The International Steam Pages


Shibanxi Holiday 2010 - Real Trains

This is part of our photographic report from our 3 week visit in March 2010 - click here for the full report.


Shibanxi Heaven - The best steam narrow gauge railway on DVD when it was totally real. We really ought to find time to put our video footage from 2008/09/10 onto another DVD at some stage.


Real trains? Coal trains and those with just green coaches! Although now they are well 'weathered' I do consider the red tourist coaches to be simply real 'first class'. Because the coal mine at Huangcun had labour problems, extra holidays, power cuts etc, coal trains were rather thin on the ground this time, this explains 'sub-optimal' lighting for some of the shots here.

There are more tourists than ever and the single tourist coach on each train may be two or three if it's not actually raining. At the weekends, two tourist trains may be needed at the same time which can mean that the normal train is made up of purely traditional coaches as seen between Jiaoba and Bagou. While that is fairly predictable, it can happen at other times too.

Passing the first level crossing above Caiziba:

Between tunnels on the descent from Xianrenjiao to Jiaoba:

This is a Jiaoba departure in the gloom on one Saturday, which goes a long way to explain why we spent a week doing anything other than grice:

Light on for the first tunnel below Jiaoba.

You have to look hard for the yellow flowers here as the coal train departs Bagou:

While that's not very colourful in the middle of the day, it's much better at first light:

Running into Huangcun on a Thursday. Why was it 'real'? As it happens there could be no coal train in the afternoon as there was no electricity that day, and a tourist train had been chartered shortly afterwards.


Rob Dickinson

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