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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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.”

Locomotive Move Safety Rules and Route Map

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Nashville Steam No. 576 Relocation
Rules For Public Viewing

Just like you, we are thrilled that No. 576 is leaving her longtime home of Centennial Park for restoration! This is a once in a lifetime event that thousands of people have dreamed of. We understand the excitement but please remember that this is a major project that requires constant attention and precise engineering. The crews have enough to think about without having to worry about people being in the wrong place. SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT. Follow these rules to ensure No. 576 leaves the park timely and everyone goes home safe and sound:

  • Under no circumstances is anyone allowed on CSX or Nashville & Western Railroad property
  • Stay back from the defined working area at least 300 feet
  • The public is allowed to watch the loading of the locomotive from designated viewing areas in the park
  • Do NOT cross any designated boundaries or established barriers
  • Do NOT follow the locomotive on its way down the move route
  • Do NOT trespass on private property
  • Respect all local laws and law enforcement officers
  • Picture taking is welcomed and encouraged, but always be vigilant of your surroundings
  • Alternative methods to watch the move from home are in development, details to follow
  • Do not walk or bicycle on the road within 300 feet of the locomotive
  • Be aware of utility crews and equipment raising utility lines and traffic signals to allow the locomotive to pass below.
  • Viewing from the sidewalk is permissible along the route.

Route Map

“No. 576 Revival Party” Set for October 27th

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Join us on Saturday, October 27th for the No. 576 Revival Party! Come out to the park and celebrate the history of No. 576 as we envision her exciting future. The event is from 2pm to 8pm and is free to the public. This year’s event includes:

  • Locomotive Cab Tours
  • Food Trucks
  • Silent Auction
  • Gift Tent
  • Live Music
  • Kids activities
  • Evening Photo Session
  • And much more!

Check back here and on our social media pages in the coming weeks for more details!

NSPS Hosts Successful Open House

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On Friday October 13th, The Nashville Steam Preservation Society hosted an Open House in honor of Nashville, Chattanooga, & St. Louis Railway steam locomotive No. 576’s 75th birthday. No. 576 was built in 1942 by the American Steam Locomotive Company and arrived in Nashville just in time for the war effort. The Open House was an all out 1940s bash with the locomotive dressed up to its revenue service appearance. The highlight of the event was the performance by the Moonlighters Big Band ensemble, taking everyone in attendance back to a bygone era. More than a thousand people walked around the plaza and toured the locomotive’s cab. An additional fan favorite was the occasional blast of No. 576’s original whistle.  With the help of a large air compressor, the voice of the NC&StL ‘Stripes’ echoed through the streets of west Nashville after a 60-year hiatus. Thank you to all who attended and everyone who made the event a huge success!!

Join Us for the 2017 Nashville Steam Open House!

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The Nashville Steam Preservation Society is hosting a FREE Open House in Nashville’s Centennial Park on October 13 from 4:00 to 9:00 pm. Come on down to the locomotive, just west of the Parthenon on 27th Ave. N., for tours of the train, evening photo sessions, a silent auction, food trucks and more. All proceeds and donations will go towards the restoration of Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Rwy. No. 576 to operate excursions out of downtown Nashville.

The event in brief:

DATE: Friday, October 13
TIME: 4:00-9:00 PM
At the locomotive, just west of the Parthenon on 27th Ave. N. in Centennial Park

  • Locomotive tours from 4:00-7:30
  •  Evening photo session from 8:00-9:30
  •  Silent auction from 4:00 – 7:00
  • Food trucks from 5:00 – 8:00
  •  Gift shop and tent open the entire time
  • And more!

We look forward to meeting y’all soon!