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Please read the announcement on the welcome page before proceeding (27th December 2014).
This page covers news from February 2005 to December 2008
Other news pages:
End of visits to Baotou Steelworks
David Kitching's group arrived in Baotou guided by Mike Ma and were met by their driver with the permit for the steelworks. David saw the permit and checked the date on it before the group entered the works. There was no problem at the depot and they then moved to the slag tips where, after about half an hour, they were approached by the steelworks security/police who said that photography was not allowed. They examined the group's permit and then left them to continue photography. Some time later one of the security men returned and after discussions with Mike and the driver they were asked to accompany him to the security building at the rear entrance near the slag tips.
The story that was told was that from 1st December the new security chief at Baotou Steelworks had banned all visits by foreigners. This information had not been passed to the travel agency and the agency spoke to the security people on the group's behalf. All was to no avail and the group was eventually told to leave. The group had paid the full fee for the visit and had the correct paperwork but this did not help. They didn't get a refund of their visit fee either.
(David Kitching, Steam_in_China 8064)
A visitor who arrived the afternoon afterwards was told by a guide that the Steelworks is closed to visits by foreigners until further notice.
Yanzhou Coking Plant
The Steam News of November 19th reported that QJs 6936 and 7188 were no longer present at Shandong Yankuang International Coke Co., however "TW"'s new report below records QJ 6814 and QJ 7126 at work and a line of 3 unidentified dead QJ which could well be QJ 6936, 7188, 7191.
Yanzhou Coking Plant/Zoucheng
At Shandong Yankuang International Coke Co., newly overhauled QJ 7126 has arrived, previouly stored at Zoucheng. QJ 6814, also from store at Zoucheng and under overhaul at Laiwu Dong is also for this location. QJ 7191 remains, but QJs 6936 and 7188, present in April 2008 are no longer here. QJ 3461 is now stored at Zoucheng, not noted in April 2008. (Or did I miss it? D.F.). (Liu Xuejun, 8th - 11th October 2008)
It is understood that operation of the line to Luocheng, as described by Peter Semmelroch in Steam_in_China message 7935, had ceased by October 8th. (Liu Xuejun)
SY 1658M built in July 1989 for the Knox & Kane Railroad at Marienville, Pennsylvania, USA was sold October 10,2008 at the K & K RR liquidation auction to Valley Railroad (former owner of SY 1647M) at Essex, Connecticut, USA.
SY 1658M is not in good external condition having been in a building that burned earlier this year.
It is expected to have the locomotive (Valley Railroad running number to be determined) restored, inspected and ready to steam by mid-2011.
A further thought about JS 5098 / QJ 2698 renumbering at Mejiaping is, in my view more likely that in this Olympics year, every auspicious thing is being followed, 4 is considered an in-auspicious number (it sounds like "death" in mandarin), whereas 8 is a very auspicious number. (Of course the reason the recent Olympics started at 08:00 pm on 08/08/08 was because 8 was so auspicious. D.F.)(John Middleton)
Subsequent to the his report below, "TW" has compared his pictures of JS 5098 and QJ 2698 with the pictures Dave Habraken took of JS 5094 and QJ 2694 in August 2006. He thinks the JS and QJ he saw are the same locomotives Dave saw but now renumbered. He thinks the final 8 indicates overhauls completed at Luoyang Works in 2008. The actual Luoyang overhaul dates on the tender frames are Jan 2008 for JS 5098 and Nov 2007 for QJ 2698.
Baotou Steel Works UpdateMike Ma has contacted Baotou and been told there are still about 10 SY in steam and there is still SY hauled slag tipping. The works did plan to replace all SYs with diesels in August but they failed to implement the change.
Baotou Steel Works steam endedA usually very reliable Chinese contact reports that steam finished on August 1st. (Derek Jenkins)
Pingdingshan passengers diesel hauledA visitor to Pingdingshan on 20th/21st August found all passenger trains diesel hauled (checked 21:50, 6:00 and 7:40) by "VERY new and clean diesels". This seemed to have been a very recent development with diesels being used starting about a week previously. No further details on the diesels as the purpose of the visit was a thwarted attempt to ride steam passenger trains.
YinghaoYinghao has stopped using steam trains for transportation as we know for some time. I have found it out by phoning there that the reason why they have given up transportation of coal by rail is that the coal will not be sold to the end users in the far location areas. All the coal they produce now can be locally sold and used up. That is why we cannot see any more working steam locos on the line there.
HuananThere still has been working steam trains to be seen on the line at this season since they started this year in Huanan. But we cannot see as much more activities as it used to be as there are only two coal mines under production. The annual output of coal for this year has been reduced at the moment.
Laiwu and Xintai, Shandong provinceWhen Mr. Ishii visited Shandong in July, he noted Laiwu Laicheng power station had stopped its steam locomotive.
Qixiashan Cement Plant, Jiangsu provinceThe most recent steam pictures on Shibata Taro's site show JS 6533 in steam and JS 6287 (formerly of Zhenjiang Limestone Railway) out of use in July 2008.
Tianjin Heavy Machinery FactoryThe factory is near Nancang CR station which is 7 km north west of Tianjin CR station (Nancang can be found on Map 20B of the new edition of the Quail Atlas).
Mr.Ishii also noted Zoucheng's high deflector QJ 7126 under repair at Laiwu.
Railography Loco Lists
The Lists have been updated to include sightings up to June 2008. The inclusion of historical data continues but progress is very slow. It can take hours to pin down a single sighting because many of the locations listed are very obscure. In contrast, entering 40 numbers from a web report of Sandaoling only takes a couple of minutes.
