Posted by: loomisisc | January 8, 2010

Lahaina Sugar Cane Train

Elevated rail, a relic of our past and reality of our future.

Hawaii’s rail history goes back several generations and extends to neighbor islands. The Sugar Cane Train in Lahaina, Maui is one popular example.

The Pioneer Mill in Lahaina harvested sugar cane for 139 years on Maui. The mill was started by James Campbell around 1860.  In 1969 A.W. “Mac” McKelvy and the Makai Corporation created the Sugar Cane Train. The line has operated passenger service from Lahaina to Puukolii (just north of Kaanapali) daily for over 30 years.

Since 1970, over five million tourists to Maui have ridden the train making it one of West Maui’s most popular attractions.

The train’s website reads:

“With a blast of its steam whistle, the locomotive chugs along a six-mile stretch of track at a leisurely pace. During your train ride, the Sugar Cane train crosses a 325-foot curved wooden trestle whose elevation yields panoramic views of neighboring islands and the West Maui Mountains.

During your journey, our narrator will entertain you Hawaiian-style and point out sites of interest along the way. From December to April, it is a common sight to spot humpback whales frolicking in our warm Pacific waters.”

Imagine seeing this on you daily commute. Could be possible with Honolulu rail transit.


  1. […] The train system would connect central Maui, Kihei and Lahaina. Currently, only Lahaina is served by a rail transit system, the famous Sugar Cane Train. […]

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