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The future of SY-Country
SY Country was established by Dave Fielding in October 2006, taking over from Florian Menius' QJ Country in providing a website carrying up to date information about the last days of steam on railways in China. Working steam was to last longer in the country than perhaps anyone expected when Florian established QJ Country in 1998 and in the 20 years since then first it, then SY Country, have carried almost 700 first hand reports of visits, plus links to many more and regular news updates, providing probably the most comprehensive source of up to date information in English about working steam in China.
Although the longevity of this has confounded almost all expectations and predictions over the last 20 years or more it is, finally, almost at an end. Non-tourist steam working survives at no more than four locations at most, of which only one, Sandaoling, offers regular daily operation and more than one engine in steam. Even this may not last beyond the coming winter.
The decision has therefore been taken to end SY Country as an active website from December 2018. Recognising that the reports and information on the site constitute a valuable archive, the site itself will be transferred to Rob Dickinson's International Steam website and a DVD containing all the information currently on the site will also be available on request from John Raby at email@example.com. In this way, the material on the site, including the many photographs, will remain accessible to anyone with an interest in the latter years of working steam in China. In the meantime the site remains active so do please continue to send in any information you may have.
It has been my pleasure and privilege to edit the site since Dave Fielding passed away in 2014 but I could not have done so without all the contributions from readers from all over the world. My grateful thanks go to all of you.
Michael Reilly, Surrey, UK