Traveling in Style: The Reading Crusader
In 1937 the Reading Railroad Company launched the “Reading Crusader,” a half million dollar streamlined train built by the Edward G. Budd Manufacturing Company. The Reading Company promoted it as the “World’s most modern train.” The train was noted for its streamlined appearance and stainless steel construction. It featured insulated cars with heating and air conditioning, direct and indirect lighting, and comfortable reclining chairs in each lounge car. In its inaugural debut, “The Crusader” made the run from Philadelphia to Hershey on Monday, November 29, 1937. More than 150 people were passengers on the train’s first run. When it arrived in Hershey, the passengers disembarked and had lunch at the Hotel Hershey. During this time the train was taken to the Rutherford yards, watered, and then brought back to the Hershey countryside so that film makers could get various shots of the engine and the train in motion. The train then returned to the Hershey Station for its first public exhibition. Several thousand people gathered at the Hershey Train Station to inspect the new train.