Steam in China
by Howard Moffat
3 March Beijing/Dahuichang
Arrived at 2pm and both locomotives were running with a
lot of activity. Staff friendly with nothing to pay at mine site. Did not
visit the other end of operations. Driver offered cab rides at the mine over
5 March 05 - Pingdingshan
Arrived on overnight train from Beijing. Despite
smog, steam activity at 06.30 was excellent near depot and adjacent yard
area. Chased steam around Pingdingshan all day including a visit to workshop
where one JS and a QJ were under heavy overhaul. Watched a team paint the
wheels of an SY just overhauled. Completed photography with sunset shots in
depot with very friendly staff. Next morning, back to depot for sunrise
shots and steam around the Pingdingshan area. Left late in the afternoon for
overnight trains to Shenyang.Pingdingshan was an excellent place to watch
and photograph steam, despite both diesels being active.
7 March 05 - Shenyang
Arrived in Shenyang and visited the major steam workshop
Sujiatun, with two SY receiving boiler overhauls. Staff friendly with lots
of photography completed. The tank locomotive was not working but
serviceable. Another great place to visit and would go there again. Drove to Tiefa after workshop.
8 March 05 - Tiefa
Drove out to the Faku branch for early morning photography of
passenger train at 06.30 with SY. The adjacent hills near Tiefa make an
excellent location for video and stills with long sweeping curves, villages
and bridges. Despite the cold with snow on the higher ridges, the freeze was
Visited the workshop but all was quite as it was Mothers Day and most
workshop staff had taken the day off. An SY was receiving a heavy overhaul
and it looked good in the morning workshop light.
Spent the next two days chasing steam coal and passenger trains with plenty
10 March 05 - Yuanbaoshan
Arrived in Chifeng after overnight train trip from Shenyang at
06.30. Drove to Youanbashan to chase JS engines in the snow as it had been
snowing overnight with white fields in many areas. Saw early morning banking
with two JS engines in the snow. Unforgettable sight.
Crews were friendly with cab rides offered but not taken as there was too
much to photograph. Snowed on and off during the day. Photographed both the
morning and afternoon passenger trains with steam.
Then drove to Reshui hoping to see steam but nothing running so
stayed there overnight and drove to Daban early on 11 March. Daban was cold
( -17C TO -6C) with double QJ S running to Chabuga. Photographed four
Chabuga bound trains with one single QJ train but very few trains running.
11 March 05 - JiTong
Chased steam passenger toward Lindong and then steam freights
in both directions during the day. Hard to believe you were watching the
same railway with the difference in traffic.
Back to Daban for sunset shots at about 5pm.
12 March 05 - Chased steam all day between Daban and Lindong with only one
diesel freight. Almost all trains double QJ, except for one train witha
single QJ which almost stopped on one hill as it must have had he maximum
13 March 05 - Spent the day around Lindong chasing steam with plenty of
trains and only one diesel freight. Drove to the Darchiga (spelling) bridge
near Lindong and phorographed steam crossing the river. Great spot early
14 March 05 - Sent another day around Lindong chasing steam towards Daban.
15 March 05 - Left Lindong early for Reshui to chase steam over the pass.
Diesel failures at Daban had helped put steam back over the pass. Chased a
double QJ over the pass to Jinpeng with another waiting at Jinpeng for
16 March 05 - Chased more steam over the pass, only two trains with steam
but worth seeing as it snowed and there were few people there.
17 March 05 - Quite day with many light engine QJ movements back to Daban.
Two steam freights see.
18 March 05 - At 05.30 a double QJ freight heads up the mountain from Reshui
as another double comes down. Drive to Jinpeng to see anoth steam feight
with double QJ headed for Holoku. Wait there for another steam freight with
double QJ headed for Daban. Later that motning another double QJ freight
arrived headed for Daban and chased it to the top of the pass. Snow had
stopped but the scenery was good, though very cold. Left for Beijing via
Chifeng and overnight train. Trip ended wel as it was great to see steam
return to the pass.
I will probably never visit Jinpeng again but seeing any steam train across
it is worth it!!!
Howard Moffat email@example.com