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Steam in China - News

This page covers news from January 2014 onwards.

Other news pages:


Steam News (11th June 2016)

Fuxin

Avid webcam viewers have identified 3 SYs in regular use: 1210, 1320, 1395 ('Marshal Zhude'). 1378 has also been reported and the level of activity appears consistent with at least 4 SYs in regular use. On the other hand, a previously unreported and unidentified twin cab diesel has also been seen shunting the yard. A first hand report would be very welcome. Potential visitors may like to note a recent change to the China Rail timetable means the former direct service from Beijing North to Fuxin is no more. For those preferring a traditional direct train, there are now two options from Beijing: Train 2257 (Beijing to Dandong via Fuxin and Shenyang) - dep Beijing 12.20, arr Fuxin 02.33 or Train K915 from Beijing East to Fuxin, dep 20.28 arr Fuxin 06.54. The return K916 deps Fuxin at 21.30 and arrives Beijing East at 08.14.

(John Athersuch, Andrew Benton)


Steam News (21st May 2016)

Fuxin

'I just got good news from staff working at Fuxin. Fuxin's steam may continue to work after all, because they have no plans to rebuild Wulong's rail, Diesels can't run on the line to the tip. And SY1395 "Zhude" may be working again.'

(Harada Keisuke)

Also for armchair viewers, a webcam can now be accessed, showing activity in Wulong Yard (if intending to watch bear in mind that China Time is 8 hours ahead of GMT/UTC M.R).

(Takuhiro Ota)


New Report (15th May 2016)

Peter Haworth has posted his report of his latest visit, in April and May, online. The full report is in three sections; the link goes directly to the report covering Fuxin, the only active steam location he visited. The other sections of his report can be accessed from this.


Steam News (7th May 2016)

Fuxin and Wujiu

Harada Keisuke has just returned from a visit to Fuxin and Wujia. His full illustrated report (in Japanese) covers Fuxin, where he recorded 5 locos in steam, including SY1319 and SY1396 but not 'Marshal Zhude' and another 3 cold in the works. There was frequent activity up to Wulong tip but there was also a yellow well wagon in Pingan Yard, said to be to take rails up to the Wulong tip line for upgrading the track. 'All workers at Fuxin who I asked said the same sad news that Fuxin's steams would stop June.' At Wujiu all3 SYs were cold in the Shed. Staff said "Steam took some rest" suggesting they may return to use at some point. 'Just in front of the Wuerqihan station is the Liming Hotel, RMB150/day. The staff were so kind, but because there was no steam at Wujiu, I cancelled the hotel and returned to Yakeshi by taxi.'

Peter Haworth was also told by staff at Fuxin during a recent visit that steam will end in June, with one or two locos possibly retained on a stand by basis. However, Liu Xuejun has said that the local government held a meeting with the mine bureau on 5 May and asked the latter to keep 'at least 4' steam locos in use for the time being. So the situation remains unclear. At least one tour operator is organising a 'Farewell' tour to Fuxin for later this month but Liu Xuejun is advising those arranging autumn tours to continue as planned for the time being.

(Harada Keisuke; Peter Haworth and Liu Xuejun via John Raby)


Steam News (26th April 2016)

Fuxin

Ben Kletzer has been in contact with one of the drivers at Fuxin, who has given a different version of developments to that from Mr Gu (19th April, below). According to him, staff have been told that 4 diesels are due to arrive by the end of June and will replace 7 of the 11 SYs still officially available for use. Most of these are already in store. This will leave 4 SYs still on the working roster. Some additional driver training on diesels is planned but nothing has been said about upgrading the track to Wulong tip. This suggests that at least some steam activity will continue for the time being.

(Ben Kletzer via John Raby)

Sanmenxia, Henan

JS 8061 remains on site in a bricked-up shed. But there is no sign of JS8408, the other locomotive once used here.

(Peter Haworth)


Steam News (19th April 2016)

Fuxin - Steam to end in June?

