The Lahaina, Kaanapali & Pacific

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During September 2002, I spent a week on Maui. We stayed at the Maui Kaanapali Villas (recommended, especially room 263 which is clearly the nicest hotel room I've EVER been in). My hotel just happened to be across the street from a railway station at Puukolii road.

The Lahaina, Kaanapali & Pacific (aka The Sugar Cane Train) is a 3' narrow gauge tourist railway on the Hawaiian island of Maui. The equipment is all non-native, but the right of way is left over from a working sugar cane railway that shut down in 1953 when trucks took over the load. Eventually, the sugar mill itself was shut down and the remaing cane crop continued to be trucked to the last remaining mill about 20 miles away.

The line extends 5 miles from downtown Lahaina Towne north to the northern edge of the Kaanapali resort area. Stations are all adjacent to state highway 30 at Lahaina, the center of the Kaanapali area and at Puukolii road.

LK&P #3 LK&P #3 began its existance as an H.K. Porter Company 38" gauge 0-4-0 saddletanker. For use on the LK&P, it was been converted to a tender engine sometime in the late 60's. In the process, it got converted to a 36" gauge 2-4-2 as well but there were problems with the trailing truck and it got converted again to a 2-4-0.

LK&P #1 An identical engine was converted to LK&P #1. This one has been cosmetically converted to look like a Baldwin prototype. This prototype used to run on an Oahu cane railway. The Oahu engine was in turn the prototype for the original Bachmann 2-4-2 large scale model.

Both steamers burn reclaimed motor oil collected on Maui. The engines like it, its cheap, it burns fairly cleanly, and it gets rid of the used oil. Sounds like a deal to me.

LK&P #45 #45 is a Plymouth diesel mechanical locomotive that is put into service occasionally. It did run while I was there. It has a unique peanut whistle that sounds much different than the steamers.

taking water Once each round trip on the southbound leg the steamers take on water at the Kaanapali station. The water is processed by a reverse osmosis system in a building next to the tank.

LK&P #5 At the Lahaina station, an 0-6-2 outside frame saddletanker rests on static display. This is primarily an eye catcher to attract potential riders that go by on highway 30 which runs right through town and immediately by the station.

typical coach The coaches of the LK&P are custom made to resemble an English design. These cars, however, are made frome steel instead of wood and all the windows work. On the originals, only the windows in first class could be closed to keep out the rain. Each coach seats 56 passengers on flip over seats. On the return leg of my trip, the train was completely full. The railway has carried over 6 million passengers at about $15 for a round trip since it opened in about 1963. This makes it one of the most heavily used tourist railroad in the US.

chair casting Since these cars were custom made, even the chair castings are custom. The train ride is narrated. Once a week on Thursdays, the railroad runs a dinner train for about $60. Dinner is not served on the train, but at the Kaanapali station.

truck casting On some of the cars, even the journal box covers were especially cast for the railroad.

turntable At the south end of the line at Lahaina Station, the engines are turned on this powered turntable. The engine then runs around the train and hooks up at the north end. At the north end of the line just beyond the Puukolii Station, there is a loop that encircles the engine house to allow the whole train to be turned.

#1 on trestle Near the highest point on the line (about 80' above sea level) there is a 350' long trestle. This photo is a little blurred due to the rather heavy rain that was falling at the time. This was the northbound leg. On the southbound leg, the engineer opens up the blow cocks and blows out collected sludge.

scenery The railroad runs through this wilderness area. Natives and visitors can be seen chasing little white balls around this tournment class 18 hole golf course.

The terrian in the background slopes up to the Halemahina Volcano (5788'). The top of this volcano gets something line 400" of rain a year although this side gets relatively little rain. The larger Haleakala (10,023') volcano makes up the southern part of Maui. It is so tall, that the top gets almost no rain. On the Hana cost on the southwest and south sides, there is a rain forest.

kaanapali On the other side of of the the track lies the quaint village of Kaanapali complete with a slightly non-native form of visitor housing. The Kaanapali coast is a master planned resort region just stuffed with high class (expensive) hotels.

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© 2002 George Schreyer
Created 3 Sept 2002
Last Updated September 3, 2002