Storms derail efforts to restore historic locomotive

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Posted at 6:28 AM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 08:00:39-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Efforts to restore a nearly 80-year-old steam locomotive were derailed last week after strong storms damaged the facility where the engine is stored.

"It's just overall shock, really," Nashville Steam's Joey Bryan said. "You just really don't expect anything like this to happen."

High winds from the storm picked up a roof from a nearby building and slammed it into the side of the facility.

"At first sight, it just kind of takes your breath away," Brian said. "And then just seeing all the plywood, because there is no plywood in this building, so that was a significant amount of roof that came from somewhere else and slammed right into our building."

For years the facility has been home to the historic Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway No. 576, a steam locomotive that sat in Centennial Park for decades.

"We came in to restore the locomotive to operating condition and run special excursions out of downtown Nashville, so we've been here for about two years doing restoration work," Bryan said.

Luckily, the storm didn't damage the nearly 80-year-old steam engine, but it will likely derail the project for months.

"Because of all this, it's really pushed back our timeline," Bryan said.

Nashville Steam has started a fundraiser to help pay for the building repairs.