As RTD prepares to debut its long-awaited west rail line at the end of April and interest in the region's long history of mass transit is at a peak, it might be a good time to pick up a copy of Riding Denver's Rails: A Mile High Streetcar History, Denver author Kevin Pharris's detailed account of the long-ago system of cable cars and electric trolleys -- one of the largest in the land -- that once transported citizens of Denver and its suburbs until it was dismantled in the 1950s. Beginning with the system's earliest routes, which were serviced by horse-drawn cars and steam engines pulling cars on existing tracks, Pharris follows the development and redevelopment of local transportation to the present, when we've ironically re-embraced rail transit with a passion.
Pharris comes by his expertise as a carless resident of the Whittier neighborhood who relies on buses, trains, his bike and his feet to get around; he took up transit history when he learned that his community has come full circle in terms of being a streetcar hub. Pharris will discuss and sign copies of the book tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street: perhaps you'd like to ride the mall shuttle down? Admission is free; for more information, go to tatteredcover.com or call 303-436-1070.
Wed., April 3, 7:30 p.m., 2013