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Sierra Grande Press, P.O. Box 658, Sandia Park, New Mexico 87047 • silverrails@sierragrandepress.com

 

 

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Book Review by Matt Darling Silver Rails: The Railroads of Leadville, Colorado by Christopher James While at the Como Depot dedication on August 22nd your editor was lucky enough to run into a Mr. Christopher James, an author who was selling his new book, Silver Rails: The Railroads of Leadville, Colorado. Silver Rails is a well written, concise general overview of the railroad history of Leadville, Colorado, totaling 288 pages, published by Sierra Grande Press. The author does a good job explaining the massive mining boom in the Leadville region (before the silver crash of 1893) that caused Colorado's three mountain railroads to race to the immense riches being extracted from the hills. The book starts with the first mineral strikes and extends all the way to the present day, with the operations of Leadville Colorado & Southern tourist RR. Many descriptive maps are included, with a number of them focusing on Leadville and the Rio Grande's maze-like Ibex and Graham Park branches. The Rio Grande's/Santa Fe's "Royal Gorge War" is discussed, as well as the Colorado Midland's epic winter battle of 1899.The vital role of the molybdenum mine at Climax is discussed at length. There's a little something for everyone; be it steam, diesel, Victorian era or modern day. Silver Rails is a good addition of any Colorado Railfan's library. Your editor also got his copy signed.