Many thanks to everyone who submitted reports to Steam_In_China and SY-Country or e-mailed me directly with information or links to items on
the Chinese bulletin boards. It's thanks to you that the list now contains details for around 400 industrial and local railways and 6900 individual locomotives.
(Duncan Cotterill, Steam_in_China 7758)
In May 2008 Florian Menius removed the former content of his site. It now contains reports of his own trips in pdf format.
Having previously co-compiled the two excellent Extreme Steam China photo albums, Michael Rhodes has gone solo. His book has been produced as a tie in with an exhibition of 66 of his photographs, entitled 'The Last days of Chinese Steam', at the National Railway Museum at York. The book is set out in four chapters, The End of an Era, The Extreme Steam Team, The Exhibition and Every Picture tells a Story. The fine quality of Michael's photographs is revealed in the enlarged size of the prints in the exhibition, but suffers somewhat in the book where many are reproduced two to a page. In a covering letter Michael explains that although he had hoped to do another large format book in the 'Extreme Steam' series, it is not currently financially viable. This is a pity, as his pictures deserve a larger format.
I did notice one or two minor caption errors: page 54 the caption for exhibition picture 48, names the reversing station on the Shibanxi line as Mifung although the line itself names it Mifengyan, also on page 54 in the caption for pictures 59-62 Xingyang should be Xiangyang (otherwise two systems are being confused). On page 61 the caption for the upper picture describes the least photographed line from Yebaishou as being to Shenyang via Jixi which is certainly incorrect (should this be via Fuxin?) and on pages 86 and 87 Zhengzhou is misspelt Zenzhou and Zhenzhou.
I have shown the subtitle of the DVD to better indicate the content of the DVD programme as summarised on page 88 of the book. The steam action shots tend to be brief, except on the narrow gauge at Xingyang and Shibanxi. All too often there is a return to some activity with the team. Nowhere worse than when, after starting some action at Jalainur, there is a jump to shots of Michael having his hair washed in a salon. I am puzzled by the DVD's target audience, maybe it is intended for the 'Railway slot' on a satellite TV channel.
Thanks to Jeff Cartledge for a correction to the recent report of Nelson Poots on Shibanxi which mixed up the identities of locos 7 and 10. Nelson's report has been amended accordingly.
Quail China Rail Atlas
At long last the third edition of the Quail China Rail Atlas is now
available; Duncan Peattie has copies at £20 post paid (UK only). For further information, including non-UK prices and how to contact him, please see his
Alternatively contact the Quail Map Company directly at http://www.quailmapcompany.free-online.co.uk .
(Duncan Peattie, Steam_in_China 7708)
Shibata Taro and friends visited various locations at the start of June.
(1) Laiwu QJ 3460 working to the power plant. It runs two times a day, first is about 9-10 am, second is about 2-3 pm. See Shibata's attached map of Laiwu.
(2) Zoucheng Coal QJ 7189, 7190 remain in use from Dadongzhang yard.
(3) Zoucheng Alloy Metal QJ 7072 present but not working.
(4) Yanzhou Coke Plant QJ6936, 7188, 7191 in steam, but not shunting.
China: The World's Last Steam Railway, A Photographic Essay by John Tickner, Gordon Edgar and Adrian Freeman.
If you haven't yet purchased this book then read Keith Chester's review on Rob Dickenson's site.
Also note the book is available at substantially reduced prices from amazon.co.uk and AAPPL, the book's publisher.
This is a very handsome book. The photographs have been taken over the ten-year period from March 1997 to January 2007, so don't expect pictures of RM and SL Pacifics. The book is arranged with an Introduction and eleven chapters, each with introductary text, with titles such as Last Rites for China Rail steam, Steelworks, Industrial survivors and Locomotives, sheds and workshops. The two maps on the inside covers identify the locations featured in the photographs.
I particularly liked the pictures taken on the CR Rujigou branch in February 1998. Perhaps my favourite industrial picture is on page 131 of molten slag being tipped at Baotou in March 1999. (Yes, I admit I appreciate conventional photographs.) From a non-locomotive picture, I learnt that the JiTong Railway's passenger train destination boards were tri-lingual, Chinese, English and Mongolian.
I wonder if the Malaysian printer has been challenged by two of the photographs, both the snow scene on page 34 and the background of the silhouette shot on page 174 appeared very grainy.
Are any pictures missing? With the subtitle of the World's Last Steam Railway, I would have liked "the World's Last Steam Express Passenger train" (L114, the Hailaer – Hohhot express, QJ hauled on the JiTong Railway between Chabuga and Daban in summer 2005) to have featured. I assume none of the three photographers visited at this time and, as they write in their Introduction, the majority of their visits have been in winter for which they list their reasons.
These minor criticisms can be ignored. If you buy the book, you will not be disappointed. Photographers in particular will enjoy comparing their results with those in the book and appreciate the skills demonstrated in the varied shot compositions and the variety of lighting conditions. (D.F.)
Order from the Society's Hon. Sales Officer (email@example.com)
24 Dulverton Road,
ShibanxiThe prolonged overhaul of No. 07 has been completed and it got at least as far as Sanjin on April 22nd where it was photographed by a Japanese enthusiast. The following day, in late afternoon, it worked a train of construction materials to Xianrenjiao returning light engine to Mifengyan where it collected two low sided wagons and returned to Shibanxi. On April 24th it worked the full length of the line with construction material for the museum at Huangcunjin, returning on a coal train. The next day it was also working a coal train. It is coupled to a Pengzhou "slope back" tender as is No. 09 which was the passenger loco throughout a four day visit
YinghaoA contact of Mike Ma has informed him that the line is operating again with two locos in service
Mike Ma reports as follows: I got some news from Jixi mining staff that there will be electricfied on the Chengzihe main line this year if they get the investment money. They will still preserve three steam locos for keeping use on the branch lines. It all depends on how soon they get the money for the electricfied. Maybe this year or the next year.
