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Progress Report

“Road to Revival” YouTube Series Will Document No. 576 Restoration

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The Nashville Steam Preservation Society announces a new video series that will bring updates on the restoration of NC&StL No. 576. “The Road to Revival” focuses on various aspects on the disassembly, repair, restoration, and eventual reassembly of the 77-year old steam locomotive. Each episode will be 5 to 7 minutes and offer mechanical updates as well as historical insights and personal stories of Nashville’s locomotive.

Follow the “Road to Revival” on the Nashville Steam YouTube channel! Click the link below and subscribe to be notified about all new videos from NSPS.

CSX Donates Two Boxcars for 576 Restoration

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CSX CONTINUES SUPPORT OF HISTORIC NASHVILLE LOCOMOTIVE RESTORATION
Two Donated Boxcars will be Used for Secure Storage of Key Equipment and Materials  

NASHVILLE, Tennessee—CSX Transportation has once again made a significant contribution to the restoration of No. 576, the legendary Nashville steam locomotive currently undergoing a full restoration.

As the successor company to the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railroad (NC&StL) where “The Stripe” ran the rails in the 1940s and ‘50s, CSX supported the train’s relocation from Centennial Park to the restoration site, and earlier this year donated a turntable that will facilitate future excursions once the locomotive is hauling passengers again. Now the third-largest railroad in North America has donated two boxcars that will allow the Nashville Steam Preservation Society (NSPS) to secure valuable equipment and key materials throughout the restoration process.

“CSX has been a tremendous partner to the Nashville Steam Preservation Society, and our success to date has been a tribute to that support,” said NSPS President Shane Meador. “From the planning stages through the move across town in January, down CSX rails to Union Station in March, and continuing today through additional contributions that make the restoration possible, our friends at CSX have been generously supportive and willing to help. We couldn’t be more appreciative of their care and support, for the benefit of future generations.”

Designed at the Nashville headquarters of the NC&StL, No. 576 was built and delivered to Nashville just in time to haul troop and supply trains throughout the southeast as America entered World War II. After the war, The Stripe operated in revenue service for 10 years before being donated to the people of Nashville. Over the years, it became an iconic backdrop for countless childhood memories and photographs in Centennial Park, including a 1960s LIFE Magazine cover featuring Johnny Cash.

The Nashville Steam Preservation Society formed in 2015 to preserve and celebrate the artifacts of Nashville’s rail heritage. NSPS secured an agreement with Metro Nashville in 2016 to lease the locomotive with the intention to restore and operate the steam engine for special excursions out of downtown Nashville. Over the last two years, NSPS has raised more than $800,000 of the approximately $2 million needed for restoration, and thousands of volunteer hours have been dedicated to moving the engine across town and the ongoing restoration.

No. 576 Move Out of Centennial Park A Success!

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After months of planning and a week of prep work, Nashville Steam completed the relocation of No. 576 from Centennial Park to the Nashville & Western Railroad without a hitch. More than a thousand people came out to watch the historic move in person and thousands more watched online thanks to the Trains Magazine live stream. The move to the railroad was anticipated to take about three to four hours. However, thanks to the efficiency of the army of utility workers leapfrogging one another to ensure the locomotive cleared all the traffic lights and overhead wires, the move took less than two hours. We would like to sincerely thank the Mammoet heavy-lifting company and everyone who ensured a fast and safe relocation.

NSPS volunteers are working hard to prepare the locomotive for the upcoming tow across town to the Tennessee Central Railway Museum. So far, the main rods have been removed, the side rods cleaned and serviced, the draw bar and safety bar reinstalled, and new brake hoses applied. Soon the locomotive and tender will be reconnected so we can begin testing the new braking system. We have been working with CSX to find a time slot to tow the locomotive across town. It will more than likely happen on a weekend in early March. We will release updates here on our website and on the Nashville Steam Facebook page as plans are finalized.

No. 576 to Depart Park Tomorrow Between 8am and 9am

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    The time of departure has been modified to allow more daylight for the move out of Centennial Park. Crews will arrive at 7am on Sunday, January 13th and the move out of the park will begin between 8am and 9am. Please note that because of the machinery involved and coordinating with the various utility companies the time is subject to change. The move will happen rain or shine. The only potential weather delays would be for ice or severe storms. Currently there is a chance of rain for Sunday morning. Follow our social media pages for the latest updates on the move out of the park (Links Below).
     If you are unable to attend or wish to stay warm at home, our friends at Trains Magazine will be streaming the move live on their Facebook page. (Link Below) You do not need a Facebook account to watch the live feed. We will also be posting photos and videos of the move on our website and Facebook page.
    Mammoet and Nashville Steam crews have been working hard this week to ensure No. 576 is loaded safely and efficiently. No. 576 rolled out of the shed with ease thanks to the Timken roller bearings and the dedication of the Nashville Shop employees who prepared the locomotive for long term display back in 1953. Their care and admiration for the locomotive is clearly evident today. Not long now ’til No. 576 is on the road to restoration!
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Relocation of No. 576 Begins, Trains Magazine to Livestream Sunday’s Move

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Moving crews from Mammoet arrived on Monday to begin setting up equipment and installing temporary track in front of No. 576. The locomotive will be pulled from the shed and then lifted using jacks and gantries. It will then be loaded onto a multi-axle, self-propelled trailer built specifically for heavy hauls. The public is welcome to come watch the loading but must watch from behind the safety fencing.

