Southern Pacific Railroad History Center


Gene Harmon

Vice President and Director

Gene started in sales with the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad in Chicago during the Paul Reistrup era. Promoted to market manager, he led the turnaround in profitability of the $80 million paper and fiber business. Moving to the Southern Pacific in 1978, he managed the $200 million paper business segment. At Southern Pacific, he conceived of and then implemented a major logistics service with Crown Zellerbach among many efforts to improve market share and profitability.

Gene became independent in 1984 and worked on the restructuring of Safeway Stores and the State Railway of Thailand, and led the turn-around of a moribund freight brokerage firm. He led the installation of a quality system for a logistics company and provided management consulting services for a wide variety of transportation and industrial clients. He has appeared as an expert witness before Federal District Court in Portland, Oregon. In 2000, he secured start-up capital and led the implementation of Speedlink, a total logistics freight service combining rail and truck services using a dedicated box car train between Portland and Los Angeles. He retired in 2013.

Harmon has a BA in History from Lake Forest College, has taught at the California Maritime Academy and Louisiana State University/Mississippi State University Logging School and worked with numerous interns seeking real world business experience as part of their MBA graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley.

He travels extensively around the world, enjoys hiking, working out, reading, model building, and photography. Mr. Harmon is active in a non-profit organization serving northern California.

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