Steam in China : February - March 2001
|Part I||Feb 11th - Feb 23th 2001||Tianjin , YiXian/ Beipiao , Yebaishou , Da`anBei|
|Part II||Feb 24th - Mar 11th 2001||Wulanhote/Arxan/Weidong , Xilin, Weihe , Lingshan/Anshan , Tonghua|
|Part III||Mar 12th - Mar 25th 2001||Anyang , Zhongyang/Lishi , Baotou , Wuhai , Final Thoughts|
Florian Menius reportson a tour to China in Februry and March 2001.
IntroductionThis report consists of 3 parts. For the first two weeks (Part I), thegroup consisted of 5 persons. 2 of us had some CITS arrangements (e.g.a visit to Chengde steelworks) whereas I was the "guide" for the "low-budgetgroup" of the other 3 tour members. Both parts of the group had a similaritinary but for a few days the group was splitted. As I was member of the "low-budget-group" I will concentrate on our observations but some information provided bythe "CITS group" (Jan Schirling and Andreas Rauh) will be included, too.
Originally, both groups had asked CITS to arrange a kind of Plandampfat Yebaishou, which had been confirmed by CITS, too (Costs 121 USD perperson). But CITS was unable to organise the "Plandampf". Goodluck that we had not paid in advance ...
Part II covers the following two weeks when I travelled on my own.Between Mar 12th and Mar 20th (Part III) Reinhard accompanied me but hehad to leave some days earlier which I spent at Wuhai - alone again.
Due to the better flight timings we flew on Swissair (1100 DM and not TAROM for 800 DM). Costs for 6 weeks in China were some 1400 DM. The "CITS group"paid nearly the same price for 7 days full service + 2 days guide only...
Sunday, Feb 11th 2001All five tour members arrived on SR 198 in the early morning (06:10) atBeijing Capital Airport. The CITS-Group met its guide and went to Chengdein order to visit the steelworks (not the branch line, the steelworks itself).Our "steelworks-specialist" Jan Schirling has composed a seperate Steelworks Report including a sketch map in German. A English translation will be added later.
The low-budget-group went to Beijing Main Station where we catched T533at 11:00 to Tianjin. Modern double-deck-air-con train, propelled by DF11.Soft Seater 35Y. At Tianjin, we intented to check out the
Tianjin Local Railway, Feb 11th 2001Bad News ! The Tianjin Local Railway recently got 4 brandnew 2000-built DF4D ! The DF4Ds include 4063 and 4064. According to local staff at Liqizhuangstation, the Local Railway`s roster is 4 DF4Ds (including 4063, 4064) plus 6 QJs at the moment.
The diesels work the majority of linework including the passenger (timings havenot changed, see CRJ 125) whereas the QJs predominantly are either pilots or "standby"-engines.
Liqizhuang station is easily reached by birect bus No. 832 from TianjinRailway Station. Get off at the railway crossing immediately next to theservicing point for steam locomotives. It is situated some 1km south ofthe area where the "city buildings" become "suburban slum style ones".
Alternatively, you may take busses No. 13, 951 and 952 to its southernterminus "Tiyuanbei". From there it is some 1.5 km to walk - 500m westwardsthan southwards along the main road.
When we arrived at Liqizhuang railway station at 14:00, DF4D 4064 arrivedwith a freight train from Chentangzhuang direction. QJ 7062 was under steamat the service point ("standby"). Later, a green 8-wheel-diesel, similar to the GK class, arrived, too. This engine had a CNR depot code. According to B.G.Evans, this engine probably was a DFH5. As weather was quite bad and forecast for steam action was very bad, we did not wait there but immediately went back to Tianjin railway stationwhere we rested in the station`s lounge (10Y per person) until we boardedfast 2229, dep. 22:58 to YiXian. We had got (reserved) hard seat tickets only and wanted to upgrade for sleepers.But as soon as we boarded the train, we felt asleep (we had slept less than 3 hours on board of Swissair) and "forgot" to upgrade... We woke up not before Tangshan at 01:00 when the train was already quite empty. So, we decided to stay at our seats ...
