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Precision National

Don Strack

Precision Engineering Company (PECo), got its start in Los Angeles,
California, in 1931 by manufacturing crankshafts. By 1939, the company had
expanded by adding plants at Mt. Vernon, Illinois, Clarks Summit,
Pennsylvania, and Waco, Texas (all of which were still active in early
1979). By 1960, the company had expanded further by the purchase of Ford's
Autolite Division (which made gray iron castings), located across the
street from PECo's Mt. Vernon facility. In 1963, PECo expanded into the
locomotive rebuilding business through the creation of its Locomotive
Division, its Associated Liner Division, and its Salvage Division. These
divisions also dismantled locomotives for usable and saleable parts, such
as power assemblies and other engine parts, which could, at times, bring
more money than the resale of the complete locomotive. From its first
locomotive purchase in 1963, and through early 1979, over 3,000 locomotives
had been purchased by PNC, with over 2,500 having been dismantled and
scrapped at its Mt. Vernon facility. (Extra 2200 South, Issue 66,
Oct-Nov-Dec 1978)

Precision National (changed from Precision Engineering Company, PECO, to
Precision National Corporation, PNC, in March 1970) went bankrupt and was
shut down in February 1997. In October 1997, as part of its rapid expansion
in the 1990s, National Railway Equipment purchased the land and shop
buildings of the bankrupt Precision National Corporation The former PNC
shop was reopened in December 1997, with NRE hiring many of the former PNC
employees. (Extra 2200 South, Issue 114, January 1998; Issue 115, May 1998)


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