October 14, 2020 — SCV Historical Society board member Guy Horanberg installs a cover he fabricated from plywood and sheet metal over the cab of the historic steam locomotive at Heritage Junction, to protect its control mechanisms from rain.
Built in 1900 in Schenectady, N.Y., and purchased by the Southern Pacific Railroad, the 75-ton Mogul engine was one of five locomotives Gene Autry collected in the 1950s and stored at his Melody Ranch movie studio in Placerita Canyon. Autry intended to turn his ranch property into a Western museum with train rides, but a 1962 brush fire leveled his movie town and dashed his plans.
In 1981, Autry donated his Mogul engine to the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society, which had saved and moved the Saugus Train Station to William S. Hart Park the year before. Autry's Mogul arrived at its new home in April 1982.
Autry and wife Jackie ultimately opened their museum in 1988 in L.A.'s Griffith Park. Paul T. Veluzat and sons Renaud and Andre bought Autry's Placerita Canyon property in 1990 and started rebuilding Melody Ranch in 1991.
LW3762: Download original digital images here.