The 13th Extreme Steam Team trip was undertaken by Michael Rhodes, Vernon Murphy, Steve
LeCheminant and Nick Dodson, guided by Li Weishu
BA 039 to Beijing
CA1209, 13.35 to Xian, then bus to Tongchuan and stay at Red Rose Hotel.
Sunny -1 to +8
Saw JF2369 at 1215 and JF 2113 at 1400 on uphill trains of empties to Wangshiwa colliery.
A new development however was that the 0930 uphill train and the 1600 uphill were both
hauled by a DF7 with 18 empties. The DF7 then returned with half the empties and a light
engine JF was sent from Tongchuan to collect the remainder, thus removing uphill steam
working from half the daily trains.
A note on Wangshiwa colliery is that it employs 2000 people and produces 1.4 million
tonnes of coal a year.
Sunny +2 to +12
JF2368 uphill at 1000.
JF2113 shunting Tongchuan town at 1300
Tongchuan yard at 1500 contained:- DF43719, 1457, DF7 7001, 3064, JF 2113, 2368.
Bus to Xian airport for WH2370, 2005 to Yinchuan
Overnight in Kaida Hotel
+1 to +11 and a sandstorm which was so severe as to close Yinchuan airport
We planned to do the DaGu railway, first reported by Bernd Seiler. We meant to go to Daba
but the bus driver got lost and we ended up at Guyaozi. The day was made up of exploring
the line and trying to take a picture on the Yellow River Bridge in a sandstorm!
DaGu railway again. The shed area at Guyaozi is quite photogenic and there is a moderate
sized yard at the adjacent station. The mine lies just over a kilometre beyond Guyaozi
station and produces 2.4 million tonnes of coal per year. There does not appear to be a
run round at the mine and empties are propelled from Guyaozi yard and brought back to the
yard by a locomotive facing tender first.
The mine and associated railway were opened in 1992 and the staff say that it was
initially worked by JF and JS engines which were sold on to Hami colliery in Xinjiang
province in 1995 (this is apparently somewhere in the far west near Urumqi). The line
itself is 71.4 kilometers long and the journey from Guyaozi to Daba takes 1 hour and 50
minutes. The returning empties also take 1 hr 50 minutes. There are 2 or 3 return trips
between 0800 and 1600 and there are plenty of locations to the east of Lingwu and also a
long bridge over the Yellow River.
During our visit we observed the following QJs:- 1465, 2690, 2869, 6545, 6832, 7036,
7061, 7194, 7195, 7200, 7205.
+5 to +15, warm and wet (it was -5 in the UK!)
CA1218, 1125, Yinchuan to Beijing
Visited the new museum, the content of which has already been documented elsewhere. It
will be really good once it is finished and it just needs a nice little souvenier store
and a tea shop! Donated a copy of "Extreme Steam" to the curator.
2130 Beijing Nan to Chifeng sleeper
-7 to 0, sunny
Drove to Pingzhuang colliery system. There are 4 deep mines and one opencast in the system
and if I have time I think I'll produce a detailed map of the network.. The network is
slowly dying as the opencast produces just 1.15 million tonnes and the four deep mines
combined produce only 600,000 tonnes of coal per annum (compare that for UK pits like Taff
Merthyr which produced over 1 million tonnes from a single shaft, yet were deemed
Anyway the following SYs were seen:- 1052, 0916, 1025, 0943, 0798, 0463
The KD No.487 is in a derelict state in a compound
The following Henningsdorf (built 1981) electrics were seen:- 7305, 7304, 7330, 7364,
7349, 7359 - by implication we guess there are about 60 electrics on the opencast
Lunch in Pingzhuang was excellent and for those with sartorial interests we found one
of the cheapest cashmere shops in China on the main street in Pingzhuang and everybody
(even Li) purchased a couple of sweaters!
In the afternoon we transferred over to Yuanbaoshan for the afternoon mixed which was
hauled by JS8246, leaving Yuanbaoshan at 1500. After arriving at Fengshuigou, the
locomotive shunted the pithead here (which also has a narrow gauge electric system). It
then tripped to the China Rail yard at Anqinggou returning with a long rake of empties.
On the depot were JS 6246, 8216, 8218, 8418 and 6066 (scrap). Power station pilot GKD1
4008 was pottering to and from the power plant.
-13 to 0 (sunny)
Today was one of those great days when a visit to a system just clicks.
|0715 to 0800
||JS6246, mixed from Yunbaoshan to Fengshuigou (chased)
||JS 8249, coal Yunbaoshan to Anqinggou
|0830 to 0900
||JS 6544 shunting Yunbaoshan CNR station
|0930 to 1300
||JS 8246 Mine 1 yard, trip to opencast then trip to Mine 1
||JS 6246 mixed from Yunbaoshan to Fengshuigou
We then drove from Yuanbaoshan to Jinpeng which took only 4 hours thanks to the new
roads. Stayed in the Jinpeng Hotel to try and avoid the crush in Reshui.
24/2/03 - 26/2/03
Then we drove to Tongliao where we stayed in the Tongliao Hotel
-12 to +4 (sunny)
Drove from Tongliao to the Tiefa system, via a nice brunch in Zhangwu
Started at Xiaokang which is one of the large collieries on the Faku branch and spent
almost our entire day on the Faku branch which serves 2 large deep mines beyong Faku with
a third mine under construction with a new rail link installed but not yet in use. The
line is easy to follow beyond Faku with an excellent road and quite a few good locations.
The mines along the line are at Xiaokang, then Dongguantun (where the mine is called
Santaizi) and the new mine between the two is called Deping.
||SY0979 & 1751
||Coal Xiaokang to Daqing (awesome sight of 44 x 60 tonne
hoppers with megaclag leaving the mine)
||SY0979 & 1751
||arriving in Faku
||SY0979 & 1751
||Tiefa power station branch
||SY0979 & 1751
||coal at Faku
||Tiefa to Dongguantun passenger at Faku
||chased this along the branch to the terminus
||SY1255 & 1772
||night shots Tiefa station
Overnight in the Tiefa colliery hotel
Very windy and dull
Welcome party for the Jinpeng Orient Express at Tiefa station with fire crackers and
canons - quite a spectacle and the opportunity for Steve to hand over the Sony camera to
Phillip. We took one shot SY0665 on the Faku to Tiefa at the tunnel (where we met Derek
Jenkins and the steam and safaris group - looking pretty tired and hungry). Then off to
Shenyang airport for CA1628 the 1515 to Beijing and a very pleasant day of R&R at the
Holiday Inn before flying home on BA38 on Sunday 2nd March. The market opposite the
Holiday Inn sells North Face jackets at £20 a pop!