Opportunities to Volunteer


Be a part of preserving history

The historic Swanton Pacific Railroad is located at the Swanton Pacific Ranch near Davenport, CA.  The ranch and railroad are educational resources managed by the Cal Poly College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.  The railroad, including the steam locomotives, passenger cars, and right of way, is maintained and operated by a group of dedicated volunteers.  Whether you have a lot of experience or you are looking for opportunities to gain new skills we welcome you to consider volunteering.

Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Training and working on railroad operations such as track maintenance, brakeman, conductor, fireman, and engineer
  • Restoring and maintaining the locomotives and rail cars in our machine and car shops
  • Researching and archiving information relating to the railroad
  • Development of training and operations materials
  • Maintaining facilities and ground associated with the railroad
  • Plumbing water and air systems
  • Assisting with educational events associated with the railroad

Skills and Experience:

Whether you want to put your talents to use or you want to develop new skills, we are looking for volunteers who have an interest in one or more of the skills listed below.  Even if you do not have any experience but you are interested in developing those skills, our experienced volunteers will work beside you to give you the opportunities you need to get some hands on experience.

  • Machinist
  • Welder
  • Wood working and carpentry
  • Electrical and electronics
  • Equipment maintenance and operation
  • Landscaping installation and maintenance
  • Railroad operations

How to volunteer:

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic we have canceled our regular work weekends and are not accepting visitors at the railroad.  However, if you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities please give us a call so we can talk about your interests so that when the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted you will be able to explore first hand the volunteer opportunities available.  

Give us a call (831-458-5424) if you want more information how you might be able to get involved with the railroad.

For dates of our regular work weekends and public events please click on our Calendar page link above.

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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