The International Steam Pages

Steam at Pindingshan, March 2003

Greg Howell - wandering ex-pat (part-time) reports on a quick trip to Pindingshan 29th - 30th March 2003

Following the uncorroborated report of Weihe's closeure, I decided instead to go to Pingdingshan (PDS).

Flew Shanghai-Zhengzhou, arrived at 21:10. Holiday Inn reps assisted me to book a death taxi to PDS that night for 350Y. 1st hour spent on expressway @ 120kph only millimetres from vehicles in front and then the cross-country road was a battle to keep the driver awake! Arrived after 2 hours at Shen Ma Hotel (4*) - 396Y Fri/ 269Y Sat. Comfortable with untried Western restaurant, swimming pool, etc. Hotel booked better taxi back to airport.

Saturday 29 March +9 - +25C, some cooling wind. Hazy am, sunny pm

Taxi to Shenxi yard and then worked up branch to Mine #1. Walked back and then up to Mine #2 and to the top of the bank. Missed at train to Mine #4 and so walked along the embankment towards Mine #6 but little traffic. Fields in foreground look nice with lush greens and yellow rape oilseed flowers - not like north China!

Sunday 30 March +9 to +27C and humid! Hazy am, hazy & clouds pm

Walked into shed at Tianzhuang (TZ) where staff were very friendly.

Going off shed to Shenxi JS8030, 8068, 8062, to Tianzhuang JS8052, SY0758
In steam SY1209, JS6225, 6429, 8054, 8057, 8122, QJ6450, 6690
Inside shed QJ7186 - in steam, JS8065 - boiler washout, motion repairs, JS5644 - major overhaul, incl retube
Dumped SY1010, JS6252

Spent the rest of the day at Shenxi level crossing, Zhongxin for the psr, Mine #2 and then TZ when the sun gave up the struggle! There is an overbridge at the east end of TZ yard but I could find no easy access from the railway. It overlooks the coking plants, mechanised coal unloader (& its dust!) and is ptrobably a good vantage point for empty arrivals.

The majority of empties appeared to work through from east of Shenxi (- JW Dorp stated east of TZ). The loaded wagons were marshalled into c30 wagons before going to Tianzhuang. At TZ, SY1209 arrived on c30 loaded wagons and then picked up a rake before departing with 67 wagons - slowly!!

Locos seen on trains : SY0758, 1002, 1209, JS7186, 8030, 8052, 8054, 8057, 8062, 8068, 8120, 8122, 8338 QJ2035, 6813

Booked the taxi through Shen Ma hotel for 350Y at 17:30 to do the cross-country road in daylight and reduce the grey hair factor! In Xuchang, we crossed at ng railway that appeared to have well used rails, gauge of 2.5 hiking boots, semaphore signalling but the crossing staff appeared to say no steam ("nei ran zi" - diesel).

Rob Dickinson