NanpiaoI've been here since Feb 18th, and although there are 2 SY still working intermittently, all 4 BJ are also in use. Generally one morning and one afternoon passenger still steam. One semi-regular afternoon trip to Linhe also SY, but all else diesel. The CNR passenger service from Jinzhou is no longer running, and in fact there appears to be no freight on the line at present either.
JalainurFeb 23. About 15 SY very active in pit transporting coal. A thick seam has been encountered, and very few spoil trains are needed. Only 4 or 5 came out of the pit all day. The line to the power station was also busy, with trains every 90 minutes or so.
TiefaFeb 26 & 27 - Tiefa remains as previously reported. Daming, Daqing, and Wangqian passengers 100% SY.
Robin Gibbons has found pictures of JS 5115 on a Chinese web site at
The loco is in steam (just) and in need of some loving care.
If Robin is correct, it is at Shacheng Bridge Works near Tumu, one station east of Shacheng. This is in Hebei province (Quail map 3, line 37, marked T) at 127 km from Beijing Nan.
(Robin J. Gibbons, Steam_in_China 7213)
Railroad Development Corp. QJs
QJ 7040 has arrived in the States but "sadly, the Chinese scrapped the 6998 and 7002 in early December" to quote the following Trains News Wire:
It appears the branding "Pride of Leicestershire" of loco no. 9 and the tourist coaches has something to do with the leader of
Leicestershire county council.
Have a look at http://www.leshan.cn/lsnews/yingyu/yynews/userobject1ai120853.html
Derek Jenkins thinks it is the case that Leicestershire is twinned with Sichuan Province (or if not that has very close links with it) and more particularly Charnwood Borough Council (aka Loughborough) is twinned with Leshan. It is clear what the majority of enthusiasts think about this "Pride of Leicestershire" nonsense. I just wonder what the good council tax payers of Charnwood think and are they aware of the negative reactions caused in various corners of the world.
Shibanxi, Yinghao and Xingyang
Zeb was our guide during this time. The locos working at Shibanxi were 9, 10 and 14. No. 9 has been overhauled/tarted up and is now the most unattractive C2 I've ever seen. It probably corresponds to the Chinese idea of how a toy locomotive should appear. It is running with the tender from Pengzhou no. 67. More in report later.
Yinghao not working on 16th Dec but three locos looked serviceable on shed. Nothing appears to have run down the line to the China Rail transfer shed for some time.
Xingyang visited on 18th Dec. No clay trains but no. 207 on track maintenance
duties - sleeper replacement. Drainage channels at either side of the line
recently dug out.
(Adrian Freeman, Steam_in_China 7087)
News from Shibanxi and elsewhere in Sichuan & ChongqingNews from Sichuan railway guide Zebedee (zebedee_chinaAThotmail.com) received 16 December 2008.
Locos 7, 9, 10 & 14 have been joined by 2 locos from Pengzhou ZM16-4 67 and 72. (These are also C2 type but with many detail differences from the Shibanxi locos including 12-wheel slope back tenders and air brakes.) Zebedee reports that the new locos have been assessed for repair but are not yet in service.
Seemless Steel Company, Qingbaijiang (50km North of Chengdu) SY shunting or stabled here are 1613, 1523, 2008, 1612, 1390, 2010 (locos 1244 and 1207 are missing from here)
Jiangyou SY shunting or based here are 0378, 1133, 0671, 1207 (the latter is a Qingbaijiang loco originally)
Zebedee also reports that, in Chongqing, Ganshui (Datong Coal Railway) and
are both dieselized.
(John Raby, Steam_in_China 7070)
Message from Duncan Cotterill:
Huludao has 2 x DF10D, all JS stopped, one SY remains on shunts.
(Bryan Acford, Steam_in_China 7056)
The beginning of the end: four diesel locomotives arrived and have been brought to Hengshan. There are now two SY and four diesels in use. On the whole system you can still see almost 20 SYs in service. No-one could say when the next diesels will come.
In two months steam operation here should be over. The first diesels took over almost all the trains and steam is now relegated to ballast and construction work. When the next batch of diesels arrive, probably in December 2007, the remaining steam locos will be dumped.
Back to the roots! Some of the DFH3 diesel locomotives have been withdrawn for reasons we could have foretold before they first arrived - too expensive, worn out, too weak for heavy coal trains. Most of the rest of the DFH3s are used for light passenger trains now while some of the SYs have returned to the freight business. The days where you could plan your lunch break according to the steam passenger timetable are over!
Jinzhou 701 workshop
The tunnel workshop already has nine orders for overhauls for 2008. It seems they’ll manage to survive for another year.
Another five diesel locomotives are due to arrive here in November 2007. They will replace the remaining QJs. By the end of 2009 the full system should be free of steam locomotives. High noon!(Bernd Seiler, FarRail Newsletter October 2007)
Zhalai Nuer has a new boss who is not as co-operative as the old one was. You're officially NOT allowed to enter the pit on your own, you need a guide from the mine. Imagine what would happen if you'd enter a coal mine without permit in central Europe! However, if you follow some simple rules you'll probably not face problems. As soon as someone ask you to leave the pit, don't start to discuss, just say ok and walk out. You may enter the next day from another side ...
In the washery station they now have much more security than ever before. On our 100 locos in 16 days tour we counted seven of them. They came straight to our group - and during these seconds the fear was they will through us out because we had a permit for the mine with local guide, but we went there without (he was not ready in the morning as we wanted to go there, so we said to him we'll see you later - finally we never saw him in two and a half days). As they appeared me I said ni hao and told them what we're going to do (wait for the next departure). They interacted very freindly, and even forced me to have a look in the cab of the waiting SY, wanted to see some foreign coins and said we should watch out for trains before we cross the rails. Then they went away and haven't been seen by us for the following two days.
