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.

More Details for Next Stop: Union Station!

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The public is invited to come see The Stripe as it rolls into the station between 11am and 1pm this Saturday, March 9, stopping for one day to mark the occasion before continuing to the Tennessee Central Railway Museum to undergo its complete restoration.

From 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., we’re encouraging anyone with an interest to come take photographs, hear the whistle blow and learn more about what’s been done to get her rolling again and what’s yet to come farther down the line. Please consider these important details:

  • Free parking will be available at Cummins Station (see map below, enter from Demonbreun). Please note that all vehicles will need to move from that lot by 4 p.m., or will be charged the normal evening rate. The Predators are playing at 7 p.m., and we want to be respectful of the lot owner’s generosity.
  • We will have three food trucks (the Grilled CheeserieCousin’s Maine Lobster and Banjo’s Food Truck) on-site serving great meals.
  • Please note that this event is rain or shine, but we will be set up under cover in case showers pop up.
  • The exact display location of the locomotive will be determined on Saturday, to ensure that it will not interfere with regular CSX rail operations.
  • For photographers, both the Demonbreun Street and Broadway bridges will provide excellent vantage points, and you can get close to the locomotive from the event site (see map below). No one is allowed on CSX property for safety reasons – we must insist that everyone stay behind the fence. 

We hope to see you on Saturday as we mark another milestone in 576 history! 

Next Stop: Union Station!

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NEXT STOP FOR NASHVILLE’S LEGENDARY ENGINE No. 576: UNION STATION
Public Invited to Witness Historic Steam Locomotive Moving Down the Rails for the
First Time in 65 Years, En Route to Complete Restoration

The next stop on the restoration route for Nashville’s No. 576 is Union Station, where the World War II-era steam engine will stage on the same rails where it originally served as a workhorse. The public is invited to come see the train – known as The Stripe for its distinctive bright yellow accents – as it rolls down the tracks for the first time in 65 years, stopping for one day to mark the occasion before continuing to the Tennessee Central Railway Museum to undergo a complete restoration.

From 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, the public is encouraged to be a part of the celebration. Photo opportunities, informational exhibits and pop-up history lessons will be available all day, along with a handful of food trucks.

“This is the first time the Stripe has been to Union Station since 1952,” said Nashville Steam Communications Manager Joey Bryan, “and we want to celebrate this grand reunion of two local landmarks that helped build Nashville into the city it is today.”

The event is free and will be located in the parking lot behind Union Station, former site of the old train shed. While live rail schedules are subject to change, No. 576 is anticipated to arrive at Union Station around noon.

A partnership between the non-profit Nashville Steam Preservation Society (NSPS), Metro Nashville Parks, CSX, dozens of sponsors, and thousands of donations supported the engine’s move from Centennial Park and back to live rails in January. The steam locomotive was manufactured in 1942 to aid in the war effort, and spent 10 years hauling trains across the region for the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis (NC&StL) Railway. As diesel-electric locomotive technology revolutionized the rail industry in the 1950s, The Stripe was retired to Nashville’s Centennial Park. Now the NSPS is raising approximately $2 million to restore the engine and its coal tender, with a vision to pull passenger excursions in the future. The organization was awarded a $200,000 challenge grant from the Candelaria Fund last year to kickoff this next round of fundraising.

“CSX is proud to support preservation efforts in communities where the railroad has a rich history and remains a vital part of the economy even today. We are dedicated to honoring that heritage and excited to partner with the Nashville Steam Preservation Society to transport No. 576 to Union Station,” said Eric Hendrickson, CSX Director of Network Planning. “We are equally delighted that this locomotive will eventually be reunited with the turntable donated by CSX that was originally designed for NC&StL steam locomotive, including No. 576. So, it’s particularly meaningful that this piece of railroad history can return to its original purpose, while supporting the regional tourism economy in central Tennessee.”

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, 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 $750,000 of the approximately $2 million needed for restoration, and thousands of volunteer hours have been dedicated to preparing the engine for the move across town.

“The response to our campaign to restore No. 576 has been incredible, with visitors coming from across the nation to witness the move,” said NSPS President Shane Meador. “We want to be sure that everyone with an interest can be a part of it. This is a chance to see The Stripe back on home rails for the first time in many years, against the historic backdrop of Union Station, as it begins the next chapter of its life in service to our great city.”

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/