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An EMD F-7 slides through the cut separating Shops from Union Station These are freight only tracks that are Kayne ave. yard lead known as the west end. The photo is a sandwich of real sky with the model. Shops is visible in the background. In real life, there was two miles separating Shops from NUS. The engine is a custom painted Athearn unit with upgrades to the chassis.

Engine 576 is the NC’s most famous engine in recent years as it is the only remaining steam engine of the NC&StL. Here, scratch built 576 cruises on the eastbound main past Shops as a GP-7 sits on the ready track in Shops. Digital retouching includes a real sky and smoke from another photo. This engine began life as a brass table leg and represents the way she looks today. Originally built as a “Yellow Jacket” in 1942 (wide skirting and full nose cone) she was simplified to a “stripe” for easier running repairs.
If 576 were to be removed from Centennial Park and restored, this is how an excursion train might look someday in the future. The tank car carries extra water since steam facilities along CSX RR are long-gone. Notice that Union Station does not have its train shed, this was torn down a few years ago because of neglect and it burned.
At Shops during the so-called transition era one could see steam and Diesel power mixed. The NC was quick to Dieselize completely, the last steam run a 2-8-0 number 406 in 1952. Many great young steam engines were scrapped shortly thereafter. Engine 450 is a class H-7 2-8-0 built from a United B&O Consolidation, EMD F-7 812 is a custom painted Athearn that comprises one of ten units on the layout at present.
“Changing of the guard” is the title of this photo as 812 stands in front of Nashville Union Station shoulder to shoulder with 576. Space constraints of model railroading put the east and westbound mains (almost north and south geographically here) directly next to the station. Unretouched photo.

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