Steam in China - News

This page covers news from January 2014 onwards.

Other news pages:


Steam News (24 June 2015)

JiTong

Full details of the steam tourist train running over part of the JiTong line this summer are now available.

The train will run from Xilinhot to BaiyinHua in Inner Mongolia using two QJ's. One of these QJ7119 has just been overhauled. The tourist train will run from July 1 to August 30th. The steam locomotives will only be used for 56km of the trip from Xilinhot to a town called Tabuduge (and return), the remainder will be behind diesel. The train will run a three day schedule, from Xilinhot to Baiyinhua on day 1, stay in Baiyinhua (with the diesel) for one day, then from Baiyinhua back to Xilinhot on the next day, picking up the steam at Tabuduge.

The full schedule is:

Day 1:

Depart Xilinhot at 15:00.

Arrive at Halabaoleng Bridge (46km from Xilinhot) at 16:00, depart the Bridge at 17:30.

Arrive at Tabuduge (56 km from Xilinhot) at 17:45 and switch to diesel. Depart Tabuduge at 18:20

Arrive at West Ujimqin Banner Station at 20:30, depart at 21:30

Arrive at Baiyinhua South Station at 23:00. The tourists will sleep on the train.

Day 2:

The train will be stabled at Baiyinhua South Station all day while the tourists will sightsee around Baiyinhua.

Day 3:

Depart Baiyinhua South Station at 04:00

Arrive Tabuduge at 07:00, depart behind steam at 07:50

Arrive at Halabaoleng Bridge at 08:05, and depart the Bridge at 09:30.

Arrive at Xilinhot at 10:30

The next series of tourist train will depart at 15:00 the same day.

The first train will depart Xilinhot on July 1st.

( Heg Xi Ten via Ben Kletzer)


New Report (19th June 2015)

A new report from Roger Croston on a visit to Baiyin, Sandaoling, Fushun, Fuxin and Pingzhuang from 28 February - 13 March. Updated 10 July 2015 to incorporate photos from Ralph Montagu.

Travel News

Air China has currently suspended its daily flight between Beijing and Hami (for Sandaoling). According to its timetable, they are scheduled to resume from late October


Steam News (6 June 2015)

JiTong

Latest information about the steam tourist train on the JiTong line is that it will run between 1 July and 15 August, hauled by two QJs. Test running is planned from 20 June between Linxi and Daba.

(Felix Sun via John Athersuch)


Steam News (15th May 2015)

Dahuichang

This 762mm gauge line in the Beijing suburbs closed in 2005. But a December 2013 visitor found 2 of the line's C2 0-8-0s still present, locked in a shed and some of the track still intact.

( Paul Molyneux-Berry)

JiTong

The JiTong railway plan to run a steam train for tourists on 10 June using two QJs, one of which has recently been restored at Daban. If successful it may become a regular event.

( LiuXuejun (Jun))

Yaojie (Tiehejinchang Railway)

SY1321 was again seen in use on 24/4/2015 (see below)

(Felix Sun via John Athersuch)

Rongshan

On 28 April a report on the website of the group that owns the coal mines suggested that the issues between the current and former owners of the mines have been resolved but said that a decision is awaited from the Sichuan branch of the State Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission as to whether or not the mines will re-open. Other mines within the group are heavily loss-making. See http://www.scgwjt.com/Article.asp?id=14784

(Felix Sun via John Athersuch)


Steam News (18th April 2015)

Beitai

Finally my contact managed to obtain info on Beitai, albeit as expected not good: "I've got confirmation today that no steam runs at Beitai now. I am sorry.ď

(Peter Semmelroch)

Yaojie (Tiehejinchang Railway)

SY1321 was in use on 4/4/2015 at the Liancheng Aluminium Smelter

( Jiang Yifan ('Pocahontas') via Peter Semmelroch)


New Report (17th April 2015)

A brief report from Peter Maynard on a visit to Fuxin on 11- 13 April


Steam News (12th April 2015)

Huanan

Huanan is said still to have two serviceable C2, which should be available for charter. No progress or success in establishing a regular tourist railway service but the line is still in place as far as Lixin.

(Peter Semmelroch)


Steam News (1st April 2015)

Rongshan

'Yesterday I talked to the railway manager of Rongshan and he confirmed with me that no way to re-open in May and nobody can tell when, though a lot of talks on internet is saying it will be open soon and itīs empty talk.'

Xinglongzhen

'I have talked to Xinglongzhen and the railway tracks there need investment in renovation so no steam will run this year.'

(Peter Semmelroch)


Sandaoling and Shibanxi (28th March 2015)

A report from Sandro Vigato on a visit earlier this month


Steam News (24th March 2015)

(amended and upated from the earlier version posted on 16th March to take account of more recent information on Rongshan).

Dongtonghua Steelworks

'A worker of the company told my friend that the steam was broken and stopped in end of 2014 and they have no plan to repair it.'

(Felix Sun via John Athersuch)

Jiutai

SY1407 in steam at Jiutai colliery on 9 March 2015.

Photo by Dong Jing Qi, courtesy of Jun

Rongshan

Conflicting reports have been received about the situation here. On the one hand, Felix Sun has said that according to news reports the line will reopen once unresolved issues between the current and former owners can be settled. But a contact of Peter Semmelroch's was told by the Rongshan railway manager that there is no information as to when or if the railway might reopen. Most railway workers have already left and with only 3 or 4 still remaining, even the operation of charter or tourist trains is difficult.


New Reports (March 21st 2015)


Steam News (8th March 2015)

Jiutai, Jilin Province

A Chinese railfan has posted photos on weibo of SY1407 in steam at Yingcheng Colliery, Jiutai, 51km NE of Changchun in Jilin Province.

The last report about this location was from David Thomas in June 2012 when the system was reported to be out of use. The photos can be seen at http://www.weibo.com/xuedache although you may need to be a registered weibo user to access them. One of the photos also appears to show the outline of an SY under a blue tarpaulin. If so, this is presumably SY0515, the other loco reported there.

(Felix Sun via John Athersuch)


New Reports (March 8th 2015)


Steam News (2nd March 2015)

Baiyin

SY1047 and SY1581 in steam, SY1047 for the passenger trains and SY1581 for shunting and freight trains (seen at Sanyelian on Feb 28th). But the driver told us that the passenger trains will change to diesel from March 15th and they plan to use diesel for passenger train in next winter.

{John Raby is currently in Baiyin and has reported that the steam passenger service will end on 5th March, not 15th. MR}

Yaojie

SY1094 and SY1321 in steam, but only SY1094 for daily work and SY1321 was as the heating boiler for the engine shed. The work plan for steam may change everyday, so the steam may go to Tiehejinchang, Yaojie and Lvchang or have no work to do for whole day. The driver told us that they plan buy new diesels to replace all the steam in April, 2015.

Shibanxi

Shibanxi: The passenger train for the local people were still running in the working days of every week, the time table of steam trains of Shibanxi is:

Trains for local people: 7:00 17:00 from Shixi

Trains for tourists: 9:00 10:00 11:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 (For weekends 8:00 16:00 17:00 added) from Sanjin.

The steam freight trains were all stopped.

(Felix Sun via John Athersuch)


Links

A link has been added to Ichiro Junpu's website of 600mm, 762mm and 900m ng railways, Narrow Gauge Railways in China


Sandaoling, Pingzhuang (27th February 2015)

A report from Ben Kletzer on recent visits to Sandaoling and Pingzhuang


New Reports (February 14th 2015)

Reports from Peter Haworth (Rongshan, Pingzhuang, Jalainur, Fuxin, Fushun and Sandaoling) and John Raby (Honglu, Shibanxi, Rongshan, Sandaoling and Baiyin) both from November 2014 have been added


Pingzhuang and Yuanbaoshan (12th February 2015)

Currently 2 SYs are in use at Pingzhuang as the DF4s continue to give problems. Trip working to/from the CNR exchange sidings at Pingzhuang Nan is always by a DF4 unless both are out of action. JS8250 is still in service at Yuanbaoshan on coal trains, the passenger service having been suspended.

(Jun via John Raby)

Yuanbaoshan (19th January 2015)

JS8250 has returned to service following its collision with a road truck in October which badly damaged its tender. Currently it is being used on coal trains only, not the passenger service.

(Chinese guide Jun via John Athersuch)


New photos (12th February 2015)

Roger Croston has recently sent photographs from his visit to Sandaoling, Pingzhuang and Fuxin in March 2014. As these relate to the 2013/4 season, they have been added to that season's list of reports.


Wujiu and Fula'erji (15th January 2015)

Chinese guide Jun reports that one JS continues to be steamed daily at one of the Fula'erji power plants (presumably no 2) but sees little action and an SY is also steamed at Wujiu/Yakeshi but only when the diesel is in use (so presumably as a stand-by). At the beginning of October 2014 this was no 1546


YouTube Videos  (8th January 2015)

John Raby writes

During my last China tour in November 2014, I was fortunate to see the last trains at Rongshan (until now - itís still not clear if there will be more trains) and test runs of two steam-hauled coal trains on the new line at Sandaoling from Nanzhan - Shadunzi. It appears that the railway management there has decided that regular trains will be diesel hauled so unless a steam-hauled workers passenger is introduced, the use of steam on this line will be rare and may not include long coal trains.

Iíve placed 3 videos on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxjxVqc58tI

This 11 minute video shows the last train at Rongshan (so far) on 13 November and is of our charter train with C2 219 from Rongshan to Yujiabian.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfkfSWwPRHY

This 11 minute video shows the last real train (so far) on 9 November with C2 219 and a short train of bricks and sand (to seal up the mine at Yujiabian?)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6_b9_Eyqnw

This 9 minute video shows the two steam-hauled coal trains we managed to see on 19 and 22 November. On 19 November, we saw a tender-first train of fulls climbing out of Xibolizhan towards Nanzhan and on 22 November, a train of empties climbs from Nanzhan towards Shandunzi and is seen at the new loop between Nanzhan and Xibolizhan.


Sandaoling (6th January 2015)

A report from Dave Habraken on a visit over Christmas / New Year 2014/5


Steam News (5th January 2015)

Pingzhuang

Reported to currently have three locomotives in steam.

(Jun's friend Alan)


Steam News (4th January 2015)

Yuxia:

This site is confirmed dead from at least July 2014, see https://www.flickr.com/photos/67113136@N02/14731282055


Steam News (3rd January 2015)

Yuanbaoshan:

The passenger train has stopped to run. It has been replaced by buses now. Whether this is permanent or over the New Years Holidays only, is not known though, but we fear it is permanent. No info from Pingzhuang, which means it is probably 100% dieselised at the moment.

Fuxin:

Wangying Mine is still closed after the accident that happened there weeks ago. As a result traffic and steam traffic levels are low. Over the last few days the following SYs have been reported in steam: 1319, 1320, 1359, 1378, 1395 and 1396.

(Peter Semmelroch)


New Report (August 29th 2014)


New Report (August 26th 2014)


Steam News (August 18th 2014)

Peter Semmelroch just got the info from a Chinese railfan, that US based Valley Railroad (Connecticut) which already operates ex. Knox Kane & Kinzua Railroad SY 1658m as ?3025? nowadays, has purchased another SY in China. It is SY 1385 from Jinzhou Heavy Machinery Factory (the Jinzhou near Dalian, not the Jinzhou near Nanpiao).

At the moment they seem to be looking for a place in China where 1385 can be fully overhauled according to US Standards. Aw Sujiatun was suggested but they have already sold many of the machines necessary to overhaul steam (For the recent cosmetic overhaul of JF886 the wheels had to be sent away for example). Now besides Sujiatun, Fuxin and Tiefa are considered as possible options.

There would then be 3 SYs in the US.
Besides SY1658m at Valley Railroad, there is SY1647m at New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway (?142?).
SY 1647m was originally also owned by Valley Railroad, but sold to New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway after a SY that had been bought by them went down in the Indian Ocean. This SY was said to be numbered 1698m.


New Report (July 12th 2014)


Steam News (July 2nd 2014)

Guangyuan (Rongshan)
John Raby has just heard from Chinese steam guide Jun who organises his China Tours that 2 C2 locos are now in daily use at Rongshan to move coal from the mine with 2-3 return trains operating per day. The passenger service has not yet resumed but a caboose is attached to the coal trains for the miners' transport. The passenger trains are still planned to restart but no dates are available for that. The 2 locos top and tail the coal trains.


New Report (June 28th 2014)


Steam News (May 19th 2014)

Yuanbaoshan
I visited YuanBaoShan on May 18. The steam is back in action there, JS 8418 is in steam and working the passenger train. The JS 8250 is broken, it will be repaired and run soon.
The driver said the steam may run about half a year, hopefully to winter. Please refer to the photo I took: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pangdae/14032028238/.

(Pang Dawei)


New Report (May 16th 2014)


New Report (May 10th 2014)


Steam News (May 9th 2014)

Guangyuan (Rongshan)
Guangyuan Tourist office called on May 7th (11.30 local time). Regular operations have re-started on the Rongshan line as of May 7th, currently one round trip daily, serving the mines but with passenger accommodation attached. Previous arrangements for prospective travellers on the trains remain: a permit is required in advance from the tourist office.

Prospective visitors should bear in mind:
(i) there has been another knife attack at a railway station this week, the 3rd such incident in recent weeks.
(ii) 4 June is the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
For both these reasons security is tight at present and this may affect or delay the granting of visas.

(Michael Reilly)


Steam News (April 18th 2014)

Guangyuan (Rongshan)
Trains have re-started. However, at present they are running only as required to take equipment to the mines in preparation for them resuming production. The mines, and regular trains, are now expected to re-start from the end of June.

(Michael Reilly)


Steam in China - News


Steam in China - News

Please read the announcement on the welcome page before proceeding (27th December 2014).

This page covers news from January 2014 onwards

Other news pages:


Steam News (24th March 2015)

(amended and upated from the earlier version posted on 16th March to take account of more recent information on Rongshan).

Dongtonghua Steelworks

'A worker of the company told my friend that the steam was broken and stopped in end of 2014 and they have no plan to repair it.'

(Felix Sun via John Athersuch)

Jiutai

SY1407 in steam at Jiutai colliery on 9 March 2015.

Photo by Dong Jing Qi, courtesy of Jun

Rongshan

Conflicting reports have been received about the situation here. On the one hand, Felix Sun has said that according to news reports the line will reopen once unresolved issues between the current and former owners can be settled. But a contact of Peter Semmelroch's was told by the Rongshan railway manager that there is no information as to when or if the railway might reopen. Most railway workers have already left and with only 3 or 4 still remaining, even the operation of charter or tourist trains is difficult.


New Reports (March 21st 2015)


Steam News (8th March 2015)

Jiutai, Jilin Province

A Chinese railfan has posted photos on weibo of SY1407 in steam at Yingcheng Colliery, Jiutai, 51km NE of Changchun in Jilin Province.

The last report about this location was from David Thomas in June 2012 when the system was reported to be out of use. The photos can be seen at http://www.weibo.com/xuedache although you may need to be a registered weibo user to access them. One of the photos also appears to show the outline of an SY under a blue tarpaulin. If so, this is presumably SY0515, the other loco reported there.

(Felix Sun via John Athersuch)


New Reports (March 8th 2015)


Steam News (2nd March 2015)

Baiyin

SY1047 and SY1581 in steam, SY1047 for the passenger trains and SY1581 for shunting and freight trains (seen at Sanyelian on Feb 28th). But the driver told us that the passenger trains will change to diesel from March 15th and they plan to use diesel for passenger train in next winter.

{John Raby is currently in Baiyin and has reported that the steam passenger service will end on 5th March, not 15th. MR}

Yaojie

SY1094 and SY1321 in steam, but only SY1094 for daily work and SY1321 was as the heating boiler for the engine shed. The work plan for steam may change everyday, so the steam may go to Tiehejinchang, Yaojie and Lvchang or have no work to do for whole day. The driver told us that they plan buy new diesels to replace all the steam in April, 2015.

Shibanxi

Shibanxi: The passenger train for the local people were still running in the working days of every week, the time table of steam trains of Shibanxi is:

Trains for local people: 7:00 17:00 from Shixi

Trains for tourists: 9:00 10:00 11:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 (For weekends 8:00 16:00 17:00 added) from Sanjin.

The steam freight trains were all stopped.

(Felix Sun via John Athersuch)


Links

A link has been added to Ichiro Junpu's website of 600mm, 762mm and 900m ng railways, Narrow Gauge Railways in China


Sandaoling, Pingzhuang (27th February 2015)

A report from Ben Kletzer on recent visits to Sandaoling and Pingzhuang


New Reports (February 14th 2015)

Reports from Peter Haworth (Rongshan, Pingzhuang, Jalainur, Fuxin, Fushun and Sandaoling) and John Raby (Honglu, Shibanxi, Rongshan, Sandaoling and Baiyin) both from November 2014 have been added


Pingzhuang and Yuanbaoshan (12th February 2015)

Currently 2 SYs are in use at Pingzhuang as the DF4s continue to give problems. Trip working to/from the CNR exchange sidings at Pingzhuang Nan is always by a DF4 unless both are out of action. JS8250 is still in service at Yuanbaoshan on coal trains, the passenger service having been suspended.

(Jun via John Raby)

Yuanbaoshan (19th January 2015)

JS8250 has returned to service following its collision with a road truck in October which badly damaged its tender. Currently it is being used on coal trains only, not the passenger service.

(Chinese guide Jun via John Athersuch)


New photos (12th February 2015)

Roger Croston has recently sent photographs from his visit to Sandaoling, Pingzhuang and Fuxin in March 2014. As these relate to the 2013/4 season, they have been added to that season's list of reports.


Wujiu and Fula'erji (15th January 2015)

Chinese guide Jun reports that one JS continues to be steamed daily at one of the Fula'erji power plants (presumably no 2) but sees little action and an SY is also steamed at Wujiu/Yakeshi but only when the diesel is in use (so presumably as a stand-by). At the beginning of October 2014 this was no 1546


YouTube Videos  (8th January 2015)

John Raby writes

During my last China tour in November 2014, I was fortunate to see the last trains at Rongshan (until now - itís still not clear if there will be more trains) and test runs of two steam-hauled coal trains on the new line at Sandaoling from Nanzhan - Shadunzi. It appears that the railway management there has decided that regular trains will be diesel hauled so unless a steam-hauled workers passenger is introduced, the use of steam on this line will be rare and may not include long coal trains.

Iíve placed 3 videos on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxjxVqc58tI

This 11 minute video shows the last train at Rongshan (so far) on 13 November and is of our charter train with C2 219 from Rongshan to Yujiabian.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfkfSWwPRHY

This 11 minute video shows the last real train (so far) on 9 November with C2 219 and a short train of bricks and sand (to seal up the mine at Yujiabian?)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6_b9_Eyqnw

This 9 minute video shows the two steam-hauled coal trains we managed to see on 19 and 22 November. On 19 November, we saw a tender-first train of fulls climbing out of Xibolizhan towards Nanzhan and on 22 November, a train of empties climbs from Nanzhan towards Shandunzi and is seen at the new loop between Nanzhan and Xibolizhan.


Sandaoling (6th January 2015)

A report from Dave Habraken on a visit over Christmas / New Year 2014/5


Steam News (5th January 2015)

Pingzhuang

Reported to currently have three locomotives in steam.

(Jun's friend Alan)


Steam News (4th January 2015)

Yuxia:

This site is confirmed dead from at least July 2014, see https://www.flickr.com/photos/67113136@N02/14731282055


Steam News (3rd January 2015)

Yuanbaoshan:

The passenger train has stopped to run. It has been replaced by buses now. Whether this is permanent or over the New Years Holidays only, is not known though, but we fear it is permanent. No info from Pingzhuang, which means it is probably 100% dieselised at the moment.

Fuxin:

Wangying Mine is still closed after the accident that happened there weeks ago. As a result traffic and steam traffic levels are low. Over the last few days the following SYs have been reported in steam: 1319, 1320, 1359, 1378, 1395 and 1396.

(Peter Semmelroch)


New Report (August 29th 2014)


New Report (August 26th 2014)


Steam News (August 18th 2014)

Peter Semmelroch just got the info from a Chinese railfan, that US based Valley Railroad (Connecticut) which already operates ex. Knox Kane & Kinzua Railroad SY 1658m as ?3025? nowadays, has purchased another SY in China. It is SY 1385 from Jinzhou Heavy Machinery Factory (the Jinzhou near Dalian, not the Jinzhou near Nanpiao).

At the moment they seem to be looking for a place in China where 1385 can be fully overhauled according to US Standards. Aw Sujiatun was suggested but they have already sold many of the machines necessary to overhaul steam (For the recent cosmetic overhaul of JF886 the wheels had to be sent away for example). Now besides Sujiatun, Fuxin and Tiefa are considered as possible options.

There would then be 3 SYs in the US.
Besides SY1658m at Valley Railroad, there is SY1647m at New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway (?142?).
SY 1647m was originally also owned by Valley Railroad, but sold to New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway after a SY that had been bought by them went down in the Indian Ocean. This SY was said to be numbered 1698m.


New Report (July 12th 2014)


Steam News (July 2nd 2014)

Guangyuan (Rongshan)
John Raby has just heard from Chinese steam guide Jun who organises his China Tours that 2 C2 locos are now in daily use at Rongshan to move coal from the mine with 2-3 return trains operating per day. The passenger service has not yet resumed but a caboose is attached to the coal trains for the miners' transport. The passenger trains are still planned to restart but no dates are available for that. The 2 locos top and tail the coal trains.


New Report (June 28th 2014)