The mission of the NASHVILLE STEAM PRESERVATION SOCIETY is to preserve our history by restoring and operating relevant historic railroad equipment for the purposes of education, tourism, and goodwill to and for METRO NASHVILLE.
The restoration of Locomotive 576 to operation will serve as a visceral link to the history of Nashville and honor those who make the region great. The locomotive was designed in Nashville and has called the Music City home since delivery from the factory in 1942.
The rebuilding of Locomotive 576 to operation is influenced by a variety of important key goals:
• RESTORE the locomotive to operation for the general publics enjoyment
• PARTNER with Metro Parks to provide excursion train tickets for sponsored underprivileged children’s programs
• BOLSTER the Entertainment Industry to utilize the locomotive in films, videos, and television production
• PROVIDE a transparent, visitor-and family- friendly environment during the restoration and operation of the locomotive (including when stored at its shop while not in use)
• CREATE and grow public support and awareness
• EDUCATE about the important roll the 576 played for Nashville and the Nation during WWII
• OPERATE special trains in connection with Nashville, Metro Parks, and other local venues as well as creating special events utilizing the locomotive in operation and display
• ENGAGE the community through outreach to encourage volunteers and to provide hands on technical trade training for welding, machining, and mechanical comprehension
Board of Directors
Born and raised in Nashville, TN and graduated from Nashville Christian School as a member of the National Honor Society, Meador began his railroad carrier as a summer steam locomotive fireman at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM) in 1994 and qualified as a locomotive engineer in 1996 on steam and diesel locomotives.
After being honorably discharged from the United States Navy, Meador began working for Norfolk Southern as a Machinist in Chattanooga as well as continuing part time duties at TVRM coordinating the Southern 630’s restoration. Starting in 2010, he was given the opportunity for a 3 year leave of absence from Norfolk Southern to manage the steam locomotive projects for use on Norfolk Southern’s 21st Century Steam program at TVRM. During that time, he successfully led the extensive restorations of Southern steam locomotives 630 and 4501 back to mainline service. By creating a safe, positive, and educational atmosphere, he was able to recruit and retain volunteers throughout the project which helped to reduce labor costs significantly. Meador has operated all 4 steam locomotives currently participating in the Norfolk Southern’s 21st Century Steam program on 6 divisions traversing thousands of miles on mainline track.
Meador’s background, leadership, and experience in locomotive management, personnel management, restoration project management, maintenance, and safely operating these unique and historic machines will prove to be a valuable asset to NSPS and the projects it will take on.
Bebout began his Railroad career in 1989 operating excursion trains on the Nashville and Eastern Railroad. He also worked for the Broadway Dinner Train from 1989-1999 as Brakeman and Conductor. Terry is currently president of the Tennessee Central Railway Museum (TCRM), a position he has held since 1991. At the TCRM, Bebout manages operations and volunteer work force, ensuring excursion trains operate safely and successfully.
His full time profession is serving as the General Manager of the Music City Star commuter train that operates between Lebanon (Tennessee) and Nashville. In addition to his managerial duties, Bebout is a qualified Conductor, Engineer, Dispatcher and Supervisor of Locomotive Engineers on the Nashville and Eastern Railroad.
A Nashville native, Bill earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from Memphis State University and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Fraud Examiner in Tennessee. He currently lives in West Memphis, Arkansas with his wife, Charlotte and two cats. Bill has more than 38 years of experience in tax and accounting services, including federal and state tax consulting for corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, estates and trusts, and exempt organizations. At an early age, Bill began acquiring mechanical skills that later served to fund his education. As an ardent “gearhead”, Bill has broad mechanical and electrical experience covering automotive, agricultural, and industrial fields.
Bill has a lifelong passion for railroads – large and small. When Frisco #1351 was removed from Memphis Libertyland Park, he assisted with the entire move. He also assisted the Memphis Transportation Museum with their stainless-steel passenger car fleet including conversion to 480V HEP. Bill is also an avid scale modeler and has associated with several model railroad groups. He currently focuses on authentic restoration of American Flyer S gauge trains.
Joseph Darby joins the Nashville Steam Preservation Society as a Mechanical Engineering student from Georgia Tech with several years of management experience. Darby’s management training began in at Druid Hills High School in Atlanta, GA where he became the Operations Officer in charge of more than 200 Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadets. In that time he received a score of 95 on the ASVAB for the United States Military and received training with the Air Force at Kirtland Air Force Base.
Continuing his education, Darby enrolled at Georgia Tech where he currently is a senior and studies Mechanical Engineering. At Georgia Tech, under the institute’s Co-op program, he hired on with Norfolk Southern as a Car Accountant in the Atlanta office. He then received a transfer to the railroad’s Chattanooga Diesel Shop where he was involved in the NS Lean Program for increasing operational efficiency.
Simultaneously, he volunteered at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum for two years assisting in the restoration of ex-Southern Railway 4501.
Jim Wrinn, Director
Jim Wrinn has been the editor of Trains magazine since 2004. He is a vice president for the North Carolina Transportation Museum Foundation, the non-profit that works with the state of North Carolina to develop the former Southern Railway Spencer Shops complex.
