The International Steam Pages
The Greatest Steam Show on Earth - Jalainur - November 2008
Click here for our main (November 2007) Jalainur report.
We spent 2 weeks filming here in early November 2008 and found intensive steam operation.
On the morning of one of 5 days when weather conditions were almost perfect, at least 20 steam locomotives are visible looking south from the north end of the big pit. As always, the problem was not so much cloudy weather as periods of strong, gusting winds blowing steam everywhere and dust into the eyes, together with wrecking video sound effects.
In the two or three full days that most visitors allocate to Jalainur, there is barely time to look at the 'other railway' which serves the deep mines in the area beyond watching trains depart from the transfer sidings next to the washery. This is a shame as anywhere else in China today it would be considered a major attraction. Lines run west and then to the north and south, workings are 'as required', the south line is particularly attractive for photography, but operations are complex. The fact that it also serves a power station means that coal empties and fulls work in both directions, there is also some pick-up freight work.
The transfer sidings at Dongfanghong have been raised so that the only trains facing a stiff climb are now those conveying coal from the big pit washery, these now depart west (instead of east previously) and may be double headed. At other times they are worked in two sections. A small army of looters will be waiting in the new headshunt...
Teddy Bear's picnic? 1416 heads a train on the south line west of the big pit.
On a day of sunshine and clouds, a train for the southern power station hammers up the bank west of the big pit.