Winchester commemorates train derailment
Baehnman, Wagner to describe first-hand experiences
Jim Baehnman and Richard Wagner will present “The Weyauwega Train Derailment — It Was 25 Years Ago” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 8.
Hosted by Winchester Academy, the program will be presented virtually, due to concerns of the coronavirus pandemic.
Two Weyauwega area residents who lived through and responded to the resulting area evacuation and 16-day-long fire will tell the story of the March 4, 1996, Weyauwega train derailment.
Baehnman served as the acting fire chief and liaison with residents and county, state, federal, safety response and railroad officials to direct the evacuation and oversee extinguishing the fire.
Wagner, vice president of Weyauwega Milk Products, was responsible for redirecting milk deliveries after that cheese making plant, located 400 feet from the derailment site, had to be shut down for 18 days.
Both Baehnman and Wagner will provide personal insights, including details of the event, the evacuation of their families and their efforts during the emergency.
Baehnman is a lifelong resident of Weyauwega.
One of his greatest passions was being a member of the Weyauwega Fire Department, where he served for 43 years, 12 years as the assistant chief and nine years as the chief, retiring in 2012.
Wagner earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and a master’s and doctorate in food science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
He is the retired vice president of Trega Food (formerly Weyauwega Milk Products).
Wagner has served on numerous boards, including the board of Winchester Academy.
The broadcast can be heard on WILW 96.3 FM or viewed on WIN-TV, Facebook Live or YouTube.
Viewers may visit www.winchesterwaupaca.org for a hotlink to the program.
Questions to the speakers may be submitted via Facebook or by calling 715-942-9917 during the program.
Nancy Nelson is the sponsor of this program.