The International Steam Pages

Even More Steam in China, November 2002

These are brief notes on November 2002 trip to China from Tim Murray.

Firstly many thanks to reports on Internet detailing information. This ensured a very smooth independent trip with no problems whatsoever. 4 people on trip.

Sat 16/11/02 BA flight from LHR

Sun 17/11 Arrived Beijing on time. Changed up money at rate of about 13Y to . Bus to town at 16Y per person. Into International booking office. Booked 4 soft sleepers to Chifeng on train 2559 at 160Y per person. Bus 20 from Beijing main stn to Beijing Nan stn cost 1Y per person. Dep at 21.33

Mon 18/11 Arrived Chifeng at 07.30. Walked to bus stn and booked onto 08.30 bus to Reshui at 38.5Y per person. Bus route 1065 Arrived Reshui at 12.30. Booked into hotel Ji Tong (railway hotel) at 160Y for a double. The girl on main desk was very helpful and booked a small minibus at a daily rate of 200Y. She also provided all the train times first thing each morning for us. Meal in restaurant and 4 takeaway beers for 61Y total for 4 of us.

Tues 19/11 Breakfast 20Y for four. Out on line all day. Evening meal 96Y for 4 including 4 takeaways.

Wed 20/11 ditto
Thurs 21/11 ditto
Fri 22/11 ditto

Sat 23/11 We were quoted a price of 500Y to take a minibus back to Chifeng so the girl telephoned bus mobile (It had left Jinpemg) and booked four seats for us. Bus picked us up at 9am and girl delivered us to the bus! 40Y each for return journey.  Arrived Chifeng at 13.00. Booked 4 hard sleepers on overnight to Beijing for night of 25/11 at 105Y each. Taxi to Yuanboashan for 70Y. Booked into the power stn hotel at 162Y for double. Out in evening for 15.00 mixed and shunting in nice light. Meal 113Y for 4.

Sun 24/11 Taxi all day for 200Y Workings as previously reported although there was not much of a lull in the middle of the day. The branch climb is good for video.

Mon 25/11 Taxi all day and then to Chifeng in evening for 300Y total. Meal in stn self service for 40Y for 4 then on train 2560 to Beijing dep at 20.00.

Tues 26/11 Arrived Beijing 06.30 Bus 20 to main stn. Booked four soft sleepers to Baofeng for 1108Y on train 1389. Out to do limestone railway. We got a bit too keen and did not leave the rly until 15.55 and arrived back at main stn to collect our luggage. We then got a taxi at 100Y to Beijing West and boarded train at 18.20 which left at 18.23!!

Wed 27/11 Breakfast on train for 10Y each. Arrived Beofan at 09.00. Booked return tickets for night of 29/11 on train K184. The stn has an allocation of soft sleepers for this train. Cost 848Y for four. Hired taxi to Pindingshan for 90Y and booked into Hotel Jinxiu at 148Y for a double which included a very good buffet breakfast. Decided that it was not worth hiring a taxi so caught bus 34 from street diagonally opposite hotel that connected into bus stop for Bus 37 that takes you to the level crossing at the busy yard. 1Y per person on each bus and takes about 30 minutes in total. Arrived at 13.00. Activity is pretty busy but photo potential is limited. Good place to visit to see all three classes and the two middle branches up to Pindingshan mountain have good potential. Back to hotel and evening meal, including 4 takeaways, was 120Y.

Thurs 28/11 ditto

Fri 29/11 ditto then had meal in hotel and left at 19.30 in taxi to Beofan for 80Y. Stn put us in first class waiting room with TV and we were the only ones there. Caught train at 21.28

Sat 30/11 Arrived Beijing at 11am. Booked into Fengyuan Hotel at 140Y for a double (hotel fine but no running hot water - plenty from the still outside of room). Hotel is convenient for airport bus. If you come out of bus stn and turn right onto main road the hotel is 700 metres on left hand side. Meal in Pizza place at 40Y each and spent evening in Irish bar with local beer at 20Y a pint.

Sun 1/12 Caught 09.00 airport bus and return on BA flight

Overall weather was good. We did not see the mafia at Reshui but they have erected large signs at the curved viaduct and Reshui summit asking people to have their permits ready for inspection. No one ever turned up to inspect them though. The weather at Pindingshan was sunny and fairly cold for two days but cloudy on third. The big problem is the 'fug' that is similar to what Chengde can be like at times.

Total money spent in China was less then 250 each and the trip could not have gone smoother.

Rob Dickinson