His experience at NCTM began in 1986 as a mechanical volunteer, and he also worked as a conductor and engineer there. He was part of the team that restored a Shay locomotive for the museum and took it on tour to California in 1999. He served on the Fire Up 611! Committee and was the founding president of the Southern Railway Historical Association.
He has written or co-authored five books on railroad history. He is a member of the awards committee for the Association of Tourist Railroads & Railway Museums and coordinates Trains magazine’s annual preservation award.
Gary Bensman, Director
Gary Bensman began his railroad carrier in 1973 with the Hocking Valley Railway in Ohio as a fireman and hostler engineer, as well as assisted with boiler and running gear repairs. In 1975 he graduated from ITT Tech, with an Associates Degree in Architectural/ Structural/ Civil Engineering. He then began working for the Norfolk and Western Railway as a Civil Engineer while simultaneously performed the duties of Chief Mechanical Officer in charge of steam locomotive 765 in Fort Wayne, IN. During that time, he performed 3 complete rebuilds and operated the locomotive and trains over many mainline railroads in the eastern U.S. In 1979 he founded Diversified Rail Services where he currently serves as President and performs steam locomotive and passenger car restoration and maintenance services.
As President of Diversified Rail Services, Bensman has been responsible for total project management of twenty-seven complete mechanical restorations of steam locomotives of all sizes, mostly from city park displays, throughout the United States. He performs major boiler repairs and complete mechanical rebuilds in accordance with established railroad standard practices. Bensman was also responsible for the design and construction supervision of shop facilities, purchase, transportation and restoration of locomotives at the Grand Canyon Railway in addition to the hiring and training of crews.
Since 1984, beginning with his experience with the ACE 3000 project and later studying directly under Mechanical Engineer Livo Dante Porta, Bensman applies Thermodynamic Science to all of his steam locomotive projects to vastly increase the potential and efficiency in regards to steam locomotive technology and design.
Brian Barton, Director
Brian Barton began his railroad carrier with Plasser American Corporation in 1991 as a contract representative traveling the country as a crew member on a ballast cleaning machine providing track/ballast maintenance services to different railroads.
In December of 1994, Barton was hired by Norfolk Southern as a Brakeman, promoted to Conductor, and then to Locomotive Engineer. During Brian’s employment at NS, he was elected as President and Local Chairman in the United Transportation Union. In August of 1999, he was offered a position with Amtrak as a Locomotive Engineer and operated Amtrak trains south of Washington, DC, including operations over Amtrak, CSX, NS, and the BB. During the first five years he was a union representative for the BLET. After resigning from the union position, Barton was offered a position as Road Foreman of Engines, DSLE.
In August of 2008, he took an assignment with the Buckingham Branch Railroad in Virginia, where he provided instruction and management over operations, and provided training to all departments, as well as safety classes to customers. In 2012, he accepted a position with CSX Transportation as a Trainmaster of Passenger Operations where he currently works as an operational liaison between CSX and passenger/commuter agencies, as well as state and federal government entities.
In addition to his CSX duties, Barton also is a member of the steam locomotive 611 crew and was the liaison between the BB to NS and CSX for the movement of steam locomotive 614 to the C&O Railway Heritage Center in Clifton Forge, Virginia.
NSPS Director Dr. Jack Fisher is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who has practiced in Nashville for 29 years. His medical training was at Emory University in Atlanta. He has a passion for trains of all sizes. He has sponsored the yearly train exhibit at the Adventure Science Center for 29 years. He and a friend built the toy train displays at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, which has brought hours of pleasure to the children for over a decade.
In his own home, over 1000 square feet are devoted to an elaborate scale layout of Lionel trains, as well as a garden railroad, which has been featured on TV and in magazines. His passion began at birth.
He is recognized both nationally and internationally for his expertise in Plastic Surgery. He was President of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and is Associate Clinical Professor of Plastic Surgery at Vanderbilt University and previous Chief of Plastic Surgery at Centennial Medical Center.
Alex Joyce joins NSPS with a lifelong passion for steam technology and railroading inherited to him from his family with deep railroad ties. His great-grandfather was on the Board of Directors for the NC&StL Railway. His great uncle wrote numerous books on railroading and was the senior lobbiest for the railroad industry serving for years as the Vice President of the Association of American Railroads.
Alex collected working model steam engines as a child and first fired locomotives when 18 at Opryland during its first summer of operation. Since then he has restored 2 Stanley steam powered cars driving them some 30,000 miles in the US, Canada, and the UK. He has also restored a 1934 coal fired, steam powered Sentinel truck and rallied it in the US and the UK. He has fired and driven mainline steam in regular revenue service in South Africa and Poland and hitched footplate rides in the UK, Ireland, southern Africa and the US: notably as a boy on The General, then as a teen on the Clinchfield’s #1 in the early 1970’s, and while a student at GaTech on N&W 611.
Alex is a retired teacher and mechanical engineer, and organizes vintage car tours around the US. His experience and knowledge coupled with his life’s passion will prove to be a valuable asset to NSPS.