Hawaii January 02, 2018
4 Epic Train Rides In Hawaii For That Wonderful Scenic Experience You Need
From breathtaking ocean views to majestic mountain landscapes, the Hawaiian Islands are home to some incredible scenic vistas. While we love all of the incredible scenic drives you’ll find across the Aloha State, sometimes you want to experience something a little different. And that’s exactly what these 4 train rides have to offer: scenic views, history lessons, and plenty of fun. All aboard!
1. Hawaiian Railway Society, Oahu
Dedicated to saving, restoring, and protecting Hawaii’s railway history, the Hawaiian Railway Society is not only the only historic railroad on the island, but the only operating railroad museum in the state as well. The railroad is on both the State and National Registers of Historic Sites, and is a stunning slice of history many people have never visited.
This narrow gauge heritage railway operates three restored diesel locomotives to operate on approximately 6.5 miles of restored train tracks from Ewa to Nanakuli. The restored portion of track is part of a 12-mile remnant of track that ran from the city, Honolulu, to the country, Kahuku, and was once used for passenger and freight service between 1888 and 1947.
Train rides are 90 minutes long round trip, and held Saturdays at 3 p.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The 3 p.m. rides both stop at Two Scoops in Kapolei, where riders can purchase ice cream to enjoy on the return trip. Oh, and did we mention the magnificent ocean views, as well?
for more information.
2. Kauai Plantation Railway, Kauai
The Kauai Plantation Railway is unique in that it is the first new railroad to be built on Kauai in nearly 100 years. More than 2.5 miles of railway have been constructed using more than 6,000 wood ties and tens of thousands of pounds of iron rail to create this railroad reminiscent of those you would find across Hawaii more than a century ago. Located on the Kilohana Plantation, passengers will be rewarded with magnificent views around every corner — from an unusual mix of tropical plants and trees to friendly farm animals.
This train ride is unlike any other you’ll find in America. Your tour begins in an authentic Hawaiian railway depot where you can explore a unique train depot stop before hearing the whistle of the approaching train, heading to the platform and climbing aboard either a reproduction of the railway cars used during the reign of King Kalakaua or an open-sided excursion car used on Oahu before World War II. You really can’t go wrong with either option. The premier tour features a ride aboard the train, a hike through the rain forest and a picnic lunch followed by the sampling of fresh tropical fruits directly from the tree. Can you imagine a more perfect afternoon in paradise? We sure can’t! To learn more about this unforgettable train ride,
3. Lahaina Sugar Cane Train, Maui
This small tourist railroad has been in operation since 1969 when it was started as the Lahaina, Kaanapali & Pacific Railroad, and operates over six miles of narrow-gauge track connecting Lahaina to Puukolii. Although the sugarcane fields are gone, the train continues to transport visitors along a scenic journey from the "Maui of yesteryear to the beauty and charm of Maui today." Since 1970, more than five million tourists visiting Maui have ridden this historic train, making it one of the most popular attractions in West Maui.
Visit soon to experience the magic of the Sugar Cane Train’s Holiday Express ride, a magical polar express train ride that — instead of taking you on a journey to the North Pole — will hope to fill you with holiday cheer in a location that otherwise doesn’t feel very Christmas-y. The train is decked out in Christmas decor, and passengers will not only be served milk and cookies, but will have the opportunity to meet Santa. The holiday event is held daily at 6:30 and 8 p.m. now through Christmas day. For more information or to book tickets aboard the Holiday Express,
4. Pineapple Express, Oahu
All aboard for a fully-narrated, twenty minute and two mile journey through the famous Dole Plantation. Hop on one of the plantations three trains for an experience you won’t forget: the Pineapple Express is the plantation’s most iconic train, but the Aloha Express and Lady Liberty are both pretty awesome in their own right.
These train rides are a as scenic as it is educational, and serve as a welcome respite from walking around the plantation. Passengers will "learn the story of pineapple in Hawai‘i, hear how James Drummond Dole founded his world-famous agricultural empire where Dole Plantation stands today, and travel through the stunning scenery of the island’s famous North Shore," according to the Dole Plantation Website.
James Dole, who purchased the 61-acre land parcel in 1900, was the first person to truly understand the pineapple’s potential and became known across the United States as the Pineapple King, and Hawaii was famous for being the pineapple capital of the world. The Dole Plantation sits just north of the small town of Wahiawa, in central Oahu, and now serves as a major tourist destination.
Entry to the iconic Dole Plantation is free, though you’ll have to pay for each of the main attractions separately. A train ride through this historic plantation will cost between $7 to $11 per person, and children under four are free. Learn more
Have you experienced any of these 4 incredible train rides for yourself? Share your comments and experiences in the comments below.