Cadiz Southeastern Railway
The Cadiz Southeastern Railway (CSER) is our proposed new cultural, educational and entertainment attraction that will operate regularly scheduled steam train excursions through the Mojave Desert between Parker, Arizona and Cadiz, California on a portion of the Arizona & California Railroad. This 85-mile route is located just off historic Route-66 and provides sweeping views of the vast desert wilderness, mountainous terrain and the Colorado River.
The steam locomotives will be powered by water made available from our Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery & Storage Project and the Cadiz Valley Agricultural Ranch will be the site of a new Train Depot and Museum & Cultural Center that will serve as a destination for the CSER operation.
ARZC is a participant in the Water Project and has played an essential role in the project’s development since 2008. Along with fire suppression capabilities, road access and power previously secured by ARZC from the Cadiz Water Project, the water pipeline in the ARZC right-of-way now also has the potential to provide for exciting new rail adventures.
The CSER excursion trains will create a new way for the public to visit the Mojave Desert in a safe and comfortable setting not typically available from local highways or roads. We will offer both traditional excursions and themed rail rides, including seasonal harvest, holiday and stargazing trains, on a regular schedule from September to May – the best time of the year to enjoy the desert. Centered among popular desert tourist destinations including Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave National Preserve, the Colorado River, Lake Havasu and Phoenix, Arizona, we hope the CSER will offer a new destination for all area tourists to enjoy.
The Museum and Cultural Center will serve as the educational hub of the operation. Visitors to the Center, who arrive via rail or vehicles traveling along Route-66, will learn about the historical and ecological development of the area, as well as the region’s connection to the railroad industry. The town of Cadiz started in 1883 as a small railroad siding and, over time, developed into an important depot and water stop for steam locomotives carrying supplies and passengers during the expansion of the West. Diesel-electric overtook steam in the 1950s and the Cadiz depot and water stop eventually closed. However, the love for steam has lived on in the area and we are very excited to be able to bring steam back to Cadiz.
The construction and operation of the CSER and the museum and cultural center are still subject to implementation of the Water Project, as well as additional local permitting and review. (click here to learn more about the Water Project.) Once up-and-running, CSER will be one of the longest, regularly scheduled steam excursion trains in the United States and one of the few dedicated to the desert experience.
As we get our facilities and equipment ready, we intend to work with the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society, which maintains a 1927-built steam locomotive, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe number 3751, to operate limited runs of the 3751 on the route.
The development of the CSER is in its early stages, but we have started a new website that describes our vision for the operation. The website address is www.desertsteamtrain.com . Please periodically check back here or at the new website for updates.