I thought it would be interesting to photo document and share where evidence of the OR&L still emerge from the shadows of modern Oahu. Beyond the tourist railway ( The Hawaiian Railway Society - Oahu, Hawaii), virtually nothing exists, and many local folks have no knowledge that even that operation still runs trains! I know some trackage exists on base, where photography is generally forbidden, and last year Oldest Daughter and I documented an adventure along the cuts and bridges on the island’s western tip ( Ke Ka’a Ahi na a Leina a ka Uhane / Train to the Leap of the Soul). There is also a good stretch of track out west in Waianae where the Navy ran ammunition trains through the Vietnam War (I have to refind those photos!). The rest is a treasure hunt, and, hopefully, by opening this topic, it will help sharpen my eyes in my pursuit of yesteryear.
The project started this weekend. Oldest Son and I were stopping by our favorite board game store (for gamer and those seeking the actual location, see Retail Store- Other Realms LTD. (other-realms.com)), a place we’ve visited dozens of times before. I spotted what appeared to be two parallel lines and a hint of metal, so I let him head inside while I checked it out. Sure enough, it was a bit or rail!
You can just make out the faint outline of the other track over to the left. The track runs East-West, with these ghost rails terminating in a modern warehouse style building clearly built right over the top of them. I was playing dodge car, so no photo…To the east, however, is the Dole Cannery facility. This building now houses shops and banquet halls, but was once the place for a summer job, if not a career, in Honolulu. In fact, CINCHOUSE’s older relatives all worked here or in similar canneries that were once located in this general area.
This facility would be one of the last customers of a rail system that served a Kingdom, a Territory, and a State for a century. Dole alone holds out as the last commercial pineapple grower, though the cannery and rails that once brought “Hawaiian gold” to the world are gone, repurposed, or, like these rails, awaiting rediscovery.
More to follow as I find either a.) old picures or b.) new discoveries!