Many visitors to Fuxin will be familiar with the local 'fixer', Mr Gu. He has recently told Felix Sun and Liu Xuejun (Jun) that as a result of a number of mine closures in the area, 7 of Fuxin's diesels are being returned from service elsewhere. The decision has therefore been taken to upgrade the line to Wulong tip to allow the DF5Ds to use it. Once this work has been completed, expected to be as soon as June, all steam working at Fuxin will cease.

(Peter Haworth and Roger Croston)


New Reports (13th April 2016)

Ameling Algra has sent an illustrated report of two visits he made in December and February to Sandaoling and a report of a visit to Sandaoling, Shibanxi, Jiutai, Fuxin and Pingzhuang by John King in February and March has also been added.


Steamed dumplings at Sandaoling (31st March 2016)

JS8197 was waiting for the road into the loading point on Feb 25th when the fireman nipped out of the cab to see if lunch was ready; steamed dumplings cooking away on the side of the boiler. The Chinese version of egg and bacon on the shovel

.

(Ian Hopkins)


Steam News (27th March 2016)

Xifeng, Guizhou

Further to the news reports of 28 October and 17 September 2015, below, the third SY at this site has now been identified as no 3001, previously reported at Dongtonghua Steelworks and reportedly destined for sale to the USA. The regular working loco is SY0434 while SY1169 is also apparently in working order. A short video of SY0434 moving up and down the yard, 'Southern China's most empress-like of steam locomotives' can be seen on youku. Judging from the film, the loco may have been active specifically for the benefit of visiting enthusiasts.

(Raicho Yang via Duncan Cotterill)


New Reports (23rd March 2016)

John Raby has just his concluded his latest group tour, to Fuxin, Fushun, Jiutai, Sandaoling and Shibanxi in February and March. His report can be accessed here. Harada Keisuke has posted two reports of his visits in March to North East China. The first covers Jiutai, Diaobingshan, Fushun, Tianjin and Pingzhuang and the second Fuxin. These are in Japanese and include several photographs. A shortened, English version of both reports, without the photographs, has therefore been added as report 674.


17th March 2016

Wujiu

Operations re-started here on 10 March after an extended break for the Spring Festival holiday. SY1134 has been returned to service, replacing 1546 as the regular working loco.

Photo by Liu Xuejun

(Liu Xuejun)


New Reports (7th March 2016)

Reports of visits in February by Ian Hopkins to Fuxin, Pingzhuang and Sandaoling and by Michael Reilly in February-March to Fuxin, Fushun, Jiutai, Dahuichang and Tianjin have been added.


Steam News (9th February 2016)

I was in China with a friend from 16/01 to 31/01. We went to Fuxin on 17-18-19/01 : trains run to Wulong normally. 7 SY in service : 1195/1318/1320/1378/1397/1460/1818. On 21/01, we tried to see SY at Fushun, but we dont find it. Electric engines were very interesting. Then, go to Shibanxi from 25/01 to 27/01. Three regular passengers each day (7.00 , 12.00 and 16.30) and two tourist trains (10.40 and 14.00). In service 3 C2 engines each day (n10/16/18 on 25 and 26/01 ; n10/17/18 on 27/01). The engines were in poor condition and the last day n17 had injector problem and n18 cylinder failure, so in the afternoon engine n10 ran all trains with delays.

(Olivier Foiche)


12th January 2016

Chinese Visa Fees

From 11 January the Chinese embassy in London increased the visa fee for UK passport holders to 85. A mandatory " service charge" of at least 66 is also levied, making the actual cost 151 or more, over twice the cost of a UK passport. In theory tourist visas are now valid for multiple entries over two years but the extra cost is still likely to be a deterrent to many. As the Chinese government charges the same fees foreign governments charge Chinese passport holders for their visas, this reflects the cost of a UK visa for foreign visitors. Non-UK passport holders may find visas are less expensive.