For those unable to attend the historic move on Sunday, Trains Magazine will be livestreaming the event on their Facebook page. Continue to check our Facebook and social media pages as well for more updates, photos, and videos. Links are below.

Trains Magazine Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/TrainsMagazine/

Nashville Steam Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/NashvilleSteam/

NSPS Steam Reaches Initial Fundraising Goal

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Nashville Steam Surpasses $500,000 Goal,
Historic Steam Locomotive To Be Relocated By Early Next Year

No. 576 has been on display in Centennial Park since 1953.
Donations have come in from 36 states and the United Kingdom.
“No. 576 Revival Party” Planned for October 27th.

The Nashville Steam Preservation Society (NSPS) today announced that, thanks to the generosity of hundreds of donors from across the nation and globe, it has surpassed its initial fundraising goal of $500,000. Achieving this milestone enables NSPS to relocate the famous Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway (NC&StL) Steam Locomotive No. 576 from Nashville’s Centennial Park to a nearby shop facility for a complete restoration to operation. The highly anticipated relocation of the locomotive is planned for late 2018 or early 2019, once arrangements with the moving contractor have been finalized.

Known as the “Stripe,” No. 576 is the only remaining J3 Class 4-8-4 steam locomotive built for the NC&StL Railway. The locomotive was designed in the company’s office building on Broadway in the heart of Nashville and manufactured by the American Locomotive Company in 1942. The locomotive, long associated with Nashville’s Country Music roots, has been on display in Nashville’s Centennial Park since 1953. Fans of Johnny Cash will also recognize the locomotive from his 1969 Life Magazine Cover. “This is a true milestone for the history of No. 576,” said NSPS President Shane Meador. “We would like to thank everyone who has contributed thus far to get the project to this point. Through their generous contributions, No. 576 now has another lease on life.”

As part of a 2016 lease agreement with Metro Nashville, owner of No. 576, NSPS was required to raise $500,000 prior to relocating the historic locomotive to ensure sufficient funding was in place. Now that this initial goal has been met, the locomotive will be moved from Centennial Park to live railroad tracks nearby. No. 576 will then be moved to the Tennessee Central Railway Museum approximately five miles away, where the restoration is planned to take place.

NSPS has held regular work sessions in Centennial Park since 2016 to inspect the locomotive and prepare it for relocation. Several components and appliances have been completely restored off-site and are ready for service. Each work session attracts hundreds of interested spectators curious about the locomotive and the work being done. In August, Nashville Steam volunteers successfully rolled the locomotive back about five feet. “Once the locomotive’s wheels broke free from the rusty rails, it rolled smoothly just like when it was first built 75 years ago,” said Meador.

Nationwide support for the Nashville landmark

Even though No. 576 is as much a part of Nashville as country music, NSPS has received donations from well beyond Music City. “So far we have received donations from 36 states and even a few from the United Kingdom. No. 576 may be in the heart of Nashville but its appeal has no bounds,” said Bill Webster, Treasurer for NSPS. “These early donations will translate into economic dollars as these fans of Nashville’s locomotive will travel here once No. 576 is operational.” Similar steam locomotive attractions in other cities have added millions of dollars to local tourism.

Nashville Steam launched a major campaign in March 2018 in order to raise the remaining funding needed to relocate the locomotive by the end of the year. In just six months, that effort alone raised more than $245,000. Contributing organizations include the Candelaria Fund, the Tom E. Dailey Foundation, Metro Parks Foundation, and numerous other private foundations, corporations, and individuals.

October Event Planned to Send Off Locomotive 

Nashville Steam is also planning a grand send-off party for the locomotive on Saturday, October 27th they are calling the “No. 576 Revival Party.” The afternoon and evening event will celebrate the history of the locomotive in Centennial Park and give people a chance to envision its future. “If you grew up in Nashville, chances are you had your picture taken in front of No. 576 at some point in your life,” said Joey Bryan, Communications Manager for NSPS. “This will be the last opportunity for people to get a picture with the locomotive before we start final preparations for the relocation.”

The October event will simultaneously serve as the kickoff for the next round of fundraising. “Restoring a steam locomotive is an expensive endeavor,” said Bryan. “It takes a lot of work and money to make these industrial machines sing like they used to.” Musicians from all genres have looked to the steam locomotive for rhythmic inspiration in their song writing. “It only makes sense to have an operational steam locomotive right here in Music City.”

Nashville Steam anticipates an additional $2 million will need to be raised over the next three to four years to restore No. 576 to operation. “We are exploring several funding opportunities as well as grant programs to help offset the costs,” added Bryan. “It’s certainly a major undertaking but if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few months it’s that people want to hear and feel the song that only No. 576 can deliver.”

To donate to the restoration of No. 576, go to www.nashvillesteam.org/donate.