Samuel R. Goodman, 77, who retired from the Southern Railway System in 1969 as senior assistant vice president for marketing, died of congestive heart failure Sunday at Montgomery General Hospital. He lived in Olney.

Mr. Goodman was born in Nottingham, England. When he was still an infant, his family moved to Richmond, Va. He attended T.C. Williams Law School there.

He began his railroad career in 1917 as a rate clerk with the Atlantic Coast Line in Wilson, N.C. Two years later, he joined the Chesapeake & Ohio. In 1920, he went to work for the Southern. Except for an assignment in 1949 as a member of the National Committee of the Railway Express Agency in New York City, he worked for the Southern in Richmond and Washington until his retirement.

He was stationed in Richmond, where he worked on rates, until 1937, when he was transferred to Washington. He was promoted to freight traffic manager, general freight traffic manager, assistant vice president and finally to senior assistant vice president for marketing.

Mr. Goodman's first wife, Mary Gay Goodman, died in 1972.

Survivors include his wife, Ruth L., of Olney; a daughter, Mary Gay Jefferys of Chicago; a sister, Rose Weidenfeld of Richmond, and two grandsons.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Cardiac Care Unit, Montgomery General Hospital, 18101 Prince Phillip Dr., Olney, Md., 20832.