The International Steam Pages


Weihe Forestry Railway Log Trains

This page celebrates the loaded log trains at Weihe proceeding from east to west and then north. . Click on each thumbnail to open the full sized picture and then click the image to return to this page.

There were loading points spread out all along the southern half of the railway which meant that log trains were sparse beyond Chonghe, particularly in the daylight. On 5th January 2000, we were tipped off that a train was coming by the station staff but on our way there was only just time to leap out of the minibus to snatch a shot of 035 coasting downhill. 
033 brews up just after dawn on 20th February 2003. Having accommodation available in Chonghe gave a lot more flexibility in planning photographic schedules. Unfortunately, the train running didn't always fit into the plans...
It was just after dawn on 5th March 2002 when 033 left Chonghe on a train which had been delayed because of a derailment at Qingshan.
053 speeds out of Chonghe across the river bridge on 5th January 2000. 
034 rolls along the wide valley west of Chonghe with its train on 4th March 2002. By now chasing here was easy, but the scenery for much of this section was uninspiring.
034 staggers up the climb from Dongfeng on 7th March 2002. The breeze was clearly blowing at a speed which exceeded that of the train.
The flat landscape is very misleading, trains starting from Donfeng for Weihe actually faced a slog right from the start all the way to the summit beyond Shuangfeng. 034 and 054 plod up with a heavy load on 4th January 2001.
A lot of film was exposed as the train slowly crawled past us, this was an occasion on this visit when I had better than average light .
In fact at Shuangfeng, 054 was left as train engine and 034 moved to the rear to bank the train to the summit before returning to Dongfeng.
This was a similar combination (030 and 055) at exactly the same spot without the benefit of the snow and the cold air on 8th March 2002.
22nd February 2003 was a significant day in my life although I didn't know it at the time... Having spent more than 2 hours standing in a snowdrift at the top of the climb from Shuangfeng and being chatted up by Yuehong (she would say it was the other way around), we were rewarded by the appearance of a loaded train.
030 starts a heavy load out of Pinglin on 4th January 2000. No assistance was available on this occasion - sometimes in a case like this one or two wagons  would have to be detached.
One of the joys of the narrow gauge is how it fits seamlessly into the landscape. A double header departs Pinglin on 19th February 2003.
This was my first sight of a loaded log train on the line at Weihe early on 3rd January 2000. As we approached on the bus down the road we could see steam rising from Pinglin station. I barely had time to cross the line and scramble up the small hill before the train departed, 031 making a breathtaking spectacle as it struggled up because no banking loco was available..
On 10th January 2000, 035 was assisted up the climb from Pinglin by 034 off an outbound train of empties.
Children and animals... The cow and its sled had moved out of the way just before the train engine 035 came past on the climb shown above. There was just time to run to the side as the banking engine 034 came blasting past. 
053 leaves a long exhaust trail as it leaves Xiping early in the morning on the flat section to Weihe on 11th January 2000.
This was the last log train I saw on the 2002 bash. I was on my way on the back roads to Shanhetun on 12th March when across the valley I saw 053 approaching Zhenzhu. There was just enough time to turn the taxi round and get back into position.
It was a beautiful, still morning and the exhaust hung in the air for a minute or two after the train passed.
In contrast, this strange back to back combination at Zhengzhu was shrouded in mist on 1st January 2001, most likely the second loco had failed. In the background is the outbound passenger train.
It was too good an opportunity to miss even though my arrival on the Shanhetun would be delayed. 053 rounds the curve below the famous vantage point as it enters the outskirts of Weihe on 12th March 2002.
Despite the rural setting, 034 is arriving just outside the log yard station in Weihe on 8th January 2000. The last rays of the afternoon sunshine gloriously lit the train and within a minute the sun had vanished behind the hill.


Rob Dickinson

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