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China September 2006, Pingdingshan
From 23-08 till 23-09 I visited China again, this time more for family and tourist purposes.
But on 01-09 and 02-09 we visit Pingdingshan again. No big news, but great to see that steam is still in service. Many JS and some SY (passenger trains) were in use. Except for 4 diesels [DF10D-0060, DF10D-0088, DF7G-5121 and GDK3B-0003] we saw the following steam engines in operation:
JS: 6253 / 8030 / 8031 / 8054 / 8057 / 8068 / 8120 / 8122 / 8421
SY: 1209 / 1687
Also we visited the workshop this time. Again a great comfort to see that such still exists in 2006... (and hopefully because of this, steam may survive for a while…). Unfortunately they demand money, too for a visit to the workshop. Fortunately, after a “good discussion” we didn’t have to pay.
In the workshop JS 6429 was overhauled and JS 8338 almost ready. In the depot QJ 6450 was warm (reserve?) and cold QJ-7186 and JS-5644 / 8062.
In the neighborhood, a new track is being constructed between Tianzhuang yrd. and Zongku yrd., many old (poor) houses beside the railway line are pulled down and mine 2 (unfortunately) refurbished. In Pingdingshan, we stayed in the Jinxiu Hotel again, 128 Yuan per room and night.
Observed from the passing train Beijing-Zhengzhou, we saw a QJ at a yard north of Anyang and also a JS+QJ somewhere “near” Huashan (Zhengzhou-Xi’an line). Both, of course, cold, but well-kept/painted. (Sorry, no numbers). There were also some dumped JS dumped in WuHu depot.
Further information, maybe off-topic, but maybe useful for some travelers:
Jian Yuan Hotel (010-66057424), nearby metro line 1`s “Xidan” station (south-east exit, 300m to the right, small street. (Before post office), 200 Yuan room/night. If time enough, the railway museum is nice to visit. Foreigner ticket office is no longer in Beijing Central Station`s soft-class waiting room, but in the new ticket office on the western side (right hand side).
Generally, if you show train-number, destination, date and class (YZ/RZ/YW/RW), buying a ticket is no problem in China. Most ticket offices sell tickets up to 3 days in advance (meaning today, tomorrow and the day after). During office hours you can also buy a ticket up to more than 3 days in advance, there are a few special ticket counters for this (displayed: 4-10 day or 10-20 day),
Railway hotel next to the station hotel, west side of station. You can buy a “reduced card” in train by train staff (when you approach your destination (not only in Xi’an)). 100 Yuan room/night, clean with a 24 hours station sound system in the background... Train tickets can be bought in hotel. City-bus 306 has its terminal at the terracotta army, 5 Yuan. The bus stops south of the station square.
Railway hotel (021-51017588), east of station, 200m straight on in street on the left side of ticket office. 170 Yuan room/night. Ask a backroom! As Shanghai railway station is a terminus, a 24 hours shunting of trains and locomotive gives a magnificent view. Furthermore, 99% is still diesel, even though electrification, (not really fresh air or a good night’s sleep……). And, when you finally fall in sleep, you dream that diesel is replace by steam………………………………
Roger van Duijnhoven
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© 2006 Roger van Duijnhoven