The International Steam Pages


Steam Locomotives in China 1997

The following report is by Roderick Toxopeus

General information about China:

China is changing very quickly to a modern state with a lot of western influence. If I look back four years ago the big cities are totally changed but I like the small places they look nice and you are fifty years back in time. If you take the bus from Chifeng to Jingpeng you can see an enormous difference between the Manchuria and Inner Mongolia. China Rail had now installed computers at the big stations, and by buying a ticket you get a computer printed train ticket. Upgrading your hard seat on the train is more difficult as last year.

8/02/97

Depart from Amsterdam airport to Beijing by Swiss Air.

9/02/97

Arrival at 6 am at Beijing International Airport with a connecting flight to Harbin. At 11 am we arrived at the railway station at Harbin. We walked to the railway bridge and waited for two hours, but we saw no steam locomotive at all.
At 13.25 we depart on train 7 to Mudanjiang and arrived at 19.22. The Mudanjiang fandian opposite the railway station has clean rooms for 130Y per night. We organised a taxi to Muling for the next day, one way 200Y.

Muling:

The climb from Muling to Daimagou is double tracked and is quite steep. All freight trains and the two passenger trains to the west pick up an assisting loco at Muling which goes on the front from Muling to Daimagou. The pilots run back to Muling as light engine or at the back at an eastbound freight train. When trains arrived at Muling with Df4 the assisting loco is connected between the Df4 and the freight train. Changes to last year: two passenger trains are delayed, but there are now more freight trains running but they are not all steam. On the last two days we saw one Df4 for pilot duties. The 7 am freight train is the best train we have seen on this tour, the train comes out of the sunrise with temperatures of -25C. For us Muling was the best place to photograph heavy freight and long passenger trains.

10/02/97 Muling

Depart to Muling by taxi and start linesiding at 6.30 am.
Timed between Muling and Daqiao
6.50 QJ freight eastbound
7.10 QJ+QJ freight westbound
7.30 Df4 freight eastbound
8.25 Df4+QJ freight westbound
8.50 Df4 Mudanjiang - Suifenhe 571 passenger
9.55 QJ+QJ freight westbound
9.55 Df4 freight + QJ eastbound
10.55 QJ freight eastbound
11.35 QJ+QJ Mishan - Mudanjiang 576 passenger
11.45 QJ Mudanjiang - Mishan 575 passenger
12.25 QJ+QJ Gongfanghong - Harbin 89 passenger
13.30 QJ+QJ freight westbound
14.25 Df4+QJ freight westbound
15.05 QJ freight + QJ eastbound
16.00 Df4 Suifenhe - Mudanjiang 572 passenger

11/02/97 Muling

Timed between Muling and Daqiao
6.50 Df4 freight eastbound
7.05 QJ+QJ freight westbound
7.50 QJ freight + QJ eastbound
8.15 QJ freight eastbound
8.45 Df4+QJ freight westbound
8.50 Df4 Mudanjiang - Suifenhe 571 passenger
9.30 QJ+QJ freight westbound
10.30 Df4 freight eastbound
11.30 QJ+QJ Mishan - Mudanjiang 576 passenger
11.40 QJ Mudanjiang - Mishan 575 passenger
12.20 QJ freight westbound
12.25 QJ freight eastbound
13.00 QJ+QJ Dongfanghong - Harbin 89 passenger
14.30 Df4+QJ freight westbound
14.35 QJ freight eastbound
16.10 Df4 Suifenhe - Mudanjiang 572 passenger

12/02/97 Muling

Timed between Muling and Beilin
6.35 QJ freight eastbound
7.20 Df4 freight eastbound
7.30 QJ+QJ freight westbound
8.45 Df4+QJ freight westbound
8.45 Df4 Mudanjiang - Suifenhe 571 passenger
9.15 QJ freight + QJ eastbound
9.50 Df4 freight + QJ eastbound
10.15 QJ+QJ freight westbound
11.30 QJ Mudanjiang - Mishan 575 passenger
12.05 QJ+QJ Mishan - Mudanjiang 576 passenger
14.00 QJ+QJ Dongfanghong - Harbin 89 passenger
14.20 QJ freight eastbound
14.45 Df4+QJ freight westbound
16.00 Df4 Suifenhe - Mudanjiang 572 passenger