Engines noted :
|DFH 5||0073 (CNR depot code !)|
YiXian - Beipiao Nan - Beipiao, Feb 12th-13th, 18th-19th, Mar12th-13th 2001Few changes here since September 2000.Some updates :
Steam Operation :
YiXian-Beipiao Nan : Due to the new passenger timetable valid sinceOct 21st, the freight timings have changed, too. I spent 3 periods of each2 days here. So, my observations probably are quite representative. In general, the following freight trains can be expected between YiXian and Beipiao(timings for Zhoujiatun area) :
Trains without comment : Operating daily and QJ hauled every day, too.Additional trains or light engine workings may appear, too.
- 08:00 : eastbound, DF4 very likely but QJ possible, too
- 09:00-10:00 : westbound, either short time before or immediately afterpassenger 6753, always QJ but train sometimes not operating
- 12:15 : eastbound, crossing fast 2066 at Zhoujiatun
- 12:45 : eastbound, crossing fast 2066 at Nanling, at least one (either 12:15 or 12:45) train but often both trains will operate
- 13:00, 13:30, 14:00 : 3 westbound trains, at least two of them daily with one ofthem DF4 every day
- 16:30 or 17:15 : eastbound freight, crosses 4209 at Beipiao Nan or leavesafter 4220
- 17:00 : westbound, crosses 6754 at Yi Xian, often DF4, sometimes QJ
Most trains have longer stops at Beipiao Nan, are remarshalled thereor even change loco.
Yi Xian - Jinzhou : In the morning, there is a pickup freight(QJ hauled) from Fuxin to Jinzhou. It is at YiXian between 08:00-09:30and returns in the afternoon (16:00 ex Jinzhou). At least the 12:15 ebfreight from Beipiao Nan goes to Jinzhou, too.
The power plant at Bajiaotai has got its own JS : JS 6211 (deflectorless).
Beipiao Nan-Beipiao : A new timetable for the Beipiao-Chaoyangpassenger has been introduced on Oct 21st. Service has been extended -there are four pairs of trains now . The trains are hauled by Yebaishou(not Fuxin !) based QJs with southbound trains funnel first. If there areno crossings between Beipiao Nan and Chaoyang, the trains do stop onlyat the two halts in Beipiao city (neither at Lotuoying, Nengjia nor Jingou).See the March 2000 Report for reference. Trainsconsist of 3 orange and cream livered YZ22 coaches("Städte-Express" livery) now. The current timetable is :
Chaoyang-Beipiao Steam Passenger
In addition to the Chaoyang-Beipiao passengers, the Beipiao Nan-Beipiaoshuttle service has been reintroduced on Oct 21st. It is operated bytwo diesel railcars ("Diesel Motor Trolley") with an suitable unmotorised railcar-likepassenger car between them. In March, this passenger car was defunct. So,one of the orange-cream livered Chaoyang-Beipiao-YZ-coaches was used leaving only 2 coachesfor the Chaoyang passengers. The railcars provide connections to differentCNR trains at Beipiao Nan. They stop at the two halts at Beipiao, at Luotuoyingand at a lineside village between Luotuoying and Beipiao Nan, too. Currenttimetable is :
Beipiao-Beipiao Nan Railcar Shuttle
Freight trains : There are about 10-12 freight trains per directionwithin 24 hours. All trains terminate at Beipiao Nan and are remarshalledthere. On the northern end of the branch line, the destinations of thetrains is is a equal split between Beipiao and Lutuoying. Southbound trainsare funnel first. Six pairs of freight trains work to Beipiao. The timingsfor the freight trains at Beipiao station are as follows (Note : BeipiaoNan to Luotuoying trains are not included !) :
Trains tend to run much earlier ! One hour too early or so is very common! A freight from Luotuoying to Beipiao Nan runs around 09:00.
- Arrivals Beipiao (nb) : 21:20, 00:11, 03:31, 10:21, 12:39, 15:19 (trains46001..46011)
- Departures Beipiao (sb) : 18:50, 23:30, 02:20, 06:50, 12:01, 14:31 (trains46002..46012)
Luotuoying : At the northern end of Luotuoying station thereis a servicing point for steam locomotives. It seems to be the "runningshed" for all CNR steam locomotives in the Beipiao area. There is a remarkableamount of light engine workings between Luotuoying and Beipiao Nan, too (e.g.if a Chaoyang-YiXian freight changes engine a Beipiao Nan, two light engine workingsto and from Luotuoying will be the result..).
Freight trains along the branch line usually are not very long. The morning of March 13th saw twofreights each direction south of Luotuoying with 6, 23, 8 and 1 wagon respectively.
As there is much industry around Luotuoying station, it is not recommandedto stay there very long. "Leather Jackets" are everywhere here ... Itis better to go to the viadukt 2km further south.
I tried to find the line to Sanbao. There are two possibilities :
Linesiding : Beipiao Area : Luotuoying is easily reachedfrom Beipiao by urban bus No.6. Bus No.5 goes to Beipiao Nan station. Busesalong the Beipiao Nan to Shangyuan Road operate every 2 hours or so. For example, Busesfrom Shangyuan towards Beipiao Nan leave Shangyuan at 14:30 and 16:30 respectively.
- There is a track passing by (no connection to CNR) Beipiao station. Thetrack comes from the Power Plant near the first passenger halt ("NanshanJie"), goes parallel to the CNR line to Beipiao station but does not enterthe station. At the northern end of the station, the track leads into acoal mine but possibly continues beyond the mine. A railcarwith passengers (no railway staff) on board was seen using this track.
- Possibility 2 : The line to Sanbao does not branch off at Beipiao but atLuotuoying where a track leaves the station northwards while the CNR lineswings eastwards towards Beipiao
The village at the bridge half way between Zhoujiatun and Shangyuanis called "Qilingsi".
YiXian area : See September 2000Report
Accomodation : The "Nanshan Jie Binguan" at the railway crossingin Beipiao was even worse than in March 2000with no hot water available, mould at every wall and high prices (120 Y perroom). For Accomodation at YiXian see September2000 Report. Motive Power : Changes / Corrections to September2000 Report (everything else is still valid) :
The QJs from Fuxin are in very bad external and technical condition.
- All DF4s working towards Beipiao are Yebaishou based (not Fuxin based !correction!)
- Express/ Fast trains do no longer necessarily have orange DF4s. Green onesare used as well now.
Engines noted (QJ, DF4 Fuxin based, all seen under steam) :
|QJ||6095, 6172, 6226, 6382, 6410, 6489, 6655, 6671, 6672, 6707, 6726, 6750,6752-6754, 6776, 6943, 6990, 6991, 7117|
|JS||6211 (Bajiaotai Power Plant)|
Tour Details Yi Xian (I)
Munday, Feb 12th 2001Arrival at Yi Xian at 06:53 and check in at the hotel across the station(see Sept 2000 Report). Due to thick fogin the morning we stood at the hotel until 08:00. Then by taxi (50Y oneway) to Zhoujiatun where we spend the whole day. In the afternoon at 17:00our taxi picked up us at Zhoujiatun again.
Tuesday, Feb 13th 2001By taxi from YiXian to Shangyuan and back in the evening (80Y each way).Linesiding around Shangyuan. In the late evening, we took K645 (dep. 23:04)and upgraded to a Hardsleeper (YW) to Pingzhuang (arr.04:48) from where we returned toYebaishou riding fast 4207 (Pingzhuang dep. 06:08, Yeb. arr. 07:40). No steam noted betweenPingzhuang and
Yebaishou, Feb 14th-17th 2001Still some steam activity here but it is hard to predict which line willbe worth it on a particular day. Though our "Plandampf" did not take placeas we had wanted to, the crop was satisfiing due to the fact, that we askedat the shed which trains would be exclusively steam und chased these trainsby taxi. Consequently, we had a taxi every day (200Y) during our 4-day-longstay. Sadly, the Yebaishou dispatcher did not know the Fuxin duties - onlyhis own engines were listed.
Prospects for steam : The shed foreman confirmed once again,that steam will finish in August 2001 at Yebaishou ...
Steam Operation : Yebaishou-Chifeng : Steam only trainswere very rare here (see HansSchaefer`s bad experiences for reference) ! During our 4 days at Yebaishou there were only2 steam hauled trains towards Shinao and not even one in the other direction! This does not mean that the line is 80% diesel now but the QJs usuallyare either banker or second engine of a DF4 hauled