Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway aka NC&StL, NC&Stl.L, ncstl,  




576 (Finally) gets a Shed

The good news is, the shed that has been in the works for several years to protect NC&StL engine 576 from the elements is finally a reality. In 2004, crews put the finishing touches on the tastefully designed shed that has been needed since the day the engine was rolled into Centennial Park fifty+ years ago. That the shed vaguely resembles Nashville’s Union Station train shed is no accident. The shed is sturdy and well made and is very attractive. Hopefully when the future climate is more friendly to the better idea of restoration, there will be an engine left to restore.

The bad news is that now the engine has no protective fence. On a June 2004 visit, our V.P. Terry Coats asked a workman about the fence being re-installed, and was told that it was not in the plan. Apparently it is felt that without the ramp for access to the cab, the city feels that no fence is needed. The reasoning is that without the ramp, there is no need to keep people away. The ramp was removed because it was not ADA compatible.

As a result, more pieces are already missing from the engine. Children of all ages who cannot read (or do not care to obey anyway) the signs “do not climb on the Locomotive” are being ignored. It has now become a piece of playground equipment and a source of memorabilia and parts collectors of dubious integrity and a target of vandals. What we were losing to rust is now being carried away.

It is my opinion that it is a matter of time before someone is seriously injured there because of a poor decision on the part of the city. This then begs the questions of what happens then? There is already a history of neglect and mistreatment of Nashville’s antiquities, the Union Station Train Shed that was supposedly protected by “historic places” status is now gone to such attitudes is an example. I do not see it as impossible that one fine day the city contracts with a scrapper to come remove the engine as “first class scrap in three-foot sections, delivered to Gary, Indiana” as nuisance to the citizens rather than take proper care of it. We MUST not let that happen. Your comments and suggestions are welcome.

Thanks to the various people who have kept us informed and supplied progress pictures since this was begun back in the spring of this year.

Thanks to the proper agencies in Nashville that financed and erected the shed. Now let’s just get them to finish the job.

Tom Knowles
August 2004



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