Laupahoehoe, Big Island, Hawaii: Laupahoehoe Train Museum

Small museum preserves photos and artifacts from the early 20th century operation of a train along the Hamakua coast to Hilo.
Address:
36-2377 Mamalohoa Hwy, Laupahoehoe, Big Island, HI
Directions:
Along Hwy 19, mile marker 25.
Hours:
M-F 9 am - 4:30 pm (Call to verify)
Phone:
808-962-6300
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Explosives on the old wye track. Laupahoehoe Train Museum

We don't usually associate trains with Hawaii, and for good reason -- no one's commuting from Diamond Head to Maui by rail these days. There are still private tracks around for moving plantation goods; also a couple of "heritage" train rides maintained for the tourists. But only one Hawaiian railroad can claim to have been put out of business by a killer wave.

The Laupahoehoe Train Museum chronicles the trains that used to run along the Hamakua coast of the Big Island, hauling passengers, tourists, and sugar cane.

The museum features photos, videos, displays and artifacts about the train era, circa 1913-1946. They uncovered and cleaned up a section of "wye," original track that curves out of sight behind the parking lot. A rail car marked "EXPLOSIVES" is a nice photo backdrop. In a restored caboose on the siding there are more artifacts, along with a display of news clippings about local natural disasters. The 1946 tsunami that wrecked Hilo destroyed trestles and trains up and down the coast. Today highway 19 runs over the remaining bridges that once supported the trains.

[RoadsideAmerica.com Team, 03/12/2012]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Hula Dancer Photo OpHula Dancer Photo Op, Papaikou-Wailea, Big Island, HI - 11 mi.
Neo-Entropy - Kayumangi MuseumNeo-Entropy - Kayumangi Museum, Honomu, Big Island, HI - 11 mi.
The Naha StoneThe Naha Stone, Hilo, Big Island, HI - 20 mi.
In the region:
Volcano Steam Vents, Volcano, Big Island, HI - 38 mi.

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December 21, 2014

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