I know from others they had serious trouble with the local police. It's always better not to bump in the local police ... In general you can say it's still an easy going country regarding railway photography compared to many other "developed" countries. You need to be careful, behave approprioate and try to avoid incidents. It's a very bad experience to travel so far just to find the pit closed to your eyes because a local police man found that's not the kind of pictures China would like to allow to be published in the world. Such things may happen, but the probability to get superb shots from one of the greatest steam shows on the planet is much higher than to have any serious trouble. I'm talking about this: http://www.farrail.net/galleries/galerie_43-china-zhalai-n.html.(Bernd Seiler, Steam_in_China 6963)
Further to Wilson's report below, the diesel hauling the passenger was GKD1A 0100 in orange livery, and from memory the other two diesels were 0101 or 0102 and 0103.
Qinhuangdao Local Railway
News from this rarely visited line in Hebei province is that the line through the city of Qinhuangdao was closed in early July 2007, so the SYs
which passed the city daily are dumped now.
The line outside the city is still in use, but was dieselised together with the closure of the city line.
(Bernd Seiler, Steam_in_China 6811)
Jinzhou 701 resumes overhauls
In the above report, Roger notes SY 1387 from Lingyuan Steelworks ex-works in the China Railway yard at Nanpiao on 30th May. This loco was stored outside the depot at the steelworks on 15th March.
New steam line discovery with JS and SY
From Japanese sources, Louis Cerny reports a newly discovered steam
operation that is near the previously popular QJ-operated Wuhai-Jartai
line in Inner Mongolia.
This newly-discovered steam line appears to operate in three directions from the end of the 53 km long Hai-La line (line 39D on page 5 of the Quail map) at Gongwusu.
Reports show JS 6249 and 6251 in steam, with 6250 not in use; and SY 1315 in steam with 1053 and 0360 not in use. One of the JS in operation does not have the cowling go forward to the smokestack, giving it a unique look.
(Louis Cerny, Steam_in_China 6775)
Huangjinggou (Weiyuan) line closure
I phoned to Weiyaun these days and was told they have just stopped
using steam NG for coal transportation.
They have planned to use lorries and remove the NG railway tracks soon
as they have less coal to produce .Maybe in June or July.
(Mike Ma, Steam_in_China 6719)
Liujiaxia passenger services discontinued
Liujiaxia - the steam passenger services have been discontinued and no sign
of any passenger coaches. Saw the morning school train at Gucheng worked by
a draisine railbus. 2 locos in steam tripping and marshalling wagons in the
morning. Suspect freight runs early afternoon from Gucheng. I went to the
Shangxian end of the line for the 1830 but it didn't run at that time.
No changes at Baiyin or Sandaoling.
(Roger Blundell, from Hami, May 23rd)
Shibanxi, morning passenger trains re-timed
Changes to morning passenger trains - they now leave Shibanxi at 0600 (was 0700) and
0930 (was 1030). Afternoon trains unaltered.
(Roger Blundell, from Bagou)
English language Chinese Atlases
The airside bookstall in Beijing Capital Airport international departures is again stocking English language Chinese Atlases. In addition to the well established Atlas of China from the China Cartographic Publishing House, there is a new, more modern, Atlas of China from Sinomaps Press, first published in January 2007, price RMB 160.00 . Both atlases include gazetteers (indexes) of around 100 pages.
Florian has directed me to the following site, www.h-schnepf.de/alben/china/linkpage, created by Heinrich Schnepf. It is a very comprehensive report (in German) of Bernd Seiler's Farewell to QJ Tour in November 2006. As Florian says, it contains some great pictures, including many of non-railway interest, that give you the real feel of a trip to China.
Ian Thompson has a China section on his site www.steamfinale.co.uk. It includes galleries on Fuxin, Huludao, JiTong, Jixi and Nanpiao.
Huanan, Huangjinggou (Weiyuan) and other narrow gauge steam
Huanan: the mines got their licence back! So trains will run from "around" week
14 again -
Huangjinggou: after Chinese new year they re-started the service. Open end ...
Xingyang: running at the moment
Yinghao: running at the moment
Shibanxi: business as usual
(Bernd Seiler, Steam_in_China 6584)
Shaoxing ore line near Hangzhou
A Febraury posting on the Changjiang website shows two ND2 diesels now working the ore line at Shaoxing. The locos are 0277 and 0281.
Although some of the photographs posted show SYs at the little depot it seems likely that steam working on this line has now ended.
Pingzhuang, Yuanbaoshan Feb 2007
Five of the JS displaced by diesels at Yuanbaoshan are now stored at the Pingzhuang workshops.
At Yuanbaoshan itself, two JS remain at work alongside the diesels with two other JS locked up in the shed.
(David Scudamore, Steam_in_China 6544)
The Hegang coal mine will get its first four diesels in May
2007. Another five will be delivered by December 2007. This is
the end of steam there.
(Bernd Seiler, Steam_in_China 6513)
Huanan will not be reopened until mid March. Dependng on the
snow it might be even later. The railcar service is suspended as
(Bernd Seiler, Steam_in_China 6513)
CHINESE NARROW GAUGE STEAM LOCOMOTIVE ARRIVES IN UK
Five Ffestiniog Railway volounteers have imported Dahuichang no. 4 to the UK. The locomotive will initially be taken to the
Ffestiniog Railway where it will be thoroughly
surveyed and its condition evaluated. A detailed plan
for the overhaul and certification of the locomotive
will be prepared, which may include re-gauging the
loco to 600mm gauge.
