Travel by Train

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 or call 303-436-1070.
Wed., April 3, 7:30 p.m., 2013

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd