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Two 1/3 scale steam locomotives pulling passenger cars

Swanton Pacific Railroad

Did you know Cal Poly has a 1/3 scale railroad? Al Smith gifted not only the Swanton Pacific Ranch but also the Swanton Pacific Railroad to Cal Poly. The railroad includes live steam locomotives, a diesel locomotive and a variety of rolling stock.

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A 1/3 scale steam locomotive crossing the bridge at Swanton Pacific Ranch.

Cal Poly Day - Sunday October 9

Make your reservations now for Cal Poly Day - Sunday October 9

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Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers working on Swanton Pacific Railroad track

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The gauges, knobs, and levers inside the cab of the 1/3 steam locomotive.

Swanton Pacific Railroad Equipment

Inside the cab of one of the Swanton Pacific Railroad steam locomotives

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Swanton Pacific Railroad


Cal Poly Day - Sunday, October 9 

You are invited to visit Swanton Pacific Ranch and ride on our historic 1/3 scale train during the annual Cal Poly Day.  Ride the train, enjoy a Santa Maria style BBQ lunch and learn about the Swanton Pacific Ranch and Railroad.  Attendance is limited to 500 people so be sure to make your reservation early.  Click on the link below to download the reservation form 

Cal Poly Day Reservation Form


The Swanton Pacific Historical Railroad Society is dedicated to those who:
  • Are nuts about trains
  • Have a love for history
  • Like to be working on a fun project outdoors
  • Want live steam maintenance or operating experience
  • Have or want machine shop, welding, construction or foundry experience
The 1/3 scale railroad is located on the beautiful 3200-acre Swanton Pacific Ranch near Davenport in Santa Cruz County.  A dedicated group of volunteers maintain and operate the railroad on behalf of the Cal Poly College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.  The Swanton Pacific Railroad serves as an operational memorial to Al Smith who acquired and relocated the trains to the Swanton Pacific Ranch. The rolling stock consists of three one-third scale Pacific-type steam locomotives that were built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, a diesel switcher locomotive and a variety of passenger and maintenance of way railcars.
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For more information, please contact:
Swanton Pacific Railroad
College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, Ca 93407

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