(Press Release, Steam_in_China 6481)
Coming to America
Ron Olsen's article, pages 42-51 in Trains, February 2007 is sub-titled "The behind-the scenes tale of two Chinese 2-10-2s that immigrated to Iowa. It commences with a double page spread of QJ 7081 on the Chabuga-Daban passenger in Nov. 2005. Then follows a description of the decision by Henry Posner III to have several QJs overhauled and brought to America for resale, and the move of QJs 6988, 6998, 7002, 7040 and 7081 to the Jinzhou 701 Factory where 6988 and 7081 have been overhauled. There is fascinating information about the 701 Factory and the work done on the two locomotives there, before their shipping to America. The article concludes with their arrival and operation of test runs and finally public trips in September 2006 before being stored in Newton, Iowa, pending sale.
Jixi - the beginning of the end
In May 2007 Jixi will get a first batch of diesel locomotives. It's not for sure when the next diesels will arrive, but they will!
The situation after May will be:
- Hengshan 1 steam loco left
- Chengzihe 2 left.
- Didao 5 left.
- Mulin 3 left.
- Donghai 2 left.
Donghaikuang will get no diesels, as well as Didao only get
one. But the other systems will fade out soon. The "banked
double headers" of Hengshan will be history!
Mulin seems to be Lishu and will not be dieselised in May as well.
So half of the steam locos will be replaced within the next five months.
Is it worth to mention that it is high noon?
(Bernd Seiler, Steam_in_China 6473)
Fuxin - still plenty of steam action but the first diesel has arrived
In December 2006, 14 SYs were in use but the first diesel, DF5D
0066 built at Dalian in 2006, was being used interchangeably with
the SYs on trains around Wulong.
After the arrival of 9 diesels in 2006, there is only 1 SY
(Jun, CFITS Chengde)
JF 886 was not at work in December 2006, but stored.
(Jun, CFITS Chengde)
The last steam working was scheduled for November 26th behind QJ7195, then it's the end.
The mining system at Beipiao which is about 40km long still
has got 6 SYs: SY 1004, 1196, 1451 in service and SY 0387, 1091,
1550 spare. A JF was refurbished recetly: JF 886 was made in
Japan (Kawasaki) in 1936 for SMR. In 1956 this it was moved to
Beipiao and was used there until around 1995.
On the way to Beipiao, there is one QJ at Luotuoying station. It was in use until last year...
Passenger operation ceased on Oct 26th 2006.
Daba - Guyaozi will get another two diesel locomotives on November 10th. They'll keep one QJ for spare (under steam) and will run one train in 24 hours to Yangchangwan to keep the loco in running order. Lucky you if this will be during daylight! At the moment they have two QJ in daily service, one for shunting, one for the Yanghchanwan section (100% steam so far). Diesels available so far: 2 x DF11, 2 x DF4DD, 1 x DF10.
Notes from a short visit to Daban last week, 11/2-4/06.
QJ 6911 Youth Culture, and crane 5203, are mounted on a short
track segment near the new Jitong office building. 6911 looks
complete, but is not being kept up cosmetically. There are a
total of 28 QJs and 5 cranes at Daban, including the above. QJs
6878, 6891, 6911, 6977, 6978, 6981, 6984, 6986, 6991, 6992, 6996, 7007, 7009, 7010, 7012, 7030, 7037, 7038, 7041, 7048, 7049, 7063, 7104, 7105, 7119, 7143, 7163, 7164
Cranes are: 5203, 5204, 5208, 5209, 5212
The locomotives are generally decrepit, none appear in ready working condition, most are missing parts, and the cabs I looked into had been stripped. I was told that they would all be cut up next year- presumably excepting Youth Culture- but the parking areas were clean and there was no sign of recent cutting work.
There are still some 10 SYs in steam. SY 0555, 0683 and SY 3023 now are dumped.
Two new diesels are due in 2007, but steam repairs are set to continue for five more years according to railway staff at Jixi Xi workshop.
The timetable has changed. Weihe departures now are at 06.20, 09.05, 12.30, 15.10 which of course makes for better photography. Roadwork is nearly complete. Operation may indeed stop soon, Oct 25th or 26th is being told. However this will mean that the investment in the smart new station at the 'country' end of the line will be wasted. On workdays, some shunting appears at Zhenzhu.
Weihe Forest Railway reopened on July 26th and will continue operation until Oct 28th. There are 4 trains run each direction from Weihe Passenger Station to Baliwan. Baliwan is a new station built after the official closure of the railway in 2003. From there, there are several buses to Liushan and Shanhetun. Unfortunately, the track from Baliwan towards Liushan no linger exists. Even you cannot find many traces.
The line was closed by 20th March 2003 and lifted for most of
its length. But local government decided to keep about 10km from
Weihe to the west for access to new ski resort. Unfortunately,
the plan was not successful.
This summer, road construction started. It will take about 3 months. So government decided to use rails and STEAM train again! Of course there are no logging trains, but passenger trains for local people and for some freight.
Section: Weihe(0km)- Zhenzhu- Xiping- Baliwan (The train stop
at 4 unnamed stops)
Schedule: Weihe dep. 06:00, 09:30, 13:00, 16:00 (1 hour for each direction=10km/h!)
Train composition: C2 steam(facing to Baliwan)+luggage car+two Passenger cars (sometime it is a mixed trains with freight cars, too)
Fare: 5 Yuan/ride
Locals said that this will be the final run for steams in this area as the government announced that the road will be grade up for SKI field, no need for rails anymore.
34, 54 and 55 are in the depot with 54 serviceable.