13/02/97 Muling

Timed between Muling and Beilin
5.50 QJ+QJ freight westbound
6.40 Df4 freight eastbound
7.20 QJ+QJ freight westbound
8.10 Df4+QJ freight westbound
9.00 Df4 freight +QJ eastbound
9.40 Df4 Mudanjiang - Suifenhe 571 passenger
9.45 QJ+QJ freight westbound
11.30 QJ Mudanjiang - Mishan 575 passenger
11.32 QJ+QJ Mishan- Mudanjiang 576 passenger
12.15 Df4+QJ freight westbound
12.30 QJ freight eastbound
13.05 QJ+QJ Dongfanghong - Harbin 89 passenger
13.30 QJ freight eastbound
14.15 QJ+QJ freight westbound
15.30 Df4+QJ freight westbound
16.05 Df4 Suifenhe - Mudanjiang 572 passenger

14/02/97 Muling

Timed between Muling and Daqiao
6.20 QJ freight eastbound
6.40 QJ freight eastbound
7.30 QJ+QJ freight westbound
7.40 Df4 freight eastbound
8.15 Df4+QJ freight westbound
8.50 Df4 Mudanjiang - Suifenhe 571 passenger
9.15 QJ freight +QJ eastbound
9.50 QJ+QJ freight westbound
10.40 Df4 freight eastbound
11.25 QJ+QJ Mishan - Mudanjiang 576 passenger
11.30 QJ Mudanjiang - Mishan 575 passenger
12.00 Df4+QJ freight westbound
12.10 QJ freight +QJ eastbound
13.00 QJ+QJ Dongfanghong - Harbin 89 passenger
13.40 QJ+QJ freight westbound
Break from the line and we got back by taxi to Mudanjiang
We took train 206 departure time 18.18 from Mudanjiang.

15/02/97 Sujiatun

We arrived at 9.25 am at Shenyang north station and took the bus to downtown Shenyang. We slept at the Zhongxing hotel 240Y per night. We confirmed our visit to the Anshan steelwork by CITS. In the afternoon we travelled by bus to Sujiatun, but on Saturday the SY workshop was closed. We saw only the GJ under steam and saw a lot of class SY engines, two class JS engines and one class JF outside the factory. At the China Rail shed we saw three class QJ and one class JS under steam.

16/02/97 Anshan Steelwork

We took the incredibly overcrowded train 76 to Anshan. When we arrived, our guide Mr Li was waiting for us and he drove us quickly to the Steelwork. First we visited the engine repair shop, then we drove to the blast furnace. Near the blast furnace you cane make the best industrial pictures from steam trains with industrial buildings at the back ground and all the steam and smoke pipes. At the engine maintenance point we saw the Pl-2 and Mr Li told us that this engine was bought by Japanese and was being shipped back to Japan soon. One place you visit is the area where they empty the slag wagons. What we saw was unbelievable - from twenty metres distance we were allowed to make pictures as they emptied the slag wagons. What we saw was all hot and orange/red molten steel that was falling down. After a successful day we got back to Shenyang by bus. Half way back to Shenyang we drove parallel to an industrial railroad and saw a class SY with a passenger train at 17.30.

17/02/97 Hushitai - Xintaizi

We drove by taxi to the industrial line between Hushitai and Xintaizi. We started our linesiding near the photogenic colliery of Pohe.
9.45 SY passenger train to Hushitai
10.30 SY(tender first) light engine to Xintaizi
10.40 SY freight train to Hushitai
12.30 SY(tender first) freight train to Xintaizi
We were expecting the following trains from my visit last year.
13.25 SY (tender first) passenger train to Xintaizi (not running on this day)
14.15 SY freight train to Hushitai (not running on this day)
The railroad people told us that trains were expected at 15.00 or 16.00.
We drove back to Shenyang and bought train tickets for train 294 to Yebaishou. At 16.20 we departed from Shenyang and arrived at Yebaishou at 23.55.

