Fundraising Hits $475,000

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Thanks to the generosity of our incredible donors, we have raised more than $475,000! We are now in the final stretch of reaching our initial goal of $500,000.

Help us make the final push to close the gap! And with our current matching grant opportunity NOW is the perfect time to donate!

Once we hit the mark, we will start the process to move No. 576 back to live rail and kick the restoration into high gear. Let’s get No. 576 back on the rails in 2018!

New Matching Grant Aids Relocation Fund

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Donations Surpass $375,000, Final Push of Phase 2 Underway

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Final push underway to raise funds for the relocation of 
Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway Steam Locomotive No. 576


The Nashville Steam Preservation Society’s goal is $500,000.
To date, the grassroots effort has pulled in $375,000.
When the remaining $125,000 is raised, heavy restoration can begin


The Nashville Steam Preservation Society (NSPS) today announced that it is only $125,000 short of its initial $500,000 fundraising goal for the relocation of the famous Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway (NC&StL) Steam Locomotive No. 576, on display in Centennial Park since 1953.

Known as the “Stripe,” the locomotive is the last remaining J3 4-8-4 steam locomotive designed and built by the American Locomotive Company for the NC&StL Railway. The locomotive, long associated with Nashville’s Country Music roots, sits in Nashville’s Centennial Park eagerly waiting for restoration and the return to the high iron in excursion service.

As part of the lease agreement with the City, NSPS must raise $500,000 before the historic locomotive can be relocated. When the remaining $125,000 is raised, the locomotive will be removed from its display site and transported to the initial restoration facility approximately five miles away.

“The 576 is a beloved local icon that toured throughout the South from Memphis across the state to Nashville and on down to Chattanooga and Atlanta,” said NSPS President Shane Meador. “Restoring the last remaining Stripe will serve as a visceral link to the history of Nashville.”

With a number of special events planned during peak summer months and another fundraising push to rail fans around the world, Meador hopes that the group can raise the remaining $125,000 by the end of September. “If that happens, we can move No. 576 out of the park by the end of the year,” he said.

Nationwide support for the Nashville landmark

For decades, families and friends gathered in front of No. 576 for pictures. Johnny Cash posed next to the locomotive for the cover of Life Magazine in 1969. “If you grew up in Nashville, chances are you had your picture taken in front of No. 576 at some point in your life,” Meador said. “The 576 is as much of a Nashville landmark as the Ryman Auditorium, the Parthenon, or Union Station.”

Even though No. 576 is as Nashville as country music, the NSPS reports that donations have come from across the country. A $75 for 75 Campaign, launched in September 2017, marked the locomotive’s 75th anniversary of the date the locomotive entered into service. The campaign was boosted by a $50,000 matching grant from the Candelaria Fund in California. That effort alone raised more than $120,000.

The NSPS’ hope is that the restoration of the locomotive will celebrate Nashville’s musical roots, add to Nashville’s vibrant tourism industry, and help younger generations imagine careers in technical trades such as welding, machining, and mechanical comprehension.

“When people see No. 576 thunder past them on the rails, they’ll see the ultimate in power and machinery,” Meador said. “Steam locomotives are living and breathing classrooms of history and science. By restoring Nashville’s own No. 576, we are teaching an important but often forgotten aspect of our history and showcasing the mechanical ingenuity of its design and the science of how these machines work.”

“Hearing the whistle and the clatter of the wheels against the steel rails is musical,” NSPS Communications Manager Joey Bryan added. “The 576 has a beat all its own, just like the city it served. I can’t wait to hear that rhythm.”

Click here to donate.