Announced that it will officially open from 1 October. The excellent railway museum has been moved from the botanical garden in the east side of the city in Dec. 2004 and closed then. The new museum is in Tiexi area now, west of the city and not too far from railway station. The museum is already partly open and exhibits are 15 steam engines and 3 replicas.
is back on track again as of August 22nd.
Dagu now has only one QJ in steam mainly used as a shunter,but ocassionally works along the new branch line (Yanchangwan). It no longer performs line work to Lingwu and Daba. A second QJ is in light steam and sometimes in use in case of temporary use for shunting. The management say they will be completely dieselised by end of October 2006.
Kunming metre gauge-All the passenger cars(60-70 in number) have been sold to the Burma Government on the orders of the China Government and the Premier. This has finished the passenger service on this line.
Mianyan Steelworks Railway about 130 kms north of Chengdu still uses 7 SY according to the management.
In Zhuzhou there are three factories using steam. The following locos are known: SY 0997, 1039, 1318, 1341 and 1347. No more information yet.
Business as usual. At Nanpiao currently only three BJ and four SYs are in use.
The whole line and yard are still in place, 3 C2s are locked in the shed, one of them in very good condition, the other two look rather derelict.
SY 0891 was seen on duty recently, SY 0732 on standby in steam. JF 2446 was cold in the siding, but probably workable.
Business as usual with up to 38 SYs being used during a mid May 2006 visit.
Two diesels have arrived: DF 10D 0098 and 0099 with 2005 Dalian builders plates. Both machines very clean and look fairly new. Only one SY is still in use, a second is standby (SY 1741 and 1307 noted on Jun 4th 2006). The diesels handle the majority of trains including the passenger which now consists of 4 very clean looking carrages, painted in a new colour scheme similar to the JiTong one (blue-white-red, CNR`s "160-km/h-paint-scheme").
The Qinxian and Wuxiang Local Railways have changed to diesels recently.
Mudanjiang power plant has finished working with their 2 QJs in early April 2006.
Another loss is the narrow gauge system at Xinglongzhen: closed forever ...
Three new diesels are due to arrive in May. The diesels,
probably class DF12, are awaiting delivery right now. The first
is due to be on site by May 1st and the company plan a
celebration for it's arrival on May Day. The others will follow
soon after. 2 JS will be retained for use, the rest is to be sold
(either to Pingzhuang or Lingyuan, information differs. If
Lingyuan is true they probably will serve as scrap metal for the
steel plant... ).
The plan to install a conveyor to carry coal from the mines to the power station is going ahead but the rail link with the well known incline will remain in use.
Officials know nothing about possible JS from Yuanbaoshan. Here too, new diesels are on order there which are expected this year. SY's 0072, 0073, 0724, 1096, 1386, 1387 and 1708 were seen at Lingyuan.
Although it was stated in a report from 2004 that the Pinglan Railway was going to scrap their QJs soon, they are still in place and serviceable. The Pinglan Local Railway is in Shandong Province, located in RiZhao, 33 km long and runs from Lanshan port via Fengshui to the CR-station in Tieniumiao. The QJs are only used when one of their DF4Ds needs a repair. They could not say how long the QJs will remain serviceable.
The local Railway in Luzhou still has one serviceable QJ. It is not used as they have still only one pair of freights daily and sufficient diesel motive power.
Two former JiTong QJs (6988 and 7081) have been shipped to the USA recently. They were overhauled at Jinzhou 701 works and will be tested in at Iowa Interstate.
are all dieselised now. This have been QJ allocations.
Allan Hardy reports:
"At Tonchuan and Pubai lines, all I found was the remains of numerous broken up QJs. In the depot at the northenmost point of the Chenghe line I found QJ 7171 & 7172 in the yard (see pics). The locals were very friendly and very proud of their little DF4 and could not understand my interest in these 'antiques' one little bit. However these two engines and tenders had been sat here in the yard since May last year.
The main repair shop at Jixi Xi now features facilities for complete steam loco overhauls. Machinery from the former CNR works at Mudanjiang was purchased. According to local railway staff, dieselisation of the mining railway systems around will start in 2006 and is to be completed during winter 2006/2007.
The first diesel loco (Beijing 2005 built DF7G 5163) arrived in late December and is covering all line duties between Yaojie and Haishiwan as of early January 2006. 3 SYs are still in steam at Yaojie yard, one used for shunting with the other two being standby locos.
Railroad Development Corp in the USA purchased 5 former JiTong QJs through Multipower International Inc. in China. They have picked out five locomotives: QJ 6988, 6998, 7002, 7040 and 7081. They go to overhaul and adaption works to Jinzhou 701 works first. Initially, only two locos will be dispatched to the US with an option for other three if successful.
Operation on the Yinghao coal railway restarted on Dec 28th 2005. Things are back to normal.
SY1625 was reccently reported there being under steam. However, only 5 SY remain serviceable with 3 or 4 in use. Some 20 SYs were dumped are gradually being scrapped.
The line now has two old DF4B (0050 and 0061). They can handle
all the normal traffic on the line, the SY's are just kept in
reserve. One SY usually shunts the local railway yard at the
junction with the national railway and shuttles backwards and
forwards between both yards during the day. It also runs trips to
the cement factory at the end of the line. The main traffic on
the line is limestone for the cement factory and the two diesels
operate this service. A real shame - the line has a ruling grade
of 30/1000 and it is nicely scenic near the summit tunnel.
Sadly the Port railway now also has a diesel , an orange DK1C 0648 (Ziyang 2005). Under normal circumstances the SY's in reserve are not needed. SY 1636(1/1989) was the reserve loco and the other SY's 1413 and 1301 were being overhauled at the national railways works about 30km to the north of Zhicheng ( I believe it called Zhi Jilin). At least one more diesel will be bought in 2006.
