Gerald Murdock, last chief engineer for SP, passes

Trains Industry Newsletter
Get a weekly roundup of the industry news you need.
By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine. View our privacy policy.
Gerald Murdock, SP's last chief engineer
ST. GEORGE, Utah — Gerald Lee Murdock, the last chief engineer of the Southern Pacific and the subject of a 1983 Trains story, died at age 90.

Murdock hired out as a rodman in Ogden, Utah, on SP’s Salt Lake Division in 1947 and worked his way through the ranks and retired as the last chief engineer of the original pre-merger Southern Pacific. Along the way he worked on the Texas & Louisiana Line, managed construction of a diesel shop at Taylor Yard in Los Angeles, worked as division engineer on the San Joaquin Division (Tehachapi), the Northwestern Pacific, and Western Division. Special projects included working on the Palmdale Cutoff, the Great Salt Lake fill, and hyrailling the Rock Island’s Golden State Route to estimate the cost of rehabilitating the line for SP. He was featured in the August 1983 Trains Magazine story, “Rx for a Broken Jawbone.”

Murdock retired in 1989 and continued consulting including the construction of an engine facility for Caltrain in San Jose. He also worked on the movie “Money Train” in which he transformed a yard in Southern California to look like the New York Subway system where a sound stage was constructed. He enjoyed his time working in the movies but remarked that he got more pleasure constructing something that would not be destroyed soon after its construction.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

  • Previous Day
  • March 11, 2019
  • Next Day
Leave a Comment
Want to leave a comment?
Only registered members of are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
Please keep your feedback on-topic and respectful. Trains staffers reserve the right to edit or delete any comments.


Complex railroad locations.

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy
Subscribe Up To 54% off the newsstand price!
Subscribe To Trains Mag Today