Most tourists to the tropical Hawaiian island of Maui know in advance about luaus, volcanoes, and beach activities, but few are aware upon arrival that the island is also host to the Lahaina, Kaanapali and Pacific Railroad, also known as the "Sugar Cane Train. This historic railroad used to be a working line serving the sugar plantations on the island; at one point, the island had hundreds of miles of railroad track. Those days have come and gone, but a charming remnant of them remains as a tourist railroad.
The Sugar Cane Train today operates on six miles of track. That may not sound like much, but the scenic journey in vintage steam locomotives takes 40 leisurely minutes. Visitors ride in open cars as they are entertained by a live narrator explaining sites of interest along the way. Outstanding views are available from a wooden trestle bridge between Lahaina and Puukolii; from it, tourists can see all the way to the nearby islands of Lanai and Molokai. Other notable sights include the Hale Mahina, more commonly known as the West Maui Mountains.
The Sugar Cane Train has been operating for the benefit of tourists since 1969 and includes charming original details such as a wooden turntable for maneuvering the steam engines. After a morning or afternoon on the train, visitors will return to their Maui vacation rentals and dream of romantic days gone by.