18/02/97 Yebaishou - Chifeng line

We slept at the Railway Hotel for 52Y per night. We hired a Beijing jeep for 150Y the whole day. Timed between the summit and the tunnel.
6.50 QJ Yebaishou - Chifeng 459 passenger
7.15 QJ Chifeng - Shenyang 336 passenger
7.40 Df4+QJ freight westbound
8.10 QJ+QJ freight eastbound
8.40 2xQJ(tender first) freight westbound
10.10 QJ+QJ(tender first) freight westbound
10.25 QJ+QJ freight eastbound
11.15 QJ Chifeng - Jinzhou 454 passenger
11.45 3xQJ(tender first) freight westbound
12.15 QJ+QJ freight eastbound
12.40 QJ freight westbound
13.20 Df4+QJ+JS freight eastbound
13.50 QJ+QJ(tender first) freight westbound
15.10 QJ Jinzhou - Chifeng 453 passenger
15.40 QJ+QJ freight eastbound
16.30 QJ+QJ+QJ freight eastbound
16.45 Df4+QJ freight westbound

19/02/97 Yebaishou - Chifeng line

7.15 QJ Chifeng - Jinzhou 336 passenger
7.35 Df4+QJ freight westbound
8.05 QJ+QJ freight eastbound
8.40 QJ freight westbound
9.40 QJ+QJ freight eastbound
10.10 QJ+QJ(tender first) freight westbound
11.15 QJ Chifeng - Jinzhou 454 passenger
11.40 QJ freight westbound
12.20 Df4+QJ freight eastbound
13.40 QJ+QJ(tender first) freight eastbound
13.55 QJ+QJ(tender first) freight westbound
15.05 QJ Jinzhou - Chifeng 453 passenger
15.35 Df4 freight westbound
16.00 Df4+QJ freight westbound
16.40 QJ+QJ(tender first) freight eastbound

20/02/97 Yebaishou - Chaoyang line

Timed between Boluci and Gongyingzi
7.30 QJ freight southbound
8.00 Df4 freight southbound
8.20 Df4 Chifeng - Shenyang 336 passenger
8.55 QJ+QJ freight northbound
9.30 QJ+QJ(tender first) freight southbound
9.45 QJ+QJ freight northbound
10.10 Df4 freight southbound
10.25 QJ+QJ(tender first) freight northbound
11.25 QJ freight southbound
12.05 QJ Chengde - Shenyang 222 passenger
12.30 Df4+QJ freight southbound
12.45 Df4 Chifeng - Jinzhou 454 passenger
13.40 Df4 Jinzhou - Chifeng 453 passenger
14.00 Df4+QJ(tender first) freight northbound
14.30 QJ freight southbound
15.30 QJ Shenyang - Chengde 221 passenger
15.45 QJ+QJ freight northbound
16.15 QJ freight southbound
16.45 QJ freight northbound
17.25 Df4 Shenyang - Chifeng 338 passenger

21/02/97 Yebaishou - Chifeng line

6.45 QJ Yebaishou - Chifeng 459 passenger
7.15 QJ Chifeng - Shenyang 336 passenger
7.40 QJ+ 2xQJ(tender first) freight westbound
8.10 QJ+QJ freight eastbound
8.25 QJ(tender first) westbound
Break from the line to visit the engine shed. Local friends had organised a visit to the shed of Yebaishou. But it was not easy, we had to pay a lot of money for a one hour visit, but it was great, a lot of steam engines with the best morning light. Continue linesiding at the climb before Chinao.
11.25 QJ Chifeng - Jinzhou 454 passenger
11.35 QJ freight westbound
12.15 Df4+QJ(tender first) freight westbound
12.45 QJ freight eastbound
13.20 QJ+QJ(tender first) freight westbound
break from the line to the Chengde line and drove to the summit at Hettanggou
14.00 QJ freight southbound
16.20 QJ(tender first) freight northbound
16.35 QJ freight QJ(tender first) southbound
17.00 Df4 Shenyang - Chengde 221 passenger
We bought tickets for train 338 and departed at 18.06 from Yebaishou to Chifeng and the train was steam hauled. We slept at Chifeng at a small hotel for 40Y near the railway station.

