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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJanuary 16 - January 22, 2019
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Ohana Express the Dole Train

0-9-Ohana Express-TIW-2 copy bdc48by Jim "Buck" Sorrenti

Advanced Towing & Recovery, based in Honolulu, Hawaii, was founded in 2002. Advanced owner Kenny Tom and his crew are passionate about the work they do.

One special freight job came up when Tom received a call on Dec. 13, 2018, to offload a train for Dole Plantation in Wahiawa.

"This job was requested by Dole Plantation staff, Bob Schuscer, and we worked with Allan Lau and his Dole Plantation train crew during the offloading," Tom said.

Originally operated as a fruit stand beginning in 1950, Dole Plantation opened to the public as Hawaii's "Pineapple Experience" in 1989. Today, Dole Plantation is one of Oahu's most popular visitor attractions welcoming more than one million visitors a year.

This train, named "Ohana Express" is Dole's new train No. 4, a 2' narrow-gauge railroad locomotive. It was built overseas for a cost of $138,000 including four new coach passenger cars, which are still en route. It has a diesel engine generator providing power for the electrical drive systems, much like a full-sized locomotive. The coal car houses the diesel generator and electrical drive units while the locomotive is the engineers' control area.

Tom and Al Pico responded with their 2010 Kenworth T-800 with NRC 40TB Series 20-ton heavy-duty carrier and their 2012 Ford F-350 response truck were to handle this delicate operation.

"The NRC 40TB was maneuvered inline," Tom said, "with the 40-foot shipping container and the deck was positioned to extend the set of shipping train tracks onto the bed of the 40TB. The new locomotive was unstrapped and then winched onto the 40TB and secured.

"We drove the 40TB around to the train barn where it was positioned to be aligned precisely with a set of train tracks which lead into the train barn," he continued. "The bed was extended and lowered to the ground to align the shipping tracks and the permanent tracks. We blocked up the shipping tracks to provide support while the locomotive was winched down the bed and transitioned onto the permanent tracks."

Once secure, they closed up the 40TB and moved the rollback out of the way so the locomotive could be pushed in to the train barn. They then repeated the unloading procedure for the coal car, which was much heavier than the locomotive.

Tom cheerfully stated, "The Dole Plantation staff were extremely happy and plan to utilize our services again when the new train passenger cars arrive. We got treated to a nice refreshing DoleWhip. Planes, trains, automobiles, we'll handle it all! Mahalo!"

Show Yours @ TIW
Do you have a recovery to share with TIW readers? Send some pics and info to our Field Editor Jim "Buck" Sorrenti at jimchaos69@yahoo.com; your story may even be selected for print in American Towman magazine!
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