31st December 2015

Steam Festivals

The year-end JiTong steam festival was held earlier this week with QJs 7038 and 7119 both in action. No further details but one observer described the occasion as "not good". The festival at Diaobingshan is scheduled to take place from 8 - 11 January, using SYs 1771 and 1772 only (no KD6).

( Liu Xuejun (Jun))


New Report (16th December 2015)


14th December 2015

Baiyin

A valedictory article about the Baiyin passenger service, Goodbye to China's last steam hauled green train has been posted on the Chinese TrainNets website/forum. The article is in Chinese but includes a 9 minute video of the train, filmed in snow and several accompanying photographs.

Shaoguan, Guangdong

SY0918 was recorded in service here in October 1999 on a line then referred to as the 'Shaping ore mine.' The loco remains stored/dumped in a shed at Dabaoshan, about 18 km south of Shaoguan but numbered as 'Dabaoshan No 1.' Also stored here is previously unrecorded SY1055.

Photo by Lei Mingtao

(John Athersuch)


Steam News (20th November 2015)

Baiyin - steam working now officially ended

All steam working at Baiyin has now officially finished. A ceremony to mark the occasion was held today at the depot. The shed manager has said that some locos will be maintained in working order and available for charter work for the time being. (Bernd Seiler hopes to have steam available for a Farrail visit on 10-11 December).

Photos courtesy of Felix Sun

(Felix Sun)

Jinhua

There have been no reports of working steam in Zhejiang province since 2006 and in later years all reports were of SYs at various industrial sites. But images on Google Earth suggest there are still ten, maybe more, JS dumped at the depot in Jinhua. The exact location is 2906'00.62"N 11937'59.99"E.

(Peter Haworth)

Yuxia

SY1141 which was previously here has been moved to Wuhan (no further details at present)

('Pocahontas' via Peter Haworth)


Steam News (16th November 2015)

Baiyin

Further to the 7th November news below, Baiyin has apparently taken delivery of four new diesels within the last week. Steam haulage of the passenger service has now ended although a steam loco is reportedly still marshalled at the end of the train to provide steam heating. Whether it remains on the train throughout the journey or only does this while the stock is stabled at Baiyin is not clear.

(Bernd Seiler)


7th November 2015

Chinese sources have reported that Baiyin is in the process of acquiring a further diesel locomotive which, once delivered, will mean the end of the winter steam passenger service. For anyone keen to experience this before it ends, or wanting to see Chinese steam generally, at least two tours are on offer this winter to see the best of what remains, primarily at Sandaoling and Fuxin in addition to Baiyin. The first, departing at the end of November, will be a FarRail Tour organised by Bernd Seiler. This will be followed in February/March by a tour organised by John Raby. Further details of both can be found from the links.

New Books on Chinese steam

Readily available accurate published information in English on Chinese railways remains surprisingly hard to come by. In a welcome attempt to remedy this, Robin Gibbons has just published a book, in English, on the JF1 and JS classes. Published in hardback to a high standard on good quality paper and lavishly illustrated, it provides a detailed record of the classes and their allocations over the years. It is intended to be the first of a series on Chinese steam and is highly recommended. Further details can be found here. Robin also collaborated extensively with John Athersuch on the latter's recently published book on Narrow Gauge Railways of China - Guangdong, Fujian and Jiangxi provinces which offers an illustrated introduction to the lines in those provinces based primarily on John's personal travels in the area in the 1980s. Again, it provides much valuable and interesting information not otherwise readily available.


Another new steam line? (30th October 2015)

Chinese enthusiasts have just posted on the Ourrail website information about what is reported to be the last narrow gauge line in Henan province. Located at Chaoyanggoucun, Dayezhen in Dengfeng, it is not clear whether this is the Xinzheng local railway listed in the IRS publication, the line listed in the Quail Railway Atlas of China as just south of route 20M or a separate system. Although diesel locos are reported to be used for regular work, a C2 has recently been restored to working order. There are conflicting reports as to whether this will see regular use, or only for standby and tourist operations. Photos on Ourrail also show a number of dumped C2s.

