On May 3, NSPS Vice President Terry Bebout made a presentation to the Metro Nashville Parks Board regarding the organization’s proposal to lease former Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway steam locomotive number 576 and restore it to operation. The locomotive, which was donated to the City in September 1953 and has been on display in Centennial Park ever since.
Mr. Bebout’s five minute presentation outlined highlights of the NSPS Team’s plan (provided in detail on this site) and mentioned the benefits that a “living,” operational steam locomotive could have to Nashville, not only from a tourism standpoint, but also from an historical preservation and railroad heritage perspective. Following the presentation, one Park Board member outlined the importance of preserving the locomotive in the face of increasing deterioration brought on by 60 year’s in the elements. The reception from the Park Board as a whole was encouraging.
The Park Board appeared positive on the proposal as a whole, and has decided to provide an additional month’s time for consideration, allowing its Acquisition Committee the opportunity to review the plan in detail. All signs point to a vote on the matter at the next Metro Nashville Parks Board meeting in early June.
The NSPS leadership believes this was a positive step, and we are confident that the Park Board will give meaningful consideration to our plan to revive No. 576.