Richard H. Mitchell acquired his lifelong interest in American railroading from his father, who was a chef on the dining cars of the Southern Pacific’s most prestigious trains. “His vivid descriptions of railroad operations during and following World War II, coupled with family drives along the routes of the Southern Pacific, Santa Fe, and Union Pacific railroads during the 1950’s and 60’s, built my life-long interest in the industry.” In high school he studied under Frank Swinford, an accomplished watercolorist who encouraged students to draw and paint with intensity and heart. Richard turns to the pencil to depict the fascinating mechanical complexity of the steam locomotive. Reared in the San Francisco Bay Area, he nonetheless attended college in Boston and later worked and traveled throughout the United States. He’s retired from a career in private industry and public service.