Photos courtesy of Felix Sun

(Felix Sun via John Athersuch)


Steam News (28th October 2015)

Xifeng, Guizhou

More details of this site have been supplied by Chinese enthusiasts. The factory is the Xiyang phosphate fertilizer plant, which is near the highway between Xifeng and Wenquan. Steam was still active here at the beginning of October but reportedly only for shunting inside the factory, with trip working to/from CNR by a diesel. The security guards are also said to be unfriendly to visitors, making photography difficult.

Tiefa

Filming of a new Jackie Chan movie called Rail Road Tigers started on 19 October and is due to last for about a month. SYs 1771 and 1772 will be working. This movie is about a story of the Chinese rail workers in WW2. Clearly Chinese government desire for WW2 films continues unabated (M.R)

Sandaoling

A Chinese enthusiast visiting over the National Day holiday period (1-7 October) reported 10 JS working, 5 for Dongboli and 5 for Nanzhan. Overhauls and maintenance continue in the workshops but all steam passenger services ceased in August .

Shibanxi

Restoration to working order of loco no 18, the C2 bought from Pengzhou, has now been completed.The tourist carriages are being re-painted in the same green as the carriages for locals.

(all, Felix Sun via John Athersuch and Jun via John Raby)

Jiutai

An article on the internet (in Chinese) published in March suggests that steam is likely to remain in use at Jiutai for another 4-5 years

(Robin Gibbons via John Athersuch)


New Report (11th October 2015)

Peter Haworth's full report on his September trip to Jiutai, Hengdaohezi,Harbin, Tumen, Fushun, Fuxin, Luopoling and Dahuichang in September has now been posted online.


Steam News (5th October 2015)

Dahuichang

Further to the news report of 15th May below, a visitor last month has confirmed that the two C2 0-8-0s are still present on site in a locked shed. The whole area was described as very overgrown and deserted.

( Peter Haworth)


Steam News (17th September 2015)

Xifeng, Guizhou

"This line maybe no foreign visitor visited before. This line is in Xifeng, Guiyang in Guizhou province, it belongs to Yunyang phosphate fertilizer plant, this line has 3 SYs and it is reported that at least 1 SY was in steam in August 2015. Maybe it is the last standard gauge steam line in southwest China." Thought to belong to the Guizhou Kailin Group, which runs a large phosphate fertiliser plant at Jinzongzhen, west of Kaiyang in Xifeng county and from where a connection appears to run to CNR metals north of Xifeng town. But confirmation or more information will be very welcome (M.R)

Pingzhuang area (June 2015)

Pingzhuang: Only SY1425 in steam as a stand-by locomotive for two diesels. SY1025, SY1441 and SY1764 cold in shed. YuanBaoshan: JS8249 and JS8250 cold in shed. Hongmiao: No steam seen working here. But seen them cold in shed, locomotives' numbers unknown.

(Felix Sun via John Athersuch)

Yakeshi

One SY continues to operate here, including occasional line working between station and mine (previous reports said operations were confined to shunting work).

Fushun

Latest news is that just one SY is now in use daily

Jalainur, Yaojie, Fula'erji

Steam at all three sites is reported to have finished, at Jalainur in April and Yaojie in August

(Jun via John Athersuch)

Travel News (17th September)

The latest extension to China's high-speed network has made travelling to Shibanxi easier. High speed trains now serve both Chengdu Shuangliu airport and Leshan, from where there are regular buses to Qianwei for Shibanxi. Frequency is about one every ninety minutes and the journey takes between 40 min to 1 hr. It also serves Chengdu.

(Andrew Benton)


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.

(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 its 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 updated 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 - its 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.

Ive 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)


New Reports (April 17th 2014)


Steam News (April 4th 2014)

Guangyuan (Rongshan) - Landslip in cutting

News from Rongshan, courtesy of Wang ZeZhou:

"We've got the news of Rongshan:
Firstly it's sad to find that the locos haven't restarted. Previous plan of restarting on April 1st was delayed for severe collapse, which is caused by road construction of local.
They told me that the train will restart in a month, no early than the clean of the collapse. That's all what we get."

