Tom Murray grew up in New England. After college, he went to work for Boston & Maine in 1970 as a yard clerk at Worcester, Mass., not knowing that this would be the beginning of a railroad career. In 1973 he moved from B&M to Soo Line, where he worked in a series of line operating positions, from assistant trainmaster at St. Paul to terminal superintendent at Chicago. He moved on to U.S. Railway Association in Washington, D.C., in 1978, and then to a D.C.-based transportation consulting firm. From there he went to a marketing position with CSX, and in 1990 moved west to work for Southern Pacific.
Departing from Union Pacific soon after its acquisition of SP was completed, he has freelanced as a consultant and writer since 1997. For 11 years he edited and published a newsletter, Rail StockWatch, that covered the rail industry from a financial perspective. He has written six books for the MBI/Voyageur Press Railroad Color History series, and more than a dozen articles for Trains. His website is tmrail.com.