eThe International Steam Pages

Steam in Northern China, October 2001

This is a report from Derek Jenkins who led a trip for Steam and Safaris. (Minor typos corrected and a little extra information added on Jitong QJs, 11th December 2001)

October 20

Arrived Beijing by BA and drove out to Dahuichang. Locos 3 & 4 operating. After the first downhill the electrics at the loading area failed and that concluded the entertainment for the afternoon. In any event the light was woeful

October 21

Flew to Shenyang and then drove out to Sujiatun. The "museum" locos have been moved again their former sidings being occupied by the serried ranks of SS14 double electrics. Were told that the "museum" is being moved to Fushun. This might just be to excuse the dire state of things here. The Industrial loco works had Ji Tong QJ 7137 under major overhaul as well as SY's 0949 & 1462.

Then drove South to Lingshengpu mine but although gained access to the mine surprisingly easily there was no sign of this locations SY's which are clearly not stabled here. This mine does , however, have a 600mm OHE system.

Then crossed town to Huangguttun Wagon Works. SY 0297 in steam with SY 1553 dead but in good condition

October 22

Fuxin. Out to Minzhu for early mine passengers. Immediately on arrival QJ 6655 passed light on CNR in the Yi Xian direction. This raised false hopes as it was the only steam seen here on CNR. A shed visit revealed only 6623 in light steam with the following dead :- JS's 6479, 8235 (the former in very good condition), QJ's 6632, (from Chabugua on the Jitong line for repair), 6226, 6671, 6382, 6750, 6943, 6672, 6321, 6776, 6753, 6990. Also unusually, here receiving attention was SY 1096 but the shed staff did not seem to know where it was from (Florian Menius says it is from Ligyuan Steelworks). Fuxin expects to be totally rid of steam in less than 4 weeks and the only work being done now is maintenance on Beipiao locos.

The mine railway was as previously reported.. JF 508 has reappeared but is dead and in a very poor state. In works were SY's 0035, 0391, 0849. Being painted ex works was 0076. Other SY's seen 0126, 1460, 1378, 1319, 1396, 1210, 0785, 0112, 0911, 1378, 1320, 09431 (all in steam) & 0127, 1818, 0576, 1359 (all OOU)

October 23

Drove to Zhangwu. After the sad sight at Fuxin it was encouraging to see steam drifting from the yard and this turned out to be JS 8202 shunting and very much alive and well. QJ 6778 then backed on to shed after piloting a DF4 on a freight from Tongliao. The Tongliao - Dahushan line is clearly busy. Other than QJ's all freight is handled by early DF4's indeed and somewhat bizzarely the JS was the youngest loco (1987) including diesels, seen here. The excellent coaling plant is still in operation and it seemed there might be a loco shortage as 6778 was coaled and watered and ready to return to Tongliao by the time we left. Dead outside were QJ's 6777, 6436, 7120, 6089, 6853 (Chabugua, Jitong for repair), 6369,  7111, 7102, 6462. Receiving attention in the shed was 6098. How long steam will last here is anybody's guess. Just watching 6778 on the coaler was worth the diversion.

October 24/5

Tiefa. There is nothing to add to previous reports about locos or traffic here. The good news is that on 26 Oct a new boiler shop was being officially opened. This will make the line self sufficient in major overhauls. The last loco to be overhauled elsewhere was 0063 (at Sujiatun) and the first in the new boiler shop 0979. The passenger timetable has changed again. Most changes are marginal save that the mid morning CNR diesel hauled passenger no longer runs and is replaced by a steam hauled train from Daqing to Diaobingshan and return.

On leaving Tiefa drove to Tieling and found SS9 electric 0001 on our train 4226 to Tongliao. Two thirds of southbound freight passed to Siping was in the hands of SS14's

October 26

Drove the short distance to Zhelimu and discovered that since the 21/10 timetable change the Ji Tong passenger is an hour later here and that the QJ is replaced by a DFH3 for the last 16Kms to Tongliao. The passenger has new stock painted red white and blue. Inevitably all these new coaches still have coal fired boilers. Shunting at Zhelimu was 7105 and in the servicing area having its rods removed 7140. Passenger engine was 6478. Other locos seen here and en route to Daban :- 7164, 6358, 7049, 6996, 7048, 6751, 7010, 6125, 6572, 6379 (this appears to be a new loco), 6911, 6576. train engine ex Chabuga was as usual 6631.

October 27

Daban. 7007 brought in the passenger and 6911 took it out. 6884 was yard pilot. In works were 6988, 6349, 6638. Stored in a compound presumably being cannabilised were 2645, 3073, 2388, 1760. Stored separately - 6840, 6853, 6978, 6795, 6844. The servicing area was almost bereft of locos suggesting increased traffic and this was confirmed on subsequent days.

October 28 -31

Jing Peng. The new passing loops at the sites of the track workers dwellings are now in use. Unusually one uphill on the Jingpeng side was stopped at both Xiakengsi and the new loop. Many locos were in better external condition than previously but several were in poor health. Traffic was heavier than previously with a definite bias East to West with compensating light engine movements. Locos seen in traffic :- 7002, 7112, 7063, 6630, 6763, 6576, 6385, 6878, 6389, 6110, 6992, 7040, 6639, 6925, 6274, 6760, 7143, 6876, 6517, 6828, 7012, 6905, 6301, 6230, 6356, 6981, 6351, 6517, 6638, 6763, 6125.

Nov 1

After driving to Chifeng the previous night took Train 6030 to Chengde. Arrived there to see a JS leaving the yard. Just missed it (with only one banker) at the summit. There was only one other uphill that day again with one banker.

Nov 2/3

Chengde. Traffic here was diabolically slow. Only two uphills in daylight on 2 Nov and none at all up to lunch on 3 Nov at which time left for Beijing on Train K710. Locos seen in steam - JS 5720, 6217, 6227, 6368, 6403. SY 1522, 1765.

Rob Dickinson