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Chris Oldham

Welcome to the website of Seattle artist Christian Oldham. Chris specializes in watercolor paintings of trains and railroad-related subjects. You will find examples of his work and currently available paintings in the gallery. If you are interested in purchasing one of Chris’ paintings, please contact him. Thank you for your interest.

Chris has been interested in railways since he was a boy. A family trip on the Union Pacific’s “City of Los Angeles” from Denver to LA in 1970 provided the spark for what has been a life-long passion for trains. Since then, Chris has watched and photographed railroads across the continent, in Europe and New Zealand. During his college years in New England, he watched the last few years of the independent Boston & Maine. And while in law school in Michigan, Chris spent some of his rare free time watching the Detroit, Toledo & Ironton and Ann Arbor Railroads before they were subsumed. Having lived most of his life in the West, Chris has spent many hours at trackside from Sherman Hill to Tehachapi Pass to the British Columbia Railway. Chris has taken thousands of train slides and collected hundreds more. In addition, Chris has an extensive library of railroad-related books and magazines. These personal experiences and resources provide a wealth of information on which Chris can draw to accurately depict a particular scene.

Chris has also been a model railroader for many years having worked in HO-scale for the last 25 years. Though he lives in Seattle, his basement-sized model railroad, the “prototypically-freelanced” Allegheny & New England, is based on the anthracite railroads of Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley in particular.

A self-taught artist, Chris has loved to draw and paint for his entire life. His paintings seek to evoke a particular nostalgia for the North American landscape and to stir a sense of adventure railroads create. Chris strives for accuracy while at the same time keeping his work within the realm of fine art. While his work focuses on trains, he also enjoys painting aircraft and landscapes which don’t include trains.

News and Events

Chris is honored that he was among the artists selected to illustrate the beautiful guide maps published by Bella Terra Maps. Please see all of their products at including maps of railroad-related points of interest throughout the United States.

Chris is proud to be a founding member of the newly formed American Society of Railway Artists.

Chris is honored to be represented by the California Watercolor gallery in Fallbrook, California. To see his work available there, please follow this link.