NSPS Hosts Successful Open House

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On Friday October 13th, The Nashville Steam Preservation Society hosted an Open House in honor of Nashville, Chattanooga, & St. Louis Railway steam locomotive No. 576’s 75th birthday. No. 576 was built in 1942 by the American Steam Locomotive Company and arrived in Nashville just in time for the war effort. The Open House was an all out 1940s bash with the locomotive dressed up to its revenue service appearance. The highlight of the event was the performance by the Moonlighters Big Band ensemble, taking everyone in attendance back to a bygone era. More than a thousand people walked around the plaza and toured the locomotive’s cab. An additional fan favorite was the occasional blast of No. 576’s original whistle.  With the help of a large air compressor, the voice of the NC&StL ‘Stripes’ echoed through the streets of west Nashville after a 60-year hiatus. Thank you to all who attended and everyone who made the event a huge success!!

Nashville Steam Receives $50,000 Matching Grant, Launches “75 for 75” Campaign

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The Nashville Steam Preservation Society (NSPS) announced today that it has received a $50,000 “challenge” matching grant from the Candelaria Fund, whereby any donation the group receives through the end of 2017 will be matched one-for-one. In honor of that matching grant coinciding with the 75th Birthday of Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway No. 576, the last remaining J-3 ‘Stripe’ steam locomotive, NSPS is launching the “75 for 75” Campaign.

“We are absolutely honored to have received this generous pledge of support to help put No. 576 back on the rails,” said NSPS President Shane Meador. “While we wanted to recognize the 75th birthday of No. 576, that donation amount is merely a recommendation – any donation, large or small, will help us with this project. Not to mention, each dollar will be matched one-for-one!”

Today, the 576 eagerly sits at Nashville’s Centennial Park in the hopes that it will one day return to service pulling excursion trains and teaching younger generations Tennessee’s rich railroad history and the science behind steam technology. Once the funds for its relocation and restoration are secured, the iconic locomotive will be moved to the Tennessee Central Railway Museum for a complete tear-down, inspection and restoration.

“The 576 is a beloved icon that traveled throughout the South from Memphis over to Nashville and down to Chattanooga and Atlanta,” said NSPS Historian Joey Bryan. “Restoring the last remaining Stripe will serve as a visceral link to the history of the region”

Donations to NSPS will be matched by the Candelara Fund dollar-to-dollar up to $50,000 until December 31, 2017. The NSPS has already raised more than $250,000 of the $500,000 it needs to relocate the locomotive for the tear-down, inspection and restoration. To make a donation, click here.

The ‘Stripe’ No. 576

August 2017 marked the 75th anniversary of No. 576’s construction at the American Locomotive Company’s Schenectady Shops. To mark the occasion, Nashville Steam is launching the “75 for 75” campaign. “The fact that there is still a J-3 in existence is remarkable,” said Joey Bryan, Historian & Preservation Officer for Nashville Steam, “we’re asking anyone that wants to see No. 576 thunder down the high iron once more to donate $75 or one dollar for every year the locomotive has been around. And with the matching grant, any donation will help ensure that the locomotive is around for another 75 years.” Donations will be matched between now and the end of the year. The Candelaria Fund is 501(c)(3) based out of California. They frequently donate to rail preservation efforts across the United States.






Join Us for the 2017 Nashville Steam Open House!

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The Nashville Steam Preservation Society is hosting a FREE Open House in Nashville’s Centennial Park on October 13 from 4:00 to 9:00 pm. Come on down to the locomotive, just west of the Parthenon on 27th Ave. N., for tours of the train, evening photo sessions, a silent auction, food trucks and more. All proceeds and donations will go towards the restoration of Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Rwy. No. 576 to operate excursions out of downtown Nashville.

The event in brief:

DATE: Friday, October 13
TIME: 4:00-9:00 PM
At the locomotive, just west of the Parthenon on 27th Ave. N. in Centennial Park

  • Locomotive tours from 4:00-7:30
  •  Evening photo session from 8:00-9:30
  •  Silent auction from 4:00 – 7:00
  • Food trucks from 5:00 – 8:00
  •  Gift shop and tent open the entire time
  • And more!

We look forward to meeting y’all soon!