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Western Railroad Discussion > Crete - Beatrice Return Trip

Date: 11/20/20 10:05
Crete - Beatrice Return Trip
Author: twjurgens

Following that BNSF Crete to Beatrice local is always an enjoyable day with the fresh air and rural scenery in the Big Blue River valley.  The trip down was at this link:  The Trip to Hoag, NE  Here are some shots from the return trip.
The first shot is a mile north of Hoag.  The two structures in the background are at the Koch Industries plant there.  Hope that expansion means they’ll start using rail again!
The next two shots are at Dewitt.  I’m standing approximately where the depot was.  Many of you might know that Dewitt was the home of Petersen Manufacturing, producer of Vise Grip products.  That plant was closed in the 80’s (maybe early 90’s) but now has been acquired by another company.  I’m not sure what the plans are.

Date: 11/20/20 10:06
Re: Crete - Beatrice Return Trip
Author: twjurgens

The fourth shot in this post is a going away shot at Dewitt.  Just on the other side of the crossing the engines are on, there was a junction switch for a line that ran west from Dewitt to Holdrege.  That line was abandoned in the 80’s.
The last two shots are of the train on the south side of Wilber.
By then, it was time to head home!  Hope to do this again soon.

Date: 11/20/20 10:37
Re: Crete - Beatrice Return Trip
Author: callum_out

Nice shots, the Petersen plant shut down while I was still living in NE so after 2007 or so.


Date: 11/21/20 06:18
Re: Crete - Beatrice Return Trip
Author: twjurgens

Thanks!  Glad you liked the pics.

You're right about the closure!  Here's some history I found events since the mid 80's:

In 1985, American Tool Companies, Inc was formed by the Petersen family and acquired Petersen Manufacturing.  In 1993, American Tool acquired IRWIN Tool Company.  Then in 2002, Newell Rubbermaid acquired American Tool and that name was officially changed to IRWIN Industrial Tool Company.   According to info I found, the plant actually closed in 2008 when the parent company moved production to China.  That put over 330 people out of work. 

Malco Products, a Minnesota based company that makes specialty tools, mostly for the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industry bought the Dewitt plant in 2016.  According to Malco, the company is still in the process of developing prototypes of a locking tool of their own and other products and so only has a "modest staff" in place.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/21/20 06:20 by twjurgens.

Date: 11/21/20 07:09
Re: Crete - Beatrice Return Trip
Author: SP8595

Great chase and pics!

Date: 11/21/20 13:39
Re: Crete - Beatrice Return Trip
Author: alcoc636

Nice series on branch line railroading. Thanks for sharing.

Tim Dickinson
La Verne, CA

Date: 11/21/20 18:30
Re: Crete - Beatrice Return Trip
Author: SCKP187

Nice shots.  I like the branch locals that you chase over time
Brian Stevens

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