NASHVILLE, Tenn. — One of the rarest members of “the greatest generation” of modern American steam has languished in a Nashville park for more than six decades. Multiple efforts to bring it back to life have come and gone.
Now, though, steam buffs hope the stars are aligning for Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway No. 576.
The big J3 engine, the sole survivor of a class of 20 built during the desperate days of World War II, is a 1942 product of the American Locomotive Company. The last time someone proposed removing the 4-8-4 from Centennial Park, in 2001, the parks board declined the offer.
Today, though, “it almost seems as if the timing is right, with all the things coming together,” says Shane Meador, a Nashville native and president and chairman of the recently formed Nashville Steam Preservation Society.
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