Take a good look at the city seal of Houston, and you'll see a train engine. (It's been there since 1840.) That's because Houston was once a major railroad hub, with tracks from more than a dozen companies crisscrossing the city. During today's Houston, Where Seventeen Railroads Met the Sea lecture, ferroequinologist and author Doug Weiskopf will present the city's tangled relationship with trains. "This talk is geared towards a general audience, towards people who aren't quite as nutty about trains as I am," says Weiskopf. He'll discuss how the train service helped to shape Houston during its early years, and comment on what Houstonians have lost as rail travel has diminished. "I think railroads are romantic, and they're a great way to travel. Every time I get on I-45, I like to remind people that 60 years ago, we would have had our options of two trains that left Houston at 5 p.m., where we would have had a delicious dinner, relaxed and then gotten into Dallas or Fort Worth by 9 p.m. You certainly can't do that now." Noon to 1 p.m. Heritage Society, 1100 Bagby. For information, call 713-655-1912 or visit www.heritagesociety.org. Free.
Thu., July 16, noon, 2009