Martin W. Clement

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Martin W. Clement as Superintendent of the New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk Railroad in 1917.

Martin Withington Clement (1881–1966) was the 11th President of the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), from 1935 to 1948.

Clement was born and raised in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, and was the son of Major General Charles M. Clement. He attended Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, graduating in the Class of 1901 with a degree in civil engineering.

Martin W. Clement was a veteran of the Pennsylvania National Guard’s 12th Regiment. During World War I he was an advisor to the U.S. Railroad Administration, and he performed a similar function for the War Department during World War II.

After serving with the Pennsylvania National Guard, he joined the Pennsylvania Railroad as a rodman for the principal assistant engineer of a PRR subsidiary. Rising through the railroad's engineering ranks, Clement assisted in surveying the floor of the Hudson River during construction of Pennsylvania Station, New York City in the 1900s.

After serving as superintendent of transportation of the United States Railroad Administration during World War I, Clement was tapped to become head of the PRR's Lake Division in Cleveland, and steadily rose through the corporate ranks to the PRR's executive vice-presidency.[1][2]

Clement was formally nominated to the PRR presidency in April 1935 by his retiring predecessor, William Wallace Atterbury, in whose capacity Clement had acted since July 1934.[3] Under Clement, operating revenues grew from $368 million in 1935 to a peak of over $1 billion in 1944. One of his great accomplishments was the continuation of electrification of the PRR mainlines, begun under General Atterbury, from New York City to Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He also oversaw the introduction of more streamlined locomotives, new and old passenger cars that were air-conditioned, and the beginning of dieselization. By the end of World War II, PRR controlled more than 20 percent of American passenger traffic and 11 percent of freight traffic.[4]

Succeeded by Walter S. Franklin in the railroad's presidency, Clement continued to serve as Chairman of the Board until 1951, and as a PRR director until 1957.[1] Clement retired to his home in Rosemont, Pennsylvania, where he died on August 30, 1966. Two days later, all PRR trains systemwide came to a stop for one minute at 3:00 PM Eastern Time in his honor.[5] Clement was buried at Church of the Redeemer Cemetery in Bryn Mawr.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Inkrote, Cindy (29 November 2010). "Native son became PRR leader". The Daily Item. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "PRR Chronology 1933" (PDF). Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "PRR Chronology 1935" (PDF). Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Martin W. Clement from 20th Century American Leaders Database, Harvard University
  5. ^ "PRR Chronology 1966" (PDF). Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Martin W. Clement at Find a Grave

External links[edit]

Preceded by
William Wallace Atterbury
President of the Pennsylvania Railroad
Succeeded by
Walter S. Franklin