The Hawaiian Railway
P.O. Box 60369, Ewa, HI, USA
www.hawaiianrailway.com - PHONE (808) 681-5461, FAX (808) 681-4860
The Hawaiian Railway Ewa Reviews
The Hawaiian Railway - Not your typical Hawaiian tourist attraction Feb 15, 1999
The Hawaiian Railway is the only railroad still running on Oahu, but there used to be 7 common public carrying railroads on 4 of the islands, 47 civilian sugar cane plantation railroads and one military railroad operating in Hawaii. The Hawaiian Railroad narrow gauge train used to bring supplies and workers out to the sugar cane fields and bring the crops in after they were harvested. Early Hawaiian railroad crossing signs read: Akahele I Ke Ka`aahi which means "Lookout for the firecar!"
The Hawaiian Railroad is only open to the public for two afternoon departures on every Sunday except the 4th Sunday in December, and by appointment for 45-90 minute charter excursions during the week. The Sunday 90-minute long ride, round-trip at a speed of 15 miles per hour is fully narrated. Trains depart from the station in Ewa along 6.5 miles of track to Nanakuli and Kahe Point where the train stops for a few minutes so passengers can admire the beautiful view of the ocean.
Three small vintage diesel locomotives have been restored to operation and several static display steam locomotives have been cosmetically restored but do not operate. One of the famous plantation owners on Oahu had his own personal custom-built car from which he would hand out paychecks to all the workers on payday. This oak, mahogany and birdseye maple interior with a double-size rear platform observation car (Dillingham Parlor Car #64) with ornate iron grillwork has been restored and is added to the open-air train set on the second Sunday of every month.
Adults - $10.00
Children (ages 2-12) and Seniors (ages 62 & up) - $7.00
Children under age 2 ride free (but must be held)
ALL TICKETS FOR PARLOR CAR - $20.00
Only cash and checks are accepted.
Mr. Dillingham's Parlor Car 64 (built in 1900) requires reservations and seats only 14 passengers. All monies for the Parlor Car go toward the continued maintenance of the car. This is the car we rode on for our trip on Hawaiian Railroad and it was well worth the extra $10 per ticket to ride on this beautifully restored luxury car with our own personal narrator (this ride is for the real train buffs out there or just those who want to know more about the historical aspects of Hawaiian plantation trains/life).
We rode like royalty just like Queen Lili`uokalani and other members of the Hawaiian royal family had done during the heyday of railroads in Hawaii long ago. It was really fun to have the car all to ourselves that weekend so we put a couple chairs on the rear platform to listen to our personal narrator who was very knowledgeable and friendly.
Although the Sugar Cane Train on Maui operates with live steam engines between historic Lahaina town and the resorts of Kaanapali, the Hawaiian Railway on Oahu only operates diesel locomotives, which isn't as much fun for train buffs. Still, what an unusual activity on Oahu instead of the "normal" and very expensive "touristy" activities you can spend too much money on and not have the views of the ocean while learning a little Hawaiian history as you clickity-clack along the tracks in the fresh air. We recommend Hawaiian Railway for those who really want to try something different than the average Hawaiian tourist!
Part of the Jeff and Jenny's Travels from 1998 to 2008 travel blog
Part of the list Hawaii
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