Near Strasburg in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Reading Observation No. 1
Build Date: 1937
Retirement Date: 1982
Number Built: 2
Weight: 97,000 lbs.
Length: 85 ft.
PHMC Cat No. RR78.52
As the nation pulled itself out of the Great Depression, the Reading Company launched a new premier passenger service from Philadelphia to Jersey City. In search of a name for the new streamliner, the Reading held a contest among Philadelphia school children, paying the winner $250 (equivalent to nearly $3,000 in 2005). The Crusader debuted on December 12, 1937 to a great fanfare.
Sleek and elegant, the train was designed for passenger comfort and operating efficiency. The five-car train included a diner in the center, and an observation coach at each end, thereby eliminating the time-consuming need to turn the whole train around at each terminal. Two of the Reading's G3a class Pacific-type steam locomotives were clad in a matching cloak of stainless steel to complete the train.
The Crusader continued to make its twice-daily run until 1968, when the train was retired in favor of more cost-effective Diesel Cars. The entire train was sold to Canadian National, where it remained in service until the early 1980's. Car No. 1, one of the two observations, was purchased by Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in 1983 and moved
(Banner at bottom of marker):
The Crusader was the first stainless steel streamlined passenger train in the Northeast.
Erected by Pennsylvania Railroad Museum.
Location. 39° 58.944′ N, 76° 9.729′ W. Marker is near Strasburg, Pennsylvania, in Lancaster County. Marker can be reached from Gap Road / Strasburg Road (Pennsylvania Route 741), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Located in the outdoor display lot for the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum. Marker is in this post office area: Strasburg PA 17579, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Monongahela Railway No. 67 (here, next to this marker); Pennsylvania Railroad No. 6755 (within shouting distance of this marker); Pennsylvania Railroad No. 3750 (within shouting distance of this marker); Lehigh Valley No. 40 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Pittsburgh and Lake Erie No. 508 (about 300 feet away); Pennsylvania Railroad No. 460 (about 300 feet away); Pennsylvania Railroad No. 7688 (about 300 feet away); Strasburg Rail Road (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Strasburg.
More about this marker. On the left is a photo of showing that, The smooth
Also see . . .
1. Pennsylvania Railroad Museum. (Submitted on June 14, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. The Crusader. Wikipedia article about the train. (Submitted on June 14, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Categories. • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 14, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 710 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 14, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.