volume 7 of The Films of John M. Boardman is now available at FBDP's online store.

December 15, 2008  FBDP Merchandise Sold By Historical Society

We thank the Bedford Historical Society for carrying a variety of FBDP merchandise at their holiday gift shop. Volunteers are operating the shop for the month of December. It is located across from the Town Common on Great Road and is open most days.

October 26, 2008  Photos Posted to NERAIL

Snapshots of the Freight House and Rail Diesel Car renovation projects have been posted on the New England Railroad Photo Archive web site.

October 22, 2008  Freight House Progress

The state's contractor has begun to paint the building's exterior. Considerable work remains to be done on the inside.

October 21, 2008  2008 Annual Report Available Online

FBDP's 2008 Annual Meeting was held on October 11. If you were not in attendance, you missed an opportunity to visit RDC 6211 and receive a copy of the Annual Report. Go to the Minutes web page to download a PDF of the latter. As for a tour of the railroad car, that might have to wait until spring when we hope the Freight House renovations will be finished.

September 27, 2008  Volume 14, Issue 3

Volume 14, Issue 3, of FBDP's newsletter is in the mail. Included in this 12-page issue are updates on the Freight House and railroad car renovation projects.

September 7, 2008  Minuteman Bikeway Honored with an Award

The national Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has inducted the Minuteman Bikeway to its Hame of Fame. Local ceremonies are scheduled to occur on Sunday, October 5, 2008, starting at 1:30 P.M. Learn more on this web page.

August 17, 2008  Annual Meeting on October 11

Please save the date for FBDP's Annual Meeting: Saturday, October 11, 2008, at 1:00 P.M., at the Bedford Public Library meeting room. This is an off-year for elections. To commemorate the progress that has been made with renovations to RDC 6211 at Depot Park, we will present an illustrated history of Budd Rail Diesel Cars on the Boston & Maine Railroad.

August 17, 2008  Freight House Renovations

State contractors are making progress with renovation of Bedford Freight House. Work is now underway on the public restrooms addition.  Photo  Photo

June 20, 2008  Meeting Minutes

The Meeting Minutes page has been updated. It contains PDFs of meeting minutes from the FBDP Board of Directors meeting and the Selectmen's Depot Park Advisory Committee.

June 18, 2008  Volume 14, Issue 2

Volume 14, Issue 2, of FBDP's newsletter is in the mail. Included in this 12-page issue is part one of a conversation with Arlington Heights native Paul Harling. He talks about growing up along the Branch during the 1930s and '40s. Video excerpts from this interview are posted on FBDP's Oral History web page.

April 20, 2008  Narrow-Gauge Track Work on 5/10/08

Tom Dickey has scheduled a B&B work session for Saturday, May 10, at 8:00 A.M. Please join us -- no special skills are required. E-mail Tom a message for additional information.

April 20, 2008  Web Site Redesign

We are working behind the scenes on a comprehensive update of this web site. Click here for a preview of the new home page.

April 2, 2008  Freight House Renovations

The state has initiated its Freight House renovation project. They estimate completion within 450 days. Photo  Photo

March 16, 2008  Oral History Updates

Clips from our July 2006 oral history interview with Town Historian John F. Brown are being edited and posted to FBDP's web site. Please visit the Oral History page.

March 7, 2008  The Railroad Leaves Town -- March 29th

Professor Joseph Schwieterman, author of When the Railroad Leaves Town, will make a presentaton on Saturday, March 29, 2008, at 12:30 P.M., at the Bedford Public Library meeting room. Local B&M lines, including the Lexington Branch, will be a focus of his talk. The event is free to the public, and light refreshments will be provided. Click here to read more in a PDF document.

March 7, 2008  Volume 14, Issue 1

Volume 14, Issue 1, of FBDP's newsletter is in the mail. Included in this 12-page issue is an article about the "Mogul"-type steam locomotives that were once popular on the local railroad.

February 20, 2008  Bedford Depot Is for Rent

Proposals are due by March 24, 2008. Contact the Bedford Facilities Department at 781-275-5290 for more information. Basic background information is available on this web page.

January 5, 2008  Freight House Bid Opening

The Massachusetts Highway Department has opened the first round of contractor bids for their Freight House renovation project. Work on the building is expected to commence sometime this year.

December 3, 2007  Volume Six DVD  

Production of "The Films of John M. Boardman, Volume Six," has been completed. Buy this great DVD for $29.95 at our online store or by clicking this button:

<a href="http://shopsite.fatcow.com/ss8.3/sc/order.cgi?storeid=*14ccaa29afba40c60b1175da&dbname=products&sku=899728000092&function=add"><img  src="http://fbdp6211.fatcow.com/store/media/themesmedia/tab_blue_button_add.gif" alt="themesmedia/tab_blue_button_add.gif" width="83" height="22" vspace="3" hspace="3" border="0" ></a> 

October 26, 2007  Narrow-Gauge Track Session

Foreman Tom Dickey has scheduled a B&B track session for Saturday, November 17, at 8:00 A.M. Current and new "Gandy dancers" are invited to participate. Please e-mail Tom to be on his mailing list for this and future sessions.