(Peter Semmelroch)


New Report (March 30th 2014)


Steam News (March 26th 2014)

Pingzhuang: Pang Dawei visited on 22 March and I was there on 25th. The position was the same on both days - 2 SYs in steam but only one working and confined to short trip working at the north end of the line, from Gushan Yijing and beyond. On 22nd this was 1441, with 1025 in steam but idle at the Zhuangmei servicing point, on 25th the roles were reversed. All trip working from Pingzhuang Nan at least as far as Zhuangmei, is now in the hands of a DF4. On 25th this was a very careworn looking DF4 6087, with several rust patches on its sides. DF4 1525 was locked inside a shed at Zhuangmei. The gate to the depot was once again locked but so far as I could tell from peering over the wall, all the previously dumped locos there, last reported in November and which I saw on a December visit, have been removed. All the lines into the opencast mine have also been lifted although the main connection remains and, to judge from the rails, had seen movements over it recently. Traffic was the lowest I have ever seen it (and I intentionally visited on a weekday, not a weekend) - if this level is sustained, two diesels should be more than sufficient to handle requirements. Although steam is still officially set to last until May, beyond the end of this month this is unlikely to be anything more than one loco in steam on standby.

February 7 (2.7) rolling stock works, Beijing: Andrew Benton and I visited the rolling stock works on 22 March. JF2446 and SY0891 are still there and superficially at least in remarkably good condition for having being dumped for at least seven years. Photography was all but impossible as they were surrounded by brand new high capacity coal wagons, part of a large contract the works is currently fulfilling.

(Michael Reilly)


New Reports (March 24th 2014)


New Report (March 21st 2014)

After reading Peter Crush's report on Kailuan Coal Mining Administration, Tangshan, I was reminded of my visit in October 2005. So I searched for and found the notes I took and then found the few slides I took for possible scanning and this report is the result.

I would appreciate further reports of this type. Get out your notebooks and slides! Many of the reports sent to QJ-Country were without pictures, those sent to Rob Dickinson and now on his china.internationalsteam.co.uk site have lost their pictures. Let's have a reminder of how it was when there so many more locations to visit.


China visas (March 21st 2014)

John Raby comments:

An Indian participant was able to obtain a visa specifically for Urumqi - Hami - Urumqi even after the knife attack.

A British applicant probably got his just before the knife attack without any problems.

All other participants had no problems except a Dutchman who needed extra paperwork from Xinjiang to obtain his visa.

With Jun as guide and organiser, my participants use a detailed itinerary including planned hotels en route on official company letterhead (Chinese company based in Chengde) instead of every hotel reservation for the trip to obtain a visa. This worked fine except in the case of the Dutch applicant where it took a long time as they were insisting on hotel bookings for the application.

The itinerary paperwork was eventually accepted in lieu of every hotel reservation but with the extra Xinjiang paper with a red stamp required as well. Jun (and his colleague Alan) do not seem to have a problem providing this extra paper if requested.


China visas (March 20th 2014)

David Thomas writes:
Two weeks ago the London Chinese Visa Application Service advised that a tourist visa would not be issued to cover Kashgar and area, saying that was because it is in Xinjiang Province. This was after the knife attack at Kunming station on March 1st. Potentially such a ban, which might only be temporary, would include Hami/Sandaoling. Perhaps others going there can advise of the situation?


New Report (March 19th 2014)


New Reports (March 9th 2014)


Steam News (February 28th 2014)

In Baiyin at the moment with Jun. Passenger trains still steam however first passenger train into the valley has been banked both mornings, obviously engines not working as hard as normal. Yesterday train engine was engine first, today tender first. Weather overcast and clear at times. Engines SYs 1581 and 1470 in use, SY 1047 sitting in the shed, loco in steam with fire banked.

