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Ever wonder what that old tank that sat near the railroad crossing at Grove Street, in Bedford, was for?
According to D. W. Lawhorne, the city’s director of public works, the abandoned building behind it used to be home to the city’s department of public works. The tank was salvaged from a railroad tank car half a century ago in order to serve as a holding tank for liquid asphalt to treat roads.
A railroad spur once led to it and allowed the asphalt to be delivered by rail. A tank car would be left at the spur and its contents would be pumped into the tank through the top. It would then be transferred to trucks, as needed, through an outlet in the tank’s bottom.
The tracks for the railroad spur are long gone, but the base for the tracks is still visible. The tank is gone now, too. A crane lifted it off its base Friday afternoon, placed it on a tractor-trailer flat bed and it was hauled away. Lawhorne said that this is the first step in clearing away the long abandoned facility so that the lot can be used for other purposes.