At the moment, only one of the two DF4DDs is in use. Fuel costs for the diesels proofed to be much higher than coal for the QJs... (who wonders...?)
is claimed to reopen as early as on Feb 15th 2006 after the annual New Year Break.
JiTong`s last QJ, defelctorless Daban yard shunter QJ7063 was retired a few days ago. It was replaced by a DF5.
seems to have abondoned their steam locos recently - according to an article in "West China Metropolis Daily".
On Dec 9th, there was a farewell passenger train between Daban and JingPeng. The last regular revenue steam train seems to have operated on Dec 10th, a double-headed freight between Daban and JingPeng. As Daban received 7 additional DF4s, steam usage is supposed to have come to an end as planned/promised/feared...
Latest reports indicate that the Steam Farewall Event started on Dec 3rd involving 15 QJs working between Daban and Chabuga.
Latest news say that all trains between Chabuga and Daban will be hauled by QJs between Dec 4th and Dec 8th being part of the "steam farewell festival" activities.
On Sunday, Nov 27th there were no steam freights in daylight between Chabuga and Daban, but two passed in the dark. However, there were light engine movements at Chabuga at about 08.00 am and at Daban about lunchtime so there must have been some work for those locos. Monday operation was similar with no steam for hours during daylight.
According to the Jitong Travel Service, there will be a "farewell festival" next week (appr. Dec 8th-10th) which includes running a passenger special Daban to Jingpeng and back on the 9th. Supposedly, all QJs will be out of service on the 10th and you can watch their final clean out...
Some steam activity remains around the steelworks itself but
not to any great extent. Only one SY numbered 17xx (1722 or 1744)
was observed there in late October. Another two SYs, 0048 and
0532, seem to be based at the midway yard. SY 0048, in very good
condition, was being used on the coal mine branch and both were
also seen banking diesel-hauled trains from the midway yard
towards the steelworks or power station.
Five DF4Bs (7670, 7673, 7695, 7696 and 7698) were seen. It seems as if there are now at least 8 DF4Bs on the system. Trains were seen going up the hill with DF4Bs at the front and banking as well as double-banked. The trains are obviously longer than in steam days.
In addition to the DF4Bs, Ziyang built GK1C 0161 in a blue with red stripes livery was seen bringing a train into the midway yard from what seemed to be a limestone quarry branch. This train was then banked by one of the SYs towards the steelworks.
December 10th is quted as the deadline for steam at Daban. By late November, the majority of trains between Daban and Chabuga already was diesel hauled.
Between November 16th to 19th, there was nearly no steam train between Daban and Chabuga. Some five diesels could haul all trains,even the passenger at november 18th and 19th. The reason was track working at the entrance of the shed at Daban. Consequently,all steam locos which has been in the shed seemed to be locked in.When visited on November 18th, the shed contained was not even a single diesel. Steam service restarted on November 20th.
A new line under construction from Baomutu to the north-east. This should go to a coal mine.
JiTong will hold a auction on Nov 29th-30th 2005, about 20 QJs are for sale. The base price is 350,000 RMB. There will be 27 competitor joining the audition.
According to a Hasea posting, steam terminated in 2004. DF7 and DF5Bs are in use now with SY 0641,0851,1473 dumped.
Personal telephone contact to the railway manager confirmed that the railway is NOT working at the moment. This info contrasts to info given by CITS.
Some images of a dumped 8xxx JS, SY 1497, and a QJ apparently numbered 0001 and QJ 7192 recently appeared on Hasea. Location was Lianyungang.
The following DF4s were seen working between Daban and Chabuga
DF4 0490, 0537, 1291, 6007, 6103, 9010, 9516, 9518
The manager of Huangjinggou coal mine stated that the narrow gauge railway operation stop soon( before Dec 1st 2005) and not reopen again.
The new Shenyang railway museum is under consruction. The locos are already there and the building is being erected while they are inside! Of course they are sheltered, no display. The name of the place is TieXiSenLin Park in the western part of Shenyang. Due to be opened 01.03.2006.
SY 1232 in steam.
Most of passenger workings are diesel hauled now! In steam were seen SY 1751 1761 1749 and YJ 269.
received two new, Dalian-built DF4Bs (7758 and 7759) recently. They replaced QJs.
is understood to have bought two new DF4Bs, too.
11 SY in service, no plans for replacing them yet.
6 SY remain in service but they are to be replaced until Chinese New Year (Jan 29th 2006).
Steam was replaced by diesels in 1998. However, they kept C2 021 as a "souvenir". This loco can still haul special trains, although not in a good technical condition. The line has some scenic parts, but in general it's more flat than Weihe for instance.
After a period of almost no trains (problems with the locos, bridge constructions works) service is normal again. Investments in painting all six locos and rebuilt bridges are a good sign. No plan for closing the line yet.
Less passenger trains now with one line without any passenger trains now.
The special on October 8th, 9th and 10th seems not to run. The
special trains are ordered with steam, but the management of
JiTong didn't confirm steam until now. They told us they have
problems with water (Linxi, Jingpeng) and coal (Haoluku). As the
October special is not paid in the same way as it will be done in
November by tour operators no-one on the JiTong line seems to be
interested in the extra steam trains. However, final decision is
No new information about Lanqi yet.
Definitely closed. You can still charter a train for some 300 meter service. Everything is still in place with No 2 freshly overhauled.
Pingdingshan Coal Railway has received another 3 diesels recently: two DF10Ds (Dalian built 0087 and 0088, both in orange livery) and Beijing built DF7G 5121 (in standard red-gold livery). Altogether, 5 diesels are present now (1xGKD3B, 1xDF7G and 3xDF10D).
