Formerly known as "Creepy-chusetts, Strange-chusetts".

Monday, September 20, 2010

Railroad tracks @ Minuteman Bikeway, Lexington

 The Minuteman Bikeway --a bicycle path connects Alewife and Bedford -- used to be a railroad. One day on my bicycle ride, I noticed a remain of train tracks on my left after passing the Lexington train depot to the direction of Bedford.

Train Depot, Lexington Center
Historical overview of the railroad on the left
The Lexington and West Cambridge Railroad opened in 1846, connecting West Cambridge (modern day Alewife Station) and Lexington Center. In 1873, the Middlesex Central Railroad (a subsidiary of the Lexington & W.C. Railroad) extended the service to Bedford, completing the current bikeway route. I guess the remain I saw is a part of the 1873 addition.

Swamp behind
Looking bikepath from tracks
The Boston and Maine Railroad took over the service in 1887, and the MBTA subsidized it in 1965. Eventually, the MBTA purchased the railroad in 1976 after the B&M’s bankruptcy. However, the passenger service ended only a year later, and the final freight service was in 1981. The railroad tracks were removed in 1991 to make a way for the present bikepath.

A tree between rails has swollen up
How many years abandoned, 20 or 30 ?
The Minuteman Bikeway was completed in 1993. Now, a shout of “On your leeeeeeeft” echos the path like a locomotive whistle.

Locate Railroad tracks @ Google Map

1 comment:

  1. Never knew about this and I work right there! Going to check it out today. Thanks and I LOVE your site!