The International Steam Pages

Steam in China, Pindingshan

Bruce Evans has supplied some extra notes

1.    Pindingshan-Wugang line

This line starts at Pingdingshandong and after paralleling the CNR mainline for a few kms diverges and heads south. The line appears to belong to the Wugang steelworks which is south of the small city/town of Wuyang. Based on information obtained at Batai Station, the junction with the Luohe line, there are 10 locos used at the steelworks and on the line to Pindingshandong, 8 SYs, one DF12 diesel and a second diesel, thought to also be a DF12. We saw SYs 0483, 0779, 0780, 1059 and 1417 as well as DF12 0036. The other SYs are apparently 0337, 0380 and 0548.

The most interesting news is that two SY-hauled passenger trains operate to a small station at Bailau in the southern part of Pingdingshan, just a few hundred metres from where the steelworks line diverges from the CNR mainline and south of the river. The train is made up of 5 YZ22s and a green modified gondola fitted with a roof! The SYs face south so the south-bound workings are best. The timetable at Bailau is Tr 82 arr 8h58, Tr 83 dep 9h10, Tr 84 arr 17h10, Tr 85 dep 17h30.
In addition to the passenger workings there are one or two freights per day to Pingdingshandong but these may normally be diesel. The DF12 was seen arriving with a freight late one afternoon.

The depot is at Tieshan Station about 5km south of Batai. This seemed to be at the northern edge of an industrial area (possibly the steelworks). We did not venture further due to lack of time but it may be worth exploring further as maps also show what seems to be a line to the ore deposit (apparently all the ore is obtained from close to the steelworks). With our having seen 6 of the 10 locos outside the steelworks it seems that there may well be others.

The Luohe-Wuyang line is not a steelworks line (seems to be a provincial Local Railway) and seems to be barely used with the trackwork rusted and the formation covered with vegetation at places. The folks at Batai told us that although there is a physical connection with the steelworks line no trains make use of this. The only train we saw on the Luohe line was made up of a railcar and a few gondolas.

2.    Pingdingshan-Yuzhou line

From various enquiries this line appears to be owned by a separate Yuzhou coal authority. Some facilities are shared with Pingdingshan and the locos appear to be given attention at the Pingdingshan depot. The line has three QJs 6650, 6690 and 6786 which is deflectorless. Although there are not many workings visitors should make enquiries as we were told that trains on the line have a QJ at both ends. One afternoon at the western end of Tianzhuang yard (the "Peter Odell" yard east of the depot) we were very surprised to see QJs 6650 and 6786 move down together off one of the lines looping north and east from this part of the yard (is there a connection to the Yuzhou line?) and run down tender first towards Pingdingshandong (Pingdong). Despite much praying we were not treated to double-headed QJs roaring back up through Tianzhuang yard - although we waited until last light the locos did not return this way.

As the Yuzhou operation is separate it seems possible that the QJs may work a complete block-load of empty gondolas (60+ wagons) brought in from Luohe on the CNR. This would be an interesting operation to see and photograph. There is a steep grade away from Pingdong yard at the east end and if the Yuzhou trains use this line the operation could be quite impressive.

3.    Diesels

In two separate conversations with staff at Pingdingshan depot (coal mine railway) we were told that consideration is being given to acquiring 4 second-hand CNR DF4 diesels next year and that no more steam locos may be obtained for the system.

4.    QJ 7186

This loco was apparently obtained from the Yau Meng power station, which is the large one on the south-western outskirts of Pingdingshan. The power station is said to have replaced the QJ by a DF4. (Most of the hoppers to be seen on the Pingdingshan system are for transporting coal to Yau Meng). Although it is well known that the last 20 QJs (7188 to 7207) were supplied direct to industry from my records it seems that at least the previous 10 or so (7179 to 7187) were also supplied direct to industry (mainly power stations) and not to CNR. Does anyone have records of a CNR QJ numbered above 7173?

Rob Dickinson