Hans Schaefer and another source in Daban indicate that the passenger train will remain steam until end of October. L113/114 will run the last time on September 14th.
"Prestige" Locmotive QJ6911 was withdrawn on Aug 16th 2005, followed by QJ7164. With a great deal of whistling and tooting the latter one (also a decorated QJ) was withdrawn from service on the night of Sunday 28/8/2005; it had run two trains together with 7163 the previous day.
During 11 days in late August until 4th September, with the exception of 3 freight trains all those on the Daban-Chabuga section were steagm hauled.
Some of the 10 DF4D locomotives built this year were found to have hair-line cracks in their wheels, and all were laid up pending repairs in August. Three had re-entered service by the end of August.
The hallways of the new administration building in Daban are lined with pictures of steam locomotives at work.
Only 9 SYs are still use. Six out of them possibly survive until 2006, three will be scrapped later this year.
The DFH5 4010 diesel is still not very reliable. So, the system is still 100% steam at certain times.
Rumors say that the line`s QJs (replaced by electrics earlier this year) work on the branch line to the new power plant near Huhehaote now. However, this is NOT CONFIRMED (yet)!
The steam loco overhaul facilty officially closed on July 6th being the last CNR works carrying out steam loco overhauls. The workshop's repair/maintenance equipment has been sold to the coal transpQinhuangdao Local Railway
That branch line is still steam operated. SY 1290 was observed under steam there recently.
The railway is about to close within the next days as the quarry closed recently. One loco is currently still employed to "tidy up", but rail operation is going to cease shortly.
Huanan has suspended coal traffic and all of the available
workers are planting trees between Huanan and Xiahua. The start
was today 27 April and will last for '5 days'. However, the 'ripoff'
passenger railbus is running as normal.
Visitors from April - August also need to watch out for ticks blown in the wind. You would not want one of these bugs burrowing into your skin.
(info by John Raby)
Maps (by Jan Schirling) added to Peter Patt`s Report.
Steam is expected to be finished until end of 2005.
JS 5029 is dumped now but steam will continue for at least two years (on passenger trains)
A C2 operated ng line operting inside the security parameters of a factory exists at Licheng 15km east of Jinan.
At Lanxi on the JinQian line north of Jinhua in Zhejiang province, some SYs are used on an industrial railway.
JF 2368 was steamed at Chenjiashan on Apr 14th but said to go for scrap on Apr 15th! JS8094 (alias 5094) at Chenjiashan, JS 6025 at Xiashijie and SY 0369 at Jiaoping were in use. At TongchuanNan, JF 2369 is still sitting, very dead, in a siding.
At Diantou, the DF4's have at last been put into service: DF4 7709 was hauling coal to the CNR yard on Apr 14th 2005.
JiTong has decided to abandon loco changes at Haoluku and work both Baiqi and Daban DF4s on through trains. The first DF4 already perform through runs (Baiqi`s DF4D 4174, 4177, 4179 + Daban`s DF4B 6005, DF4D 4240). Once the scheme is fully adopted, steam hauled trains will be impossible.
The new line from Sangendalai southwards to Lanqi (= blue banner; full name Zhenglanqi, Chinese name = Xulun Hoh). The line connects a coal mine with a power plant It is not clear whether the coal mine or the power plant is near Lanqi. Operation will start in September/October. Rumors say, the power plant plans to aquire 10 QJs, JiTong sources suggest diesel traction.
The daily mixed is rostered for a M62 diesel. Manp`o`s MiKa rescues if neccessary. However, CNR staff at Ji`an usually knows the scheduled locomotive 2 or 3 days in advance.
On March 8th at Zhoukou, no steam was seen but the steam crane still steamed. However at the Fuyang end, QJ 1271 arrived on a 50 wagon train from the west and 2 more QJs in steam on shed.
Yongcheng has 2 DF10D, but 2 QJs are sharing duties equally with them (Mar 10th).
went bankrupt and no longer operates (railway ops also finished).
There are 2 SYs active at the Hangbo glass factory rlwy. Access is easy by taking bus K528 from CNR central station and a 2km taxi drive or walk. Direct taxi takes about 30-40min and costs around 50Y.
The plants owns 3 QJs. In addition to QJ 7180 and 7187, ex Da'an Bei QJ 6924 has just been released from Changchun Works after overhaul and repaint. The loco still retains its Da'an Bei decorations. QJ 7187 is reported as being overhauled at Changchun last year and QJ 7180 may be overhauled this year.
Baiqi received another 2 DF4D in early February. Still 11 QJs
are workable, but rarely used. Complete dieselisation at Baiqi
depot is expected in mid April 2005.
Daban had 18 DF4 in late February, mostly used towards Haoluku but also performing some turns to Chabuga. In mid March, Daban - Chabuga was averaging about 90% daylight steam with 9-10 trains per day(light). Diesel creeps in although at most two daylight per day. On Jingpeng still up to 6 daylight trains with steam due to problems withs diesels. More than half of the diesel locos on the pass were Baiqi paint - probably due to the Daban problems. Steam defintely continued on March 19th.
According to officials, as of Mar 15th 2005 there will no longer be any regular steam turns between Daban and Haoluku. The Daban-Haoluku passenger train will also be diesel as of mid March.
Four DF4s are present now, steam completely eliminated in daily traffic.
are all reported to have been dieselised within the last two weeks.
(information by Sun Xiaolan)
Current situation according to Bryan Acford: 9 SY, 2 DF4, 5 DFH3 active. Steam works freight on the north and south lines and all passengers. Diesels work Faku line freight.
The railway shut down for the Spring Festival on Jan 26th. Expected to reopen in about 4 weeks.
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