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.
Unfortunately, the Santa Cruz fires have impacted both the Swanton Pacific Ranch and the Swanton Pacific Railroad. The fire damaged or destroyed the Roundhouse, Car Shop, Car Barn and Cal Barn. The Machine Shop, Train Station and picnic grounds were spared any damage. The 1913 and 1914 steam locomotives were badly damaged by the fire but we are optimistic that they can be restored. We have lost all of our passenger cars and most of our maintenance of way cars.
Fortunately, the 1912 steam locomotive was off site having a new boiler installed and the 502 diesel locomotive was in the Machine Shop. These two locomotives will will play an important role in our efforts to rebuild the railroad.
If you are interested in helping to support the rebuilding of the Swanton Pacific Railroad please use the link below to make a donation:
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.
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.
Swanton Pacific Railroad
College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407