Statement by Seth Shteir, California Desert Senior Representative, National Parks Conservation Association

Background: The latest in a series of attempts by Cadiz Inc. to avoid federal review of its proposed water mining project was put forward this week, in the form of the “Cadiz Southeastern Railway”. This new proposal is the latest attempt by the company to meet one of the criteria stated by the Department of Interior, that the company’s proposed 43-mile pipeline along the railroad right-of-way must have a direct impact to the rail system, in order to avoid a comprehensive federal review and involvement of the United States Geological Survey.  Both Senator Feinstein and Representative Cook, along with a host of local businesses, ranchers, and elected officials, have expressed concerns project’s anticipated impacts on the Mojave National Preserve and its aquifer, and have called for federal review.

“Today’s announcement by Cadiz Inc. to create the Cadiz Southeastern Railway is as big of a mirage as the company’s use of the word ‘sustainable’ in its plans to drain 16 billion gallons of water per year from the Mojave desert to send to Riverside, Los Angeles, and Orange County Water District.” 

“Cadiz Inc. states its steam train excursions would provide views of Mojave National Preserve and desert wilderness areas; yet, the Cadiz Water Project stands to forever damage these very landscapes. What’s more, the town of Cadiz itself it located more than two hours away from Palm Springs or other desert destinations; essentially requiring travelers to drive out of their way, to take a ride on a steam train to nowhere.”



  1. We are totally against the water project and the steam train project/museum.
    The desert surrounding Cadiz is loaded with history and beauty.
    Once construction begins – there will be no more public land for the public.

  2. in addition to all the environmental questions, in order for this to work there are too many physical questions that need to be answered: is the track strong enough for a steam train? how about the bridge over the colorado? who is going to operate the train? are there already passing sidings in place?

    it takes an large, specilalized crew to run a steam train. where are those people going to come from?

    one big question is how often would this train run? one of the wikipedia articles on cadiz mentions the proposed rail line and suggests santa fe 3751 is a possibility for a limited number of trips. it is owned by San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society and is stored in los angeles. they are mentioned in the wall street journal article and it seems they are interested in LIMITED trips. will bnsf grant track usage to 3751 to go from LA to cadiz?

    “Under the terms of the Agreement, CSER will operate and maintain its own steam locomotives, passenger cars and terminals within ARZC property.”

    where are those engines going to come from? china is the only country running regular steam trains. maybe CSER can buy them from china.

    “Federal law specifically prohibits building a pipeline with the sole exception of it being “railroad related”.”

    so it is tied to the water mining, which i don’t think is going to happen. too many environmental issues and lawsuits and what appears to be corruption in state and county government.

    as for the view. there won’t be much pristine desert left if the proposed renewable energy plans go into effect – all those wonderful views will be spoiled by solar plant and wind turbines. the map of the area energy companies want to build in is enormous and if i read one right, there is a plan to build in the preserve.

    as for the mojave national preserve, its boundary ends at highway 40, so there won’t be much, if any, view of the preserve from the proposed train. the track which runs from cadiz to parker az does not follow route 66.

    before any pipeline for rail-related water to be built, all those other questions have to be answered on the basic building and operations of a tourist steam railroad. unless it is just a ruse, once the mining operation is up and running the railroad just can’t be built.

    as the radio station KCDZ, Z107.7FM in 29 palms springs said, “” the town of Cadiz itself it located more than two hours away from Palm Springs or other desert destinations; essentially requiring travelers to drive out of their way, to take a ride on a train to nowhere.”

    the story also said “Visitors to the center, who arrive via rail or vehicles traveling along Route-66”

    how are they going to arrive via rail? there is no stop for the amtrak southwest chief between barstow and needles, certainly not in cadiz. the ride between LA and needles is mostly at night both eastbound and westbound. so i seriously doubt people are going to arrive at cadiz via rail.

    author chris clarke writes extensively on the cadiz water project.

    the train sounds like a ruse. but kind of a funny one, especially when you see the artist rendition of the museum/depot/cultural center. what culture?

    cadizinc has been busy with their community outreach programs trying to sway people’s opinion.


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