Why Rebuild The 576?
To benefit Nashville and its citizens by using the locomotive as an educational tool, tourism magnet, good will ambassador, and positive outreach platform. As the only remaining mainline steam locomotive from the NC&St.L, and the largest steam locomotive that calls Tennessee home, we feel that it is important to preserve the engine for future generations to experience and enjoy and is a much better alternative than a rusting, pigeon perch. We are doing this to preserve a unique historical artifact for you, your kids, and your grandkids.
The Metro Parks master plan for Centennial Park include plans for the locomotive to be relocated to another corner of the park as part of a future phase of the project. In 2016, NSPS submitted a proposal for an alternative plan for the locomotive to the Metro Parks Board and Metro Council. This plan called for the long term preservation and eventual operation of the locomotive, turning a static display into an active heritage tourist attraction. The plan was approved unanimously by both boards. In addition, we have available and interested persons with the requisite skills, experience and knowledge to ensure a successful restoration.
Is It Possible To Fix It?
Yes, it just takes time and money. We have the required technical and mechanical capabilities.
Approximately $1.5 million in addition to the $500k for the initial capital required to fulfill our lease agreement with the City of Nashville. The lease stipulates that we must have $500k before we can relocate the locomotive. A total $4 million Goal would include shop and site development.
This Looks and Sounds a Lot Like Similar Projects in Portland, Roanoke, and Fort Wayne?
Yes. Those cities have similar organizations and are benefiting from restored and operational steam locomotives that increase tourism and provide positive national attention.
Will The Locomotive Operate On CSX?
Currently there are no plans to operate the locomotive on CSX. However, if CSX wishes in the future to use Nashville’s engine, it will most definitely attract positive attention and national recognition for Nashville.
Will the 576 operate on a class 1 railroad?
We will not be relying on a class 1 railroad to operate the 576.
Other steam engines that rely on class 1 railroads to operate seem to be getting increasingly rare. Is this project being done because of that?
This project is not being done because of uncertainties with continued operations of other steam locomotives relying on class 1 railroads. We wish all of those groups in that situation the very best and encourage everyone to support them by buying a ticket, when they have the opportunity.
How will Amtrak’s recent policy change on special and charter trains affect No. 576?
While we are disappointed in Amtrak’s recent decision to end special and charter trains, this new policy will not affect our operations plan. Amtrak pulled out of Nashville in 1979 and we have an agreement in place with a local short line to serve as a host railroad.
Will The Citizens Still Be Able To See And Visit The Locomotive?
Yes. During the restoration we will offer tours that will safely provide viewing of the restoration project. Once operational, but not in use, the locomotive will remain viewable by the public and protected from the elements.
How Much Capital Is Needed Before Starting The Project and Moving The 576?
$500,000 is required per the lease agreement with Metro Nashville which will cover the cost associated with relocating the locomotive, abating the asbestos, and thoroughly evaluating the locomotive.
Where will 576 operate?
We have a commitment from the Nashville and Eastern Railroad to operate the locomotive on its railroad.
Is the Nashville and Eastern Railroad the same rail line that Nashville’s Music City Star commuter train runs over?
Yes, 32 miles of the Nashville and Eastern Railroad have been upgraded to commuter track standards from Nashville to Lebanon.
How long will the restoration take?
Assuming funding needs are met throughout the process with your much needed and appreciated donations, we expect 4 to 5 years once the locomotive is relocated to the restoration facility.
Do you have access to passenger cars to provide rides for the public?
Yes, we have a commitment from the Tennessee Central Railway Museum (TCRM) to use their 1950’s vintage, 14 car train set.
How long is the lease agreement for No. 576 from Metro Nashville?
Metro Nashville granted the Nashville Steam Preservation Society a 23-year lease on No. 576 in August 2016. Of the five previous restoration attempts, this is the only effort to receive unanimous support from both the Metro Parks Board and Metro Council.
What is the axle loading on the 576 compared to the other locomotives used on the Nashville and Eastern?
Heaviest axle loading of 576 is 57,000lbs. Axle loading for N&E D-8 locomotives is 71,500lbs. The 576 can negotiate a 19deg curve by design.
What experience does NSPS have regarding steam locomotive restoration and operation?
Our team has managed a number of steam locomotive restoration projects and has been involved with over 30 steam restoration projects around the country and abroad. We have the technical skill, tools, and resources.
Where will the restoration take place?
The locomotive will be rebuilt in Nashville, initially at the Tennessee Central Railroad Museum shop after some facility upgrades.
Have you considered building a shop and public visitor center?
Yes, we have a location picked out to build a shop facility and visitor center in the future, as funding allows. Fundraising for that phase of the project will begin once the locomotive is operational.
How are you going to move the locomotive?
We have a plan to move the locomotive and are working with a professional heavy moving firm specializing in relocating industrial equipment.
When do you think the move may occur?
NSPS must meet the initial capital goal of $500,000 before we can relocate the locomotive. We hope to move the locomotive later this year once the funding is in place. We will you keep you posted as this develops over the next few months.
Will you turn the locomotive at points east?
Technically, it is not required to turn the locomotive by having power on the other end, as in a push / pull operation. However, plans are in the works for a place to turn the locomotive, points east. A 90′ turntable is the minimum length, with 100′ or more preferred. 576’s wheel base is 86′ 3-5/8″.
What makes this project so unique?
This will be the most unique steam locomotive restoration in modern time because it will be the longest period of time that a steam locomotive has sat on display, since 1953, to be restored to operation. It is also the last remaining, standard gauge, NC&StL steam locomotive in existence.
When was the 576 built and what “bells and whistles” does it have?
576 was built in 1942 by the American Locomotive Co. (ALCO) and was equipped with all modern technology of the time. Cast one piece frame, cylinders, and air reservoirs. All Timken roller bearings and lateral motion devices. Type E superheater with multiple valve front end throttle. Worthington SA feed water system and Standard BK stoker. Nicholson thermic syphons and Superior soot blowers.
How much of the locomotive is still there after so many years in the Park?
The locomotive is 95% intact, minus some jacketing on the first course belly and cylinders, and missing class lights. All of the jacket will be new and class lights are easy to find.
What is the general mechanical condition of the 576?
The mechanical condition of the locomotive is in relatively good condition. Ultrasonic Thickness gauge checks in the firebox and boiler belly sections show minimal wastage, water space around the firebox looks very good, roller bearings still full of oil and no signs of water or rust. There will be some repair to the wrapper sheet and flexible staybolts and sleeves, especially the ones under the jacket. Everything will be inspected, rebuilt, or replaced as necessary. It is 100% repairable.
Will you offer volunteer opportunities?
Absolutely! Please click here: www.nashvillesteam.org/volunteer or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, provide your contact info and let us know that you are interested in volunteering.
What can I do?
We need YOUR help to grow support and get the word out. Be a supporter by your tax deductible donation.