New $300,000 Matching Grant To Boost No. 576’s Restoration!

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RETIRED RAILROAD EXECS PARTNER ON MAJOR MATCHING GRANT TO SUPPORT
RESTORATION OF HISTORIC NASHVILLE STEAM LOCOMOTIVE No. 576
Restoration Currently Underway Pending Funding; Donation Could Mean $600,000 Boost

 NASHVILLE, Tennessee – As Nashville’s legendary steam locomotive No. 576 is disassembled and each component refurbished, the campaign to support its full restoration to operational condition has gotten another big boost of private support. Former railroad executives and rail history supporters Richard Tower and Wick Moorman have partnered in offering to match up to $300,000 in contributions of $1,000 or more made between now and Dec. 31, 2020.

“The restoration of No. 576 is well underway – our greatest challenge is funding, so this is an incredibly important gift,” said NSPS President Shane Meador. “If we can raise the funds to maximize the matching potential, then we will be well over halfway to our goal, and the restoration timeline can remain on track.”

Richard Tower loves railroads – the history, the significance, the engines that run them, and the process of restoring them to their former glory for the benefit of future generations. Through his family’s San Francisco-based charitable foundation, The Candelaria Fund, which he runs with his wife, Caroline, Tower has played a significant role in bringing numerous historic locomotives back to live rails.

Professionally, his career in railroad operations with Amtrak, Southern Pacific Transportation Company and the engineering firm Wilbur Smith Associates spanned from Washington, D.C. to Detroit, Chicago and San Francisco. He became president of The Candelaria Fund in 1997, and has been involved in multiple successful historic rail preservation projects. The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Company, where he served as vice president and treasurer for four years, was named the Best Train Ride in North America by USA Today, and became a National Historic Landmark in 2012.

Charles W. “Wick” Moorman is the former president and CEO of Amtrak, and earlier served as chairman, president and CEO of Norfolk Southern Railway, the company he joined as a college student in 1970. In 2010, Moorman was named Railroader of the Year by Railway Age magazine, and in 2011, he helped spearhead the revival of 21st Century Steam, Norfolk Southern’s popular steam locomotive excursion program.

“The Candelaria Fund has a preference for those organizations that are primarily led by volunteers, and which have active community support and involvement,” Tower says. “With our limited resources, we are interested in efforts that help communities and individuals to collaborate to promote their interests, and Wick Moorman has stepped up in a big way to increase the amount of challenge to encourage it,” Tower said.

“We are aware that much more money must be raised – this is a $2+ million project – before the locomotive can begin pulling excursion trains, but we are confident this can be done,” he says. “We have been impressed with the spirit and energy of the Nashville community and their affection for this symbol of the city’s history. It is our hope that this commitment inspires local Nashville area businesses, charitable organizations and individuals to join us and surpass what we’ve already done.”

To date, the non-profit Nashville Steam Preservation Society (NSPS) has raised approximately $1 million toward the total project cost, and is deep into the restoration at the Tennessee Central Railway Museum, located in the Railyard District just east of downtown Nashville.

“It takes a community to be successful with a project of this scale, and we are very thankful for the efforts of supporters like Richard Tower and Wick Moorman. We have a couple hundred volunteers, all of whom are contributing their unique talents and expertise,” said Meador, who has led the restoration of several historic locomotives around the country.

To donate to the restoration of Nashville’s legendary No. 576, visit:
nashvillesteam.org/donate/

Country Music Legend Marty Stuart Joins Effort to Restore No. 576

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Artist-in-Residence Marty Stuart to Unveil Song About Nashville’s Legendary Steam Locomotive No. 576 at Sept. 25 Country Music Hall of Fame Concert
‘Songs That Tell a Story’ Show to include “The Duchess” to Honor History, Raise Funds for Restoration

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Five-time GRAMMY-winning artist Marty Stuart loves a good country ballad, and so many of them revolve around trains. Now he and his longtime bandmate, Harry Stinson of the Fabulous Superlatives, have written a song to capture the spirit and history of Nashville’s most iconic steam engine: Locomotive No. 576. The World War II-era J3 Class Locomotive served Nashville’s Union Station for years before being retired to Centennial Park, where it sat for 65 years. No. 576 is now undergoing a complete restoration, and will soon be put back into service pulling passenger excursions from downtown Nashville.

“The Duchess (Queen of the Dixie Line)” will be unveiled as part of Stuart’s ‘Songs That Tell a Story’ acoustic show at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Wednesday, September 25, at 8 p.m. in the CMA Theater. The song will be available for download on music streaming channels afterward, with all funds going to support the non-profit Nashville Steam Preservation Society’s restoration of No. 576. The organization anticipates the $2+ million project will take three to four years to complete, a timeline that is dependent upon fundraising.

DOWNLOAD THE SONG

“Harry and I both have a long history with this train, as do so many others. Johnny Cash was photographed for LIFE Magazine in front of it, and that guitar he’s holding is now one of my prized possessions. When you think about the soldiers that rode behind this engine to war, or the folks who traveled on it to Memphis and Atlanta, or the kids who dreamed about great adventures while climbing on it in the park – that’s why we wrote this song,” Stuart said. “We call her The Duchess, and she deserves to be honored. I offered myself to the Nashville Steam organization to let me be the hood ornament on the front of this campaign, and I’ll help any way I can to raise the funds and get her rolling again.”

This fall is perfect timing for the song’s release, with the release of Ken Burns’ eight-part documentary “Country Music” on PBS beginning on September 15. Stuart features prominently in the film, as do old locomotives that played such an important role in the lives and emotions of countless hit songs and the people who wrote and performed them.

To date, the Nashville Steam Preservation Society (NSPS) has raised nearly $1 million toward the total project cost, and is deep into the restoration at the Tennessee Central Railway Museum, located in the Railyard District just east of downtown Nashville. The organization hopes the song will bring much-needed awareness and funding to the campaign. “It takes a community to be successful with a project of this scale, and we are very thankful of the efforts of supporters like Marty and Harry. We have a couple hundred volunteers, all of whom are contributing their unique talents and expertise,” said NSPS President Shane Meador, who has led the restoration of several historic locomotives around the country.

“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.

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.”