22/02/97

We departed at 6.30 by bus to Jingpeng. It was a 7-hour journey and we continued by minibus to Reshui. We slept at the hotel near the hospital, 220Y.

23/02/97 Jingpeng - Reshui line

The first day we observed the trains from the Reshui side. All times are departure or arrival times from Reshui station.
9.30 QJ freight westbound
10.30 QJ+QJ freight eastbound
11.15 QJ+QJ freight eastbound
11.25 QJ freight westbound
14.00 QJ+QJ eastbound
14.15 QJ+QJ westbound
15.45 QJ+QJ eastbound

24/02/97 Jingpeng - Reshui line

Second day at the Reshui side
8.15 QJ+QJ freight westbound
11.20 QJ+QJ freight eastbound
13.15 QJ passenger westbound
14.00 QJ+QJ freight eastbound
14.15 QJ+QJ freight westbound
15.50 QJ+QJ freight eastbound
16.00 QJ+QJ light westbound
17.10 QJ+QJ freight eastbound

25/02/97 Jingpeng - Reshui line

We started with the first train at the bridge across the river at Reshui.
7.30 QJ passenger eastbound
7.40 QJ+QJ freight westbound
We drove by mini bus to Xiakengzi
9.10 QJ+QJ freight eastbound
9.45 QJ+QJ freight westbound
10.50 QJ+QJ freight eastbound
13.10 QJ+QJ freight eastbound
14.00 QJ+QJ freight eastbound
14.00 QJ+QJ freight westbound
15.30 QJ+QJ freight eastbound

26/02/97 Jingpeng - Reshui line

We started at Xiakengzi
8.30 QJ+QJ freight eastbound
10.00 QJ+QJ freight westbound
10.50 QJ+QJ freight eastbound
11.30 QJ+QJ light westbound
12.00 QJ+QJ freight eastbound
15.45 QJ+QJ freight eastbound
16.00 QJ passenger westbound

27/02/97 Yebaishou - Chengde line

We drove by minibus from Reshui to Chifeng and continued by taxi to Yebaishou. We started linesiding in the late afternoon at the summit near Hetanggou.
15.00 QJ(tender first) freight northbound
16.00 Df4 freight northbound
16.45 Df4 Shenyang - Chengde 221 passenger

28/02/97 Yebaishou - Chifeng line

6.50 QJ Yebaishou - Chifeng 459 passenger
7.15 QJ Chifeng - Shenyang 336 passenger
8.05 QJ+QJ freight eastbound
8.30 Df4+QJ freight westbound
9.50 QJ+QJ(tender first)+JS freight eastbound
10.10 QJ+QJ(tender first) freight westbound
11.20 QJ Chifeng - Jinzhou 454 passenger
12.00 QJ freight eastbound
12.35 QJ(tender first) freight westbound
13.20 QJ+QJ freight eastbound
13.40 QJ freight westbound
We drove to Yebaishou and bought train tickets for train 221. We departed to Chengde at 16.20. We slept at the railway hotel for 80Y.

01/03/97 Chengde steelworks branch

7.20 JS+SY freight SY up to the steelworks
9.20 JS(tender first) freight 2xSY(tender first) down to Chengde
9.50 JS freight SY+SY up to the steelworks
10.35 JS freight SY+SY up to the steelworks
12.20 SY freight JS+JS up to the steelworks
13.05 SY freight JS+JS up to the steelworks
14.45 JS(tender first) freight 2xSY(tender first) down to Chengde
15.05 JS freight SY+JS up to the steelworks
15.50 JS freight SY+JS up to the steelworks
16.30 on the bridge we saw one SY with a freight train going up to the steelworks.

02/03/97

Depart by train 292 to Beijing. We flew back to Amsterdam in the afternoon.


Rob Dickinson

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