(Peter Haynes, Steam_in_China 11448)


New Report (February 23rd 2014)


Steam News (February 23rd 2014)

Trevor Maxted is in China and has sent a quick update.

Pingzhuang 100% SY, no sign of any diesels with three loco's in service.

Fuxin still much as previous reports with around 7 SYs in action.

Tiefa (Diaobingshan), the news from here is that the Faku line passenger trains will finish soon, first date suggested will be 28/02 but this is dependant on the delivery of 5-6 large new buses that may not arrive in time. As the Daqing service has already finished, that will be the end of passenger trains on the Tiefa system.
One SY will still be steamed daily at Tiefa, usually 1770 or 1772, for shunting etc. to keep crew traction knowledge.

A report of his trip will follow.


Steam News (February 18th 2014)

Sandaoling

I visited SanDaoLing during 4/2/2014-11/2/2014, XiBoLiZhan is running from Feb 7th. Some status and information are following:

The opencast only remains with 3 lines for stripping (1 electric shovel and 1 railway). The dump lines 801,2,3,4 can work, the line 5 is disabled for building the new line.
XiBoLiZhan provides 6 trains for stripping and dumping work.
This may be the last winter of XiBoLiZhan and most JS for stripping/dumping work, which may stop work about June 2014.

When building railway from NanZhan(南站)/DongBoLiZhan(东剥离站) to ShaDun(沙墩) is completed, there are about 5 JS working for coal transporting. According to the current information, the new railway from DongBoLiZhan to XiBoLiZhan is similar to the line which the workmens' commuting train uses, the railway from XiBoLiZhan to ShaDun will extend the dump line 5 to the west. XiBoLiZhan may be out of use by that time.

The old coal railway from MeiCang(煤仓) to XuanMeiChang(选煤厂) via 82station/KengKou (82站/坑口) is kept, there are about 4-5 JS used.

There are no changes of information about NanZhan so far.

Currently, there are 23 JS working at SanDaoling, but in the next winter (Nov 2014 ~ Feb 2015), there will be only about 10-12 JS, very sad!

My recent photos about SanDaoLing have been uploaded to my SanDaoLing flickr set.

SanDaoLing is the last place which have many running JS in China, I like it very much!

(Pang Dawei)


Steam News (February 16th 2014)

Guangyuan (Rongshan)
Bernd Seiler has cancelled his March trip to Rongshan because the coal mine will not re-open before May 1st.

(Ameling Algra, Steam_in_China 11446)


New Report (February 10th 2014)


New Reports (January 18th 2014)


Steam News (January 12th 2014)

Sandaoling

Just returned from Sandaoling, spoil trains at Xibolizhan ceased temporarily after December 28, 2013, not to restart until February 6th, 2014.
Ex-loco driver told me it was due to water supply problem. Tongqin che (commuter train) still running, albeit with few workers.
All told, 7 locos running on East end of Sandaoling coal mine, four trainsets hauling coal continuously. We exchanged notes with Japanese photographers when going down at 6:30 pm one evening, and they said that they saw 12 trains between 9 am and 6 pm.

There are also the four locos running at Nanzhan working to the deep mines.

(Ronald Olsen, Steam_in_China 11443)


Steam News (January 5th 2014)

Surprising steam news from Gansu:

Recently pictures appeared on the internet showing SY 1097 and SY 1321 in use (December 13-15, 2013) in Liancheng Yard (aluminium smelter) as well as on the lines around it. Also Yaojie station is still infrequently reached by the SYs.
The railway is called Tiehejinchang Railway on SY-Country from Florian Menius's report of March 2005 and Nanlingcheng (Liancheng) Railway on Duncan Cotterill's Railography listings.
Most recent steam news from there was from January 2010 with SY 0150 in use.
It was thought to be completely dieselised, but obviously is not.

(Peter Semmelroch, Steam_in_China 11440)

The pictures can be found in the flickr gallery of Yifan Jiang (Pocahontas?), on page 2 of his Chinese Steam 2013 set.


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