October 26, 2007  Depot Study Presentation

Key findings from an architectural study of Bedford Railroad Station will be presented by the Depot Park Advisory Committee on Tuesday, November 6, at 7:30 P.M., in the Selectmen's meeting room at Bedford Town Hall. The public is invited to attend.

October 16, 2007  2007 Officer Elections

The incumbent officers were reelected by the members in attendance at the Annual Meeting on October 13.

September 7, 2007  Volume 13, Issue 3

Volume 13, Issue 3, of the FBDP newsletter was bulk-mailed on September 7. Members: please contact clerk Ed Stickney if you do not receive this issue in a reasonable period of time.

August 30, 2007  Depot Study Final Draft

The Depot Park Advisory Committee is now reviewing the final draft of the Depot architectural study and preservation plan. Highlights will be published in the upcoming newsletter issue.

July 9, 2007  2007 Annual Meeting on October 13

Save the date for FBDP’s 2007 Annual Meeting and officer elections: Saturday, October 13, at 1:00 P.M., in the Bedford Public Library meeting room.

After the business portion of the meeting, a video preview of Volume Six of The Films of John M. Boardman is to be shown. (This new DVD will go on sale later in the fall.) Then, members may visit ex-B&M RDC 6211 at Depot Park to see the progress that has been made to renovate the car.

Nominations for the offices of president, treasurer, clerk and vice president may be made from the meeting floor.

June 1, 2007  Volume 13, Issue 2

Volume 13, Issue 2, of the FBDP newsletter was bulk-mailed on May 30. Members: please contact clerk Ed Stickney if you do not receive this issue in a reasonable period of time.

May 21, 2007  Depot Study Interim Report

Click here for an update about the Bedford Depot architectural study.

November 6, 2013  Enhanced Oral History Videos

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May 14, 2007  Project 6211 Is Gaining

New lighting, air conditioning and more ... Check out the progress that is being made on Rail Diesel Car #6211.  Photo

May 3, 2007  Boardman Volume Two Available Again

The popular DVD, The Films of John M. Boardman, Volume Two, is back in stock at our online store.

May 3, 2007  Freight House Bid Opening Is Delayed

The Massachusetts Highway Department announced its intention to defer opening bids for their Bedford Freight House renovation project to the November/December time frame.

April 4, 2007  New Book on Sale

FBDP is please to add to is online store, A Field Guide to Southern New England Railroad Depots and Freight Houses. This 346-page softcover highlights every station and freight house building still in existence in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Yes -- Bedford Freight House and Depot are included! As with all our merchandise, sales proceeds benefit the Friends.

March 17, 2007  Oral History Addition

Another oral history interview has been conducted and added to the archives. Paul Harling recounted how he rode in the locomotive cab of a Lexington Branch train on the last official day of steam in 1955. When time permits, we'll post video excerpts on the Oral History page of this web site.

March 2, 2007  Volume 13, Issue 1

Volume 13, Issue 1, of the FBDP newsletter was bulk-mailed on March 2. Members: please contact clerk Ed Stickney if you do not receive this issue in a reasonable period of time.

March 2, 2007  A "Virtual Tour" of the Reformatory Branch Rail-Trail

Check out this web extra to Volume 13, Issue 1, of the Bedford Depot News newsletter.

February 28, 2007  Hobby Show Schedule (Spring 2007)

Hobby Show Committee chair Barry Sampson has announced a slate of upcoming railroad shows he plans to attend. A wide array of FBDP's merchandise will be on sale at these venues.

February 23, 2007  Freight House Reopening Remains on Hold

Bedford Freight House remains closed as the building awaits renovation by the Massachusetts Highway Department (MHD). It appears to us that the soonest the building might reopen is sometime in 2008.

The latest word from the state is that bids for their $453,000 project will be opened in April. The next steps would include selection of the general contractor and filed sub-bidders, execution of contracts, and then authorization from MHD to initiate the work.

February 14, 2007  Remembering Thomas F. McHugh

We are saddened to learn of the death of Thomas "Trigger" McHugh, a 40-year veteran of the Boston & Maine Railroad. In July 2005, Mr. McHugh was videotaped for FBDP's oral history project. We are in the process of transcribing the nearly three hours of recordings for a future newsletter series about Tom's railroad career. Over time, video excerpts of the interview will be posted in the Oral History section of this web site, too.

