Porter built all the early locomotives with slanted cylinders until around 1905. Other manufacturers such as Dickson and Glover copied this style also.
PCRR #3 / Carowinds #1 “Melodia” was the only 36″ gage Crown built on a historical frame and running gear, and the only one which was not a 4-4-0. It started life in September of 1897 when built by Porter as an 0-6-2T (c/n 1790) with 9″x14″ cylinders for the Barker and Lepine Plantation in Lafourche Crossing, Louisiana, then moved to the Laurel Valley Plantation in Tribodaux, LA where at an unknown date it was named Melodia. In the 1950's it became a part of the Arthur LaSalle collection.
In 1960, it was sold to Hubert Mitchell Industries and was stored in Hartselle, Alabama until 1962. It was then sold to James Freeland who owned Daniel Boone Village near Hillsborough, NC where it was run as a backup engine along with a Cooke 0-4-0.
In 1963, Freeland had the locomotive rebuilt by Crown into a 2-6-2 with tender. In the process, it received a Crown boiler, Crown tender, Crown pilot & trailing truck wheels, arched roof cab, cowcatcher, headlight, steam dome, and a tall, skinny diamond stack. It retained the hemispherical Porter sand dome, the inclined Porter cylinders (the Porter name is NOT cast into the steamchest as others have reported), the Porter builder’s plate, and the Porter smokebox door, also with the Porter name cast in. Minonotte Manufacturing Corp. built the boiler for Crown in April of 1964. After minimal use at the Daniel Boone Railroad, Freeland advertised the engine in Hemmings Motor News and sold it directly to Carowinds in 1971.
At Carowinds, #1 carried the name “Melodia” on the left side of the cab and the letters EPH on the right side of the cab for E. Pat Hunt, the developer who built the park. Melodia is reported to have run at Carowinds on June 13, 1972 for a publicity day, even though the park did not open to the public until March 1973. The ride circled the park which was divided in two by the North Carolina / South Carolina border (I wonder which state inspected the trains?). The station was at the front of the park, but unlike Disney where the station is over the main street, at Carowinds it was a depressed platform under the park entrance. The railroad was partially dismantled after the 1976 to make room for a new theme area (I’m told they didn’t want grade crossings), so the equipment stayed at Carowinds for a few years unused.
Melodia was sold in June 1980 to the George Roose collection in Cleveland, Ohio (George was part owner of Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, OH and he built the 36″ gauge Cedar Point and Lake Erie RR in 1963 out of his pocket when the park’s Board of Directors wouldn’t build it !!). In 1982, it was leased to Wild World (now Six Flags America) in Largo, Maryland along with our Vulcan 2-4-0 #2. Only the #2 ran there. Both engines returned to Sandusky, Ohio in 1984 after the lease was up and in December of that year, George Roose died. Both the Vulcan and Melodia were leased to the Nebraska Central in Grand Island, NE for two years in 1988,89 before going back into storage. It was at that time D.F. Barnhardt became the broker for the collection. Bill Norred purchased three of the locomotives from the collection including Melodia. All were sent to Shop Services in Mt. Pleasent, Iowa for overhaul and refurbishing as needed.
Melodia was the last of the three Norred locomotives to be restored at Mt. Pleasent when its founder Stan Matthews died in 1994 before it was finished. Melodia was completed by volunteers of the Midwest Central Railroad/Shop Services and then the locomotive was shipped to California to join the rest of the collection. In 1995, Bill Norred executed the "TRADE" that allowed the Retlaw 1 trainset to leave the Disneyland Roundhouse for a warehouse in Ventura, CA. What Disney got was a rather large Vulcan 2-4-4RT that is now part of the Cedar Point and Lake Erie by way of Anaheim, Orlando & Buena Park!
In 1998, Bill Norred passed away and the Norred family sold what was left of the collection excluding "Wells Fargo" to Rob Rossi and the Santa Margarita Ranch in 2000. A two mile railroad was built and began operations in 2005 hauling the public for special events and fundraisers.
I have had the privilege to work on and operate this equipment since the opening of the Pacific Coast Railroad. After some recent tweaks to the Melodia, she is running better than ever. When she came to the ranch, it would not hold steam pressure and could barely get out of its shadow. Our first CMO, Phil Reader of Georgetown Loop, along with myself and others have worked to make the Melodia the most reliable locomotive we have of our three. There are some things I do not like about the engine, mostly due to the conversion by Crown, but all in all, it is a good performer and has a great backhead for cooking on! Currently the Melodia has taken on the nickname of "FrankenPorter" due the the very nature of its metamorphosis.
As a side note, I am happy that Carolwood Foundation has acquired the Wells Fargo for preservation. Several others were offered the car by the Norred family prior to Carolwood and it could have gone any number of places including back to Disneyland. This event coming up is a "must" for those who are true purists of the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad.