Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Coachella Railhead

LOCATION: Central Riverside County, CA, adjacent to the southern boundary of Coachella, CA

SITE HISTORY: In 1943, the War Department secured approximately 263 acres of land as part of the California - Arizona Maneuver Area (CAMA) , later renamed the Desert Training Center, for the Coachella Railhead. The railhead was designed as a place to load and unload cargo and as a temporary campsite for personnel being deployed to camps within the CAMA system.
To establish the railhead, the government acquired 133 acres via Use Permit from the California Electric Power Co. (29 March 1943) and three private owners (1 February and 29 March 1943) and 0.18 acres via license agreements from the Southern Pacific Railroad Co. (19 November 1943) for railhead construction (lesser interests). The remaining 130.2 acres were obtained via lease agreements from the Coachella Valley County Water District (20 January 1943) and the Coachella Sanitary District of Riverside County. A total of 9 tracts of land comprised the total site area of 263 acres.

The lease agreement with the Coachella Valley County Water District indicates that use of an existing warehouse building and attached loading platform were also transferred to the Army as part of the agreement.

The Army canceled 133 acres of the lesser interest Use Permits and License Agreements during the period 31 May 1944 to 16 January 1945. The lease with the Coachella Valley County Water District was canceled on 31 May 1944. The lease with the Coachella Sanitary District of Riverside County was canceled on 31 July 1944.

Currently, the 9 former tracts that comprised the Coachella Railhead can be tracked to approximately 58 parcels totaling an estimated 266 acres. An exact match between former tracts and current parcels is not possible due to historical changes in property boundaries. Consequently, some acreage has been included that was not within the original site (notably areas of former Lot 3) and some site acreage has been omitted (notably areas that have become easements for roads) .
Source: Los Angeles District, US Army Corps of Engineers
Known Army Units at Cochella Railhead

 Data Source


 Army of the United States Station List  1 June 1943
Provisional Railhead Company (AGF)
Veterinary Detachment (Food Inspection) (AGF)
13th Medical Supply Depot
13th Postal Regulating Section (AGF)
203rd Quartermaster Gasoline Supply Battalion (less Companies A and B) (AGF)
459th Engineer Depot Company (less Detachment) (AGF)
Company A, 537th Quartermaster Service Battalion (Colored) (AGF)
AAF - Army Air Forces units | AGF - Army Ground Forces unit | ASF - Army Service Forces units | WDC Western Defense Command unit
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Updated 23 June 2017