RAILROADS: Up From the Road Gang

The Southern Pacific Railroad, the No. 2 U.S. road in trackage (12,441 miles),* prides itself on the fact that it trains its own brass. Its top officers have worked up from shirtsleeves, spent all their working years with the railroad. Last week, as President A. T. Mercier approached the compulsory retirement age of 70, Southern Pacific's directors had no trouble finding his successor: Donald J. Russell, 51, executive vice president, who moves into his new job in January as the youngest president in the railroad's history.

Like Mercier, who began as a transit-man and roadmaster's clerk, Russell trained as an engineer...

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