Lahaina, Kaanapali and Pacific Railroad

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Lahaina, Kaanapali and Pacific Railroad (LKPRR)
Locale Maui County, Hawaii
Preserved operations
Owned by Craig Hill
Reporting mark LK&P
Length 6 miles (9.7 km)
Preserved gauge 3 ft (914 mm)
Commercial history
Opened 1970 (1970)
Preservation history
Headquarters Lahaina, Hawaii

The Lahaina, Kaanapali and Pacific Railroad (LKPRR) is a steam-powered, 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge heritage railroad in Lāhainā, Hawaii. The LKPRR operated the Sugar Cane Train, a 6-mile, 40-minute trip in open-air coaches pulled by vintage steam locomotives. The tracks connect Lahaina with Puukolii, stopping briefly at Kaanapali. A narrator points outs sites of interest during the trip, which crosses a 325-foot curved wooden trestle whose elevation yields panoramic views of neighboring islands and the West Maui Mountains. The train website states that the train will reopen in 2018.


Lahaina Station

The line follows a 6-mile stretch of historic right-of-way originally constructed to haul sugarcane from the sugarcane plantation fields in Kāʻanapali to the Pioneer Mill in Lahaina.[1] At one time, the island had over 200 miles of rails connecting the sugarcane plantations to the mills. Trucks, however, largely replaced the railroads by the middle 20th century. In 1969, A.W. "Mac" McKelvey and the Makai Corporation created the railroad in order to illustrate this part of Hawaii's past.[2]

On July 24, 2014, the company announced that it would be closing on August 1, 2014 due to a financial decision by the owners. The company was planning to remove the tracks and sell them off to another location. The locomotives were cleaned out and left in the shed.

Within months of closing, the Sugar Cane Train was bought by a local Maui resident and is in now the process of being revived. Craig Hill owner of Maui Concierge Services felt that the Sugar Cane Train needed to be kept running in order to preserve one of Lahaina's best known attractions and to keep the idea of the Sugar Cane Train alive. The Sugar Cane Train website now states that the train is running a "Holiday Express" from November 24 through December 25, 2017.[3]

The company plans to rebuild all 3 locomotives from the ground up, as well as add possible grade crossings to prevent any accidents. Plans for the Sugar Cane Train also includes hosting weddings as well as having an evening train. All old tracks are being removed and are in the process of being replaced by newer ties and rails.

Motive Power[edit]

No.3 Myrtle
  • No. 1 Anaka: a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge 2-4-0 steam locomotive produced by H.K. Porter, Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in February 1943 for the Carbon Limestone Company.[4] The engine has undergone extensive exterior modification since it was originally produced by Porter. It was originally a 0-4-0 saddle tank locomotive.[5] In this form, it had a large tank surrounding the boiler, which held water for the locomotive. The LKPRR removed the saddle tanks, added a tender to hold water and fuel, added a larger smokestack, a wooden cab and larger headlight that resembles oil lamps once found on steam locomotives. These changes transformed the engine from a comparatively austere industrial locomotive, into a more lively and colorful engine representative of many small mainline engines once found on railroads throughout the United States in the late 19th century.
  • No. 3 Myrtle: produced as a brother engine to No. 1, the No. 3 is also a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge 2-4-0 steam locomotive produced by H.K. Porter, Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in February 1943 for the Carbon Limestone Company.[4] The LKPRR similarly altered the appearance of this engine, but gave it a slightly more modern appearance, representative of a typical oil-burning engine from the early 20th century. As such, it has a steel cab, whaleback tender, small headlight modeled on an electric prototype, and darker color scheme. The No. 3's design, name and number were inspired by a historic sugarcane engine built in 1900 for the Hawaii Railroad and retired in 1945.[6]
  • No. 5: a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge outside frame 0-6-2 saddle tank locomotive. This engine is not in operating condition, but it is the only steam engine owned by the LKPRR with historical ties to Hawaii. It once ran on the Oahu Railway and Land Company until it was donated in 1954 to the Travel Town Museum in Los Angeles.[7] Through an equipment trade with Travel Town, the LKPRR brought No. 5 back to Hawaii, where it remains today awaiting restoration.
  • No. 45 Oahu: a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge MDT Plymouth diesel locomotive[8]

Points of interest[edit]

  • The Hahakea 325-foot wooden trestle
  • An operating wooden turntable, used for turning locomotives in Lahaina
  • Views of neighboring islands Lanai and Molokai
  • Views of the Hale Mahina, also known as the West Maui Mountains
  • Blowdown by train yard and trestle

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Clark, John R. K. (1989). The Beaches of Maui County. Honolulu, Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press. p. 61. ISBN 0-8248-1246-8. "RailAmerica agrees to acquire StatesRail for $90 million". Pacific Business News. October 16, 2001. The Lahaina, Kaanapali & Pacific Railroad, the "Sugar Cane Train," operates a tourist train over six miles between Lahaina and Kaanapali. Since 1970, over 5 million tourists in Maui have ridden the train. 
  2. ^ "Sugar Cane Train History". Archived from the original on March 27, 2009. Retrieved March 14, 2009. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "Steam Locomotive Information". Retrieved March 14, 2009. 
  5. ^ "The Lahaina, Kaanapali & Pacific". September 3, 2002. Retrieved March 14, 2009. 
  6. ^ "History". Archived from the original on October 26, 2009. Retrieved March 14, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Travel Town by G.M. Best, page 5". Retrieved March 14, 2009. 
  8. ^ Jay Reed (March 9, 2009). "Preserved Critters Dinkys & Centercabs". Retrieved March 14, 2009. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 20°52′49″N 156°40′44″W / 20.8804°N 156.6789°W / 20.8804; -156.6789