The International Steam Pages

Weihe Forestry Railway Passenger Train

This page celebrates the passenger train at Weihe. Click on each thumbnail to open the full sized picture and then click the image to return to this page.

This was my first sight of a train at Weihe, it was, quite appropriately 1st January 2000 and, with Ameling Algra, I rode it all the way up the line and back again with 031. The coaches were tiny, crowded and claustrophobic. The windows were so misted and iced up that it was almost impossible to see out and identify potential phot spots.
Leaving Weihe, there was a brief stop at a halt on the south side of town beyond a furniture factory. There was a guaranteed exhaust effect as the train with 054 pulled away on 9th January 2000.
The line to Xiping was entirely flat along the valley bottom. Beyond was the first of two major climbs which was almost totally bordered by trees. Near the top there was a clear patch and there was just enough time to shin up a small tree to make the most of the opportunity to capture 054 again.
Just a couple of hundred metres further on, the line entered a small cutting before the summit. Here there was just enough width to photograph the train with the sun angle just perfect, 054 was captured performing again the next day.
The train took a break at Pinglin for water and servicing. In mid-winter the roads were dangerous and the passenger train was well patronised even though much of the village was nearly a kilometre away. 1st January 2000 was very cold and misty and I didn't hang around outside the train for long.
The road on to Dongfeng, like the railway, climbed to a further summit and was barely passable after snow. Down on the other side, we found a paper cow had come out to greet us on 1st January 2000.
The road on to Chonghe went over another small pass although the railway went round the side. After Chonghe on my first visit, it would better be described as a frozen cart track. 033 races out of town on 11th January 2000 and we jumped back into the minibus.
Fortunately, the train made a few brief halts along the way which allowed us to get Yulin just before it. The 'road' beyond was impassable...
End of the line for the passenger train was at Liushan some 60km from Weihe although the logging trains went a bit further. The only time I ever got here was on my January 1st 2000 journey on the passenger train. There was no triangle and the locomotive turned on the triangle at Yulin on the way back.
Leaving Chonghe, the train crosses a frozen river. This is another shot of 054 on the 9th January 2000.
Train in the countryside... Photographed from the parallel road some 500 metres away, 054 is dwarfed by the hills as it heads for Qingshan. On this occasion the road was too dangerous to follow the train much further.
Road and railway come together nearer Qingshan. This was 033 approaching the level crossing on 11th January 2000.
At this time of year, it was almost dark by the time the passenger train returned to Weihe, we waited at the final stopping point, Zhenzhu, to catch 054 in the last rays of the sun on 9th January 2000.
I had thought that it was cold in 2000, but 2001 so cold that film performance was poor and fellow traveller Peter Nash's camera was, unknown to him, a failure. On the first day of the year, 033 accelerated out of Zhenzhu scattering the snow.
054 steams out of Zhenzhu on the incoming passenger train on the morning of 4th January 2001. It was running so late that the outgoing passenger train was cancelled.
031 was an easy locomotive to spot from a distance as it was the only one (apart from out-of-use 032) to have a small 6 wheel tender. Here it raced along between Qingshan and Chonghe on 10th March 2002. By this stage Spring was breaking and almost no snow was left.
055 leaves Chonghe on 7th March 2002. This was by some way the largest village/town on the railway and even boasted a bath house which doubled up as a guest house. Even then, the 'facilities' were necessarily to be found at the bottom of the garden, which didn't seem to stop us drinking too much beer in the evenings.
The incoming morning passenger train was scheduled to arrive at dawn but was frequently late enough to be photographed in good light. 053 is seen from the hill top vantage point on the outskirts of Weihe on 10th March 2002. The second picture in this sequence (of the outgoing train) was taken at ground level below this.
2002 was the last year of the passenger train although logging continued for one more year. (There was a rump passenger service at the north end in 2006 while the roads were being rebuilt.) 030 heads off into the sunset just after Zhenzhu on 6th March 2002.

Rob Dickinson