Daily Photos & Frugal Travel Tips

10 Sep

Trains in Hawaii

Lady Liberty Train Dole Plantation Oahu Hawaii Front View

Lady Liberty Train Dole Plantation Oahu Hawaii Side View

All Aboard Train Tour Dole Plantation Oahu Hawaii Sign

(as per sign)

All Aboard!

Trains have played a vital role in Hawai’i since the late 1800’s. On O’ahu, the largest railroad belonged to O’ahu Railway & Land Company (OR&L), founded in 1889 by Benjamin Franklin Dillingham. OR&L helped fuel the growth of the sugar and pineapple industries on O’ahu, as its trains connected downtown Honolulu with sugar plantations in ‘Aiea, Waipahu, Ewa, Wai’anae, Waialua, and Kahuku, as well as James Dole’s pineapple plantation here in Wahiawa.

The train line that ran from here to Honolulu allowed James Dole to transport the pineapple from his plantation to his canning facility near Honolulu harbor. The trains also brought food and clothing for workers, building supplies, and fertilizers back out to the plantation.

Besides supporting the agriculture industry, OR&L’s steam trains provided transportation to everyone from local residents to out-of-town visitors. And, when World War II broke out, the trains played a major role in transporting military personnel and material around O’ahu.

Today, there are no freight or commuter trains running in Hawai’i. The only trains operating are primarily for educational and entertainment purposes.

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