Waialua Agriculture Co, #5 Train
Photograph by Hawaii Aviation
The Waialua Agriculture Company’s #5 narrow-gauge train hauls a literal trainload of laborers to work in the company’s sugar cane fields in the early 1950’s as school-children wave to crew and passengers.
The number 5 train not only carried workers to and from the fields, but also carried supplies, equipment, and sugar cane. The mostly Filipino laborers worked long, hard hours and in 1947 requested pay for overtime hours. Their case made it to the US Supreme Court in 1955, where some of the workers were granted additional pay and some were exempted on an agricultural exemption.
The Waialua Agriculture sugar mill operated at the base of the Wai’anae Mountains on the island of Oahu in the town of Waialua for more than 130 years, between 1865 and 1996. Now an industrial park on Oahu, the sugar mill competed using technology, bringing in mechanized harvesting, surface water collection systems, and this narrow-gauge railroad.
The number 6 train from Waialua was eventually donated in the early 1970’s to the Hawaiian Railway Society, who restored it over many years at Lualualei.
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