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