Following the announcement of a special matching grant opportunity in May, the not-for-profit organization, Nashville Steam has successfully raised more than $200,000 toward the ongoing restoration of future Middle Tennessee attraction, steam locomotive No. 576. Sponsored by The Candelaria Fund and The Wick Moorman Charitable Foundation, all donations of $250.00 or more were matched over a four-month period.
“This grassroots effort to bring back an iconic piece of our history has been made possible by our donors, members, and friends across the country and here at home,” said Shane Meador, President of Nashville Steam. “Thanks to all of our generous supporters, we are closing in on our remaining total restoration funding needed to complete the project as the overhaul cruses beyond the halfway point. We could not be more grateful for the sustained and generous levels of support that we have graciously received.”
Earlier this year, Nashville Steam raised $26,000 for new boiler tubes and flues. An additional $6,000 was contributed by Nashville Steam’s board and leadership team, and a $5,000 grant was received by the National Railway Historical Society for rebuilding the Coale safety valves.
In August, Nashville Steam celebrated the locomotive’s 80th anniversary of its construction by ALCO in 1942 and all donations of $80.00 or more were matched during a campaign we dubbed “80 for 80.” Individual donations ranged from $80 to $20,000, totaling more than $50,000
Funds raised will be directed towards the installation of firebox staybolts and rivets, the removal and rebuilding of the tender trucks, and reinstallation of the locomotive’s recently rebuilt driving wheels and running gear. Absent additional and unforeseen mechanical needs, completion of the boiler and firebox will also set the stage for a test fire in the Fall of 2023. The current cost to complete the overhaul is estimated to be approximately $350,000.
Additional help in fundraising assistance came from Country Music Hall of Famer Marty Stuart, Harry Stinson, Old Crow Medicine Show, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Rhonda Vincent, the Rage, Riders in the Sky, FMW Solutions, Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, and the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society.
To learn more about Nashville Steam’s efforts or to support their mission, visit nashvillesteam.org.