February 1, 2007  Newsletter Is To Expand

FBDP's newsletter is to gain 50% more pages, starting with the next issue. This issue will kick off an interesting series about the Boston & Maine's attempts to curtail passenger service on the Lexington and Reformatory Branches in 1926. The story will be told through reprints of enlightening newspaper articles, rare documents from the Interstate Commerce Commission's files, and the writings of residents who organized themselves against the railroad's efforts.

January 14, 2007  Reformatory Branch Rail-Trail Meeting

The Bedford Bicycle Advisory Committee will hold a meeting on Wednesday, January 31, at 7:30 P.M., in the Town Hall auditorium, to receive public input on the proposed surfacing of the Reformatory Branch Rail-Trail between Railroad Avenue and Concord Road.

January 14, 2007  North Billerica Train Show

FBDP will be represented by Barry Sampson at the Billerica Train Show on Sunday, March 4, 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. The event will be held at the Middlesex Canal Museum at 71 Faulkner Street in North Billerica, Massachusetts. Organizers plan to have four operating model train layouts and 12 vendors present.

December 4, 2006  "Bedford Depot News"

Volume 12, Issue 5, of FBDP's newsletter was mailed on December 4. Members: please contact clerk Ed Stickney should you not receive it within a couple weeks.

October 29, 2006  Whistle Post Arms Restored

Thanks to John Filios and Edward Stickney for repairing the upper-quadrant yellow arms on the two whistle posts near Bedford Station. The presence of this arm on a whistle post indicated to train crews that the upcoming grade crossing had to be flagged -- that there was no automatic protection such as flashers. Click here to view a short Flash video of John and Ed at work.

October 27, 2006  Firm Selected for Depot Study

The Selectmen have awarded a $40,000 contract to Menders, Torrey & Spencer, Inc., to perform an architectural study of Bedford Railroad Station. Information about this study may be read in this excerpt from the company's proposal. (1.8 megabyte PDF file)

October 27, 2006  State Delays Freight House Bid Opening

Word from DPW Director Richard Warrington is that the Massachusetts Highway Department has rescheduled opening bids for their Freight House renovation project. The agency has moved the bid opening from late November/early December to April 2007. We have not received an explanation for this additional delay.

September 27, 2006  Bid Opening Is Delayed

The Massachusetts Highway Department is deferring the opening of bids for its Freight House renovation project until late November/early December.

September 27, 2006  Designers Submit Proposals for Depot Study

Three design firms -- Carr, Lynch & Sandell, Inc., Menders, Torrey & Spencer, Inc., and TTL-Architects, LLC -- have submitted proposals to the Town of Bedford for an architectural study of the Railroad Station Building at Depot Park. The Selectmen have appointed a Designer Selection Committee to evaluate the proposals. The study is to examine both the interior and exterior of the building and produce schematic design drawings for any proposed renovations.

September 22, 2006  B&B Encore

If you missed seeing the historical exhibit about the Billerica & Bedford Railroad last year, here’s another chance. The Middlesex Canal Museum has extended this exhibit through the fall. The Museum is located at 71 Faulkner Street in North Billerica, and is normally open on weekends between noon and 4:00 P.M.

September 22, 2006  "Bedford Depot News"

Volume 12, Issue 4, of FBDP's newsletter was mailed on September 22. Members: please contact clerk Ed Stickney should you not receive it within a couple weeks.

September 19, 2006  "Romancing the Rail" on October 25

Bill Patton, a former Boston & Maine station agent who worked at Lexington, Arlington and Arlington Heights during the 1940s, will speak at the Wednesday, October 25th meeting of the Bedford Historical Society. The title of Mr. Patton's talk is "Romancing the Rail," a look at vintage railroad postcards and magazine art. The Society holds its meetings at the Congregational Church at 25 The Great Road. Refreshments will be served at 7:30 P.M.

September 15, 2006  Depot Park Flower Garden

Kudos go to the Bedford Garden Club for their attractive flower garden at the intersection of Railroad Avenue and South Road.  Photo 1  Photo 2

September 1, 2006  2006 Annual Meeting on October 14

The Board of Directors have set the 2006 Annual Meeting for Saturday, October 14, at 1:00 P.M. It will be held in the Bedford Public Library first floor meeting room.

September 1 , 2006  A Call for Project 6211 Volunteers

Although the DPW is having most of the rail car's renovation work performed by contractors, certain tasks are appropriate for volunteers to accomplish. Check our Project 6211 web page for more information.

September 1, 2006  MHD to Open Freight House Bids

We hear that the Massachusetts Highway Department is to open bids on their $344,000 Bedford Freight House renovation project in September.

September 1, 2006  B&B Track Foreman Has a Backyard Railroad

The Metro West Daily News published an article about the two-foot-gauge railway that Tom Dickey built in his backyard.

August 2, 2006  Rail Diesel Car 6211

The DPW has made progress with restoration of RDC 6211 at Depot Park. New windows have been installed and the electrical contractor has been hired. Read more on the Project 6211 page.

June 9, 2006  Boston & Maine RDCs

On our RDC History web page, we've created a slide show of the B&M Budd Car photos that Alan E. MacMillan donated to FBDP. Our thanks go to David S. Hutchinson for scanning these prints and negatives.

June 9, 2006  Newsletter Addenda on the Web

Newsletter readers may notice that certain articles conclude by mentioning a web address. This is a link to supplementary information on FBDP's web site. Here is an example: www.BedfordDepot.org/060607

June 9, 2006  "Bedford Depot News"

Volume 12, Issue 3, of FBDP's newsletter was mailed on June 9. Members: please contact clerk Ed Stickney should you not receive it within a couple weeks.

June 6, 2006  B&B Track Work

Foreman Tom Dickey has called a narrow-gauge work session for Saturday morning, June 24 (not on the 17th as previously noted). To be placed on his e-mail list, please contact Tom at: TomDickey@BedfordDepot.org

May 18, 2006  Funding for Depot Architectural Study

The Massachusetts Historical Commission has awarded Bedford a matching grant of $24,000 to perform an architectural study of the old Boston & Maine Railroad passenger station on Loomis Street. The study is to examine both the interior and exterior of the building, and will produce schematic design drawings for any proposed renovations. The project is being directed under the auspices of the Facilities Department.

April 11, 2006  Freight House Renovations Started

Interior demolition of Bedford Freight House is underway.

April 7, 2006  Mixed-Use Zoning

The Planning Board's proposed "village style zoning" for the Depot Park area was passed at Bedford's Annual Town Meeting.

April 7, 2006  "Bedford Depot News"

Volume 12, Issue 2, of FBDP's newsletter was mailed on April 3. Members: please contact clerk Ed Stickney should you not receive it within a couple weeks.

February 8, 2006  RDC 6211 Photo

Thanks to Richard Symmes and the Walker Transportation Collection at the Beverly Historical Society for sharing this snapshot of RDC 6211 that was taken in 1956.

February 2, 2006  RDC Operations Manual Is Donated

We thank engineer Alan E. MacMillan for donating his personal copy of a Budd RDC manual that he used on the B&M. It will be a fitting exhibit inside the restored #6211 at Depot Park.

January 5, 2006  More Video Exhibits Added

Three additional video clips from our June 2004 conversation with Ralph E. Fisher have been added to the Oral History page. The late Mr. Fisher occasionally worked on the Lexington Branch local freight train between 1946 and '52.

Ralph Fisher photo

January 2, 2006  The Magnificent Models of Wilbur Frey

Our friends at the Walker Transportation Collection of the Beverly (Massachusetts) Historical Society call our attention to a new exhibit. On public display in their museum are 25 large locomotive models that were made by master craftsman Wilbur T. Frey. Get more information and see photos on their web site.

December 5, 2005  Volume Four DVD  

After much work, "The Films of John M. Boardman, Volume Four," has been completed. Buy this great DVD for $29.95 at our online store or by clicking this button:

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December 1, 2005  Freight House Renovations on the Horizon

Mass. Highway has informed the Bedford DPW of its intention to advertise the Freight House renovation project for bid. FBDP began the process of suspending its operations in the building in January. The contents are being placed in storage. We invite you to make a "virtual shopping visit" to the Freight House through our online store.

October 28, 2005  Intersection Nearing Completion

Final paving and striping of the Depot Park intersection have been completed. The traffic signals will be installed in November, according to the DPW.  Photo  Photo

October 3, 2005  2005 Annual Meeting

Members attending the Annual Meeting on October 1 re-elected the incumbent officers to two-year terms. No other official business was transacted. A PDF of the Annual Report is available for download on the Meeting Minutes page.

June 21, 2005  Intersection Project Is Progressing

In Spring 2005, the Bedford DPW awarded an $839,000 contract to Charles Contracting Company of Watertown, Massachusetts, to rebuild the South Road/Railroad Avenue/Loomis Street intersection. Crews will be at work during the summer and through autumn. Photo
These roads cross in front of Depot Park. Photo

The redesign will provide new turning lanes, 10-foot-wide concrete sidewalks that link the Minuteman Bikeway and Narrow-Gauge Rail-Trail, and signal-controlled crosswalks. Pedestrians and cyclists should find it safer to cross the road once the project is complete. Photo

As of June 21, the contractor has removed most of the old pavement in preparation for a base layer of asphalt. Photo

The old Lexington Branch rails across South Road are now gone. Consider how many trains traversed this iron over the years! Photo

May 2, 2005  Rail-Trail Maps Are Now Available Online

PDF (Adobe Acrobat) versions of our guides to the Reformatory Branch and Narrow-Gauge Rail-Trails are now available for download from the Rail-Trails page of this web site.