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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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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 - Davenport, CA


The Swanton Pacific Railroad serves as an operational memorial to Al Smith who acquired the trains that were build for the 1915 Pan Pacific International Exhibition. Al relocated the trains to Swanton Pacific Ranch where, with the help of many volunteers, he created a working railroad. The rolling stock consists of three one-third scale Pacific-type steam locomotives that were built for Exposition, a diesel switcher locomotive, motorcar and a variety of passenger and maintenance of way railcars.

Support Swanton Pacific Railroad Recovery


  • Fire Damage and COVID-19 

    • With the damage from the Santa Cruz fire and given the current situation with COVID-19 our volunteer work weekends and other railroad events have been canceled until further notice.  

Informal Visits: 

  • Until the areas impacted by the fire are determined to be safe to enter and the rules associated with the current COVID-19 outbreak allow us to open to the public we are not accepting any visitors at the railroad.  Please check back on this web site for any updates. 

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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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Swanton Pacific Ranch

Swanton Pacific Ranch Logo

Swanton Pacific Ranch

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

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Al Smith and Cal Poly Day Open House Events

Experience the 1/3 scale Swanton Pacific Railroad.

Ride the train

Railroad Society Officers

Learn more about the volunteer officers of the Swanton Pacific Railroad Society.

Railroad Society Officers