As track was laid for the transcontinental railroad, instant cities sprung up along the way. They were meccas for gamblers, land speculators, prostitutes, and thugs. In his new book, "Hell on Wheels: Wicked Towns Along the Union Pacific Railroad," Dick Kreck chronicles the era. Kreck retired from The Denver Post after 38 years as an editor and columnist. He spoke with Lesley McClurg.

[Photo: Justin Cozart]