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Steam & Excursion > Steam Trains In This Territory Were All Of A Very Special Size!


Date: 03/23/20 04:00
Steam Trains In This Territory Were All Of A Very Special Size!
Author: LoggerHogger

Before Hawaii became our 50th and last state to join the union in 1959, it was known as the Territory Of Hawaii.  During these early years several of the islands that made up that territory were host to some wonderful narrow gauge railroads, most of which served the plantations on these islands.

One of these little railroads was operated by the Lihue Plantation on Kauai Island.  This 30" gauge railroad was actually operated as a common carrier while mainly hauling the plantation sugar products.  Here we see Lihue #4, a 1900 Baldwin built 0-6-0 stopped at a small water tank in 1948 on the old mainline of the Ahukini Terminal & Ry Co. mainline near Wailua Bridge.  Robert Ramsay was on hand on this fine day when a group of railfans from the States chartered the little train for this trip.

Later, #4 would be discovered by Gene Autry who would buy her and a set of her 30" sugar cane cars for this Swiss  Melody Ranch in Southern California.  Today it is part of the Kepner Collection in Merrill, Oregon.

Martin



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/20 04:17 by LoggerHogger.




Date: 03/23/20 07:57
Re: Steam Trains In This Territory Were All Of A Very Special Siz
Author: Frisco1522

I know this is beating a dead horse, and really is none of my business but are there any plans to do anythng with the Kepner collection?  I also don't want to start a flame war over it, just curious.



Date: 03/23/20 08:27
Re: Steam Trains In This Territory Were All Of A Very Special Siz
Author: LoggerHogger

Fred is hanging on to the collection for now.  He would like to sell the GN 2-8-0 to raise funds to work on the Lihue. 

Martin



Date: 03/23/20 08:35
Re: Steam Trains In This Territory Were All Of A Very Special Siz
Author: cgarch

My GF and I were in Kauai in November. Without being aware of the existence of this line, I did spot several of the concrete trestles that still exist that must have been part of that line (see attached). The north bound section of HI 56 uses a steel structure built on top of the extant concrete bridge at Wailua for the roadway. Further north are other remnants of the line that are easily necrophoamed. In addition we rode bikes on the trail, the Kauai Multi-use Path, north of Kapaa, built on the old ROW.

cg



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/20 16:08 by cgarch.




Date: 03/23/20 08:55
Re: Steam Trains In This Territory Were All Of A Very Special Siz
Author: wingomann

I wonder if Gene Autry was one of the railfans on that trip.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 03/23/20 09:24
Re: Steam Trains In This Territory Were All Of A Very Special Siz
Author: LoggerHogger

wingomann Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I wonder if Gene Autry was one of the railfans on
> that trip.


I wondered the same thing.

Martin



Date: 03/23/20 22:34
Re: Steam Trains In This Territory Were All Of A Very Special Siz
Author: JDLX

Martin, I'm assuming this is a picture of the #4 on Melody Ranch?  Negative is dated 15 April 1957...

My family dragged me to Kauai a couple years ago, it's probably not a place I would have gone by myself but I've wanted to go back.  Lots of fascinating railroad history there, and lots of parallels to the logging railroads of the Pacific northwest.

Jeff Moore
Elko, NV 








Date: 03/24/20 04:29
Re: Steam Trains In This Territory Were All Of A Very Special Siz
Author: LoggerHogger

Jeff,

You are correct.  Your image shows her a Gene Autry's place.

Martin



Date: 03/24/20 05:22
Re: Steam Trains In This Territory Were All Of A Very Special Siz
Author: GPutz

Thanks, as always, for all your posts, Martin.  I took these pictures 2/28/17, just north of the Kapa'a Beach Park and the Public Library, along HI-56 on Kauai.

1.  There are two bridges here.
2.  The west or up-stream brige is used by fishermen on the Mo'ikeha Canal.
3.  The east bridge is under the Kauai Multipurpose Path or Ke Ala Hele Makalae.

I speculate that these concrete structures may have been built after the 4/1/46 tsunami destroyed earlier wood bridges.  Why are there two parallel bridges about 100 feet apart for a sugar plantation railroad?

Gerry








Date: 03/24/20 22:00
Re: Steam Trains In This Territory Were All Of A Very Special Siz
Author: DRGW5502

The best thing about that location is eating at The Country Cafe across the street.  So good!

 



Date: 03/24/20 22:13
Re: Steam Trains In This Territory Were All Of A Very Special Siz
Author: JDLX

Gerry- Topographic maps tell me those two bridges cross the Moikeha Canal.  The closer bridge to the ocean was the mainline, the inland fisherman bridge was a branchline that extended a ways inland.  The attached snippets are of USGS historic topo maps showing the track arrangement in that area and then a closer Google Earth view of the two bridges.

Lihue Plantation ended up being the last railroad on the island, they finally called it quits and went to trucks in 1959.  By that point Lihue had a small fleet of 30" gauge GE centercab switchers.  I've heard they sold most to all of them to Cuba but tnen never got paid for them due to the revolution.  

Jeff Moore
Elko, NV






Date: 03/25/20 05:24
Re: Steam Trains In This Territory Were All Of A Very Special Siz
Author: GPutz

Thanks, Jeff, for the map and overhead view.  Gerry



Date: 03/25/20 14:30
Re: Steam Trains In This Territory Were All Of A Very Special Siz
Author: JDLX

You're welcome, Gerry.  I do find it interesting that building in the resort just north of the canal seems to be perfectly lines up with the alignment of the old branch. 

Jeff Moore
Elko, NV



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