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I am just back from 5 days in Liaoning, where I joined in Bernd Seiler's FarRail tour – he has put some info already on his FarRail blog.
Very bad news: 20 passenger trains have been cancelled. That are all trains to Wangqian and Daming. No more passenger trains on those lines... During our visit nevertheless two SY were in steam, SY 1770 and 1771. But SY 1770 failed twice and was made cold on the evening of Dec. 15 for repairs. They still need steam for shunting some sidings in Diaobingshan where they cannot use the diesel and for freight trains to the quarry in Wangqian. These trains run at night 2 to 3 times per week.
Usually the following passengers are steam, but a diesel can appear on the schedule any time, especially if only one SY is in steam and they need the SY to shunt the above mentioned sidings which can take hours:
301 Diaobingshan DBS 7:16 – Daqing DQ 7:44
308 DQ 8:35 – DBS 9:04 (loco stabled in DBS for 5 hours, sometimes shunting)
309 DBS 14:26 – DQ 14:52
304 DQ 16:53 – DBS 17:22
303 DBS 17:31 – DQ 18:06
306 DQ 18:40 – DBS 19:06
Over night the loco is stabled in DBS and used on shunting and Wangqian freights.
No locos are overhauled anymore, and regular steam there lives on borrowed time. KD6 487 is still serviceable, but boiler certificates should expire in May (or so).
We couldn't visit due to bad planning and icy road conditions, causing hours to be lost. Dongtonghua still has 6 serviceable SYs, 5 of which are in use at any time. (Info only, but later confirmed by Bernd who went there alone by taxi, but was refused entrance as he arrived late around 4 p.m. only, our permit had started at 1 p.m.). One of its SYs is SY 1480 which was being overhauled in Sujiatun in September.
SY 1630 was in heavy overhaul, no other steam locomotive present. The loco belongs to Fushun Special Steel Works.
We visited two days (17/18.12) and saw 11 different SYs in steam working inside the works. We had no time (and no permit) to visit the depot: SY 0448, 0825, 0946, 1075, 1077, 1191, 1560, 1561, 1567, 1648, 1684. Still a fantastic place for steam especially at night, when they have shift change around 7 p.m. 6 SYs gathered south of the blast furnace group 1.
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© 2011 Peter Semmelroch