The International Steam Pages

Narrow Gauge Steam around Beijing

Nigel Lawrence reports on a group visit in October 2001. See also my own report of Wangdu from March 1999..

Dahuichang - Two 0-8-0 in steam and two under light repair. This line has problems, the staff have not been paid for several months and they report that the Beijing County authorities are trying to get the cement works closed because of the pollution. When we arrived the locos were in steam but there was NO COAL. A lorry overloaded with coal then arrived but could not tip it. Eventually hard work with wheel barrows and shovels got enough coal into each tender for them to go up the line with empties just before the light went.

Wang Bai (Wangdu-Baihe) Railway at TangXian. This line is worked by standard Polish design 762mm 0-8-0. One was on the coaling bank in the old station yard and three were present at the main depot across the road in TangXian - nos 2813, 2816, 2818, 2819 - plus 3 diesels 1503, 1505, 1506. 0-8-0 no 2816 carried a works plate reading "Fabrika Lokomotiv Fdz Brzynskiego Chrzanow 3846/59". After much shunting & shilly-shallying at the depot (including transferring of cab windows from diesel 1505 to 1506) 1506 took a train of rock out to the main line junction Wang Du. 2816 which had been on the coal bank spent some time in the depot then suddenly crossed the road to the yard, raced round the triangle and shot off towards BaiHe with a load of wagons of fertiliser. We gave chase in our bus and caught it on a steep bank through scenic hills where it went through a dramatic rock cutting and over a high embankment past a disused quarry.

NB This is a completely different set of steam locos from those I saw, in particular no sign of the Giesel ejectors any more.... The 28xx series is widely used on narrow gauge system to indicate 28 tonne C2 locomotives. There are other locomotives of the same numbers reported elsewhere in the IRS book and here, it is not clear where these came from. RD

Rob Dickinson