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The Lahaina, Kaanapali & Pacific Railroad

Lahaina, Maui (1998)

It is, of course, easier to call it the "Sugar Cane Train". In former years, when the sugar industry was the most important industry on Maui, there were many of these narrow-gauge railroads. This one here was opened in 1969 for touristic purposes, and the engines are replicas of the original ones. Several trains each day operate all the year round. A single trip between Lahaina and Kaanapali was $10.

Four different Japanese tourist parties, some US and a few German tourists waited at Lahaina Station. I bought picture postcards and Carola cared for the tickets. A queue formed at the ticket counter, especially because some passengers had the $10 fare ready, but not the additional 83 cents of tax.

The train arrived, while I still stood in the queue for picture postcards. "Don't panic", said the lady behind the desk. "There is still a lot of time".

The locomotive was on the turntable and the departure time had come. The first two attempts to get the train into motion were not successful. The train stood in a curve on a slight ascent, and the friction was too low. But finally, we started to move.

The conductor was multi-talented. He could play Ukelele, sing and entertain the passengers in English and Japanese.

The tracks follow Highway 30 at first from the northern part of Lahaina, then past Ka'anapali station to the station in Puukolii.

The train needs 40 min for the 6 miles, corresponding to an average speed of less than 10 miles per hour. The train did not stop at the stations, but went to the end of the line, through a loop and back to Puukolii. Tour buses were waiting for many of the passengers here.

Finally we were back in Ka'anapali Station. We left the train and watched while water was filled up.

We watched the departure of the train and walked back to the hotel.

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