The Colorado Railroad Museum is set to host Dick Kreck, author of Hell on Wheels: Wicked Towns along the Union Pacific Railroad (2013) as part of its Colorado Rails & Cocktails series on April 17th.

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The book Hell on Wheels: Wicked Towns examines the overall framework for the construction of the westward transcontinental Union Pacific railroad in the post-US Civil War era, including the mobile “Hell on Wheels” tent towns that followed the tracks. These towns sought to siphon workers’ wages with the attractions of gambling, drinking saloons, and paid female companionship. The AMC Western TV series Hell on Wheels (2011 to Present), entering its fifth season this year, is based on such historical events. In the following AMC clip from the show’s first season, the cast and crew discuss their views of what the coming of the railroad meant:


Located 20 minutes west of Denver in Golden, Colorado (this writer visited there in January), the Colorado Railroad Museum is presenting a series of evening lectures thru 2015 that explore how railways have defined the American West. Upcoming lectures include “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad: The Life and Times of a Gandy Dancer” (June 12th) and “Railroading the Rockies: A Grand Tour Aboard Colorado’s Surviving Passenger Railroads” (November 13th).  For further information about the 2015 lecture series and the museum itself, visit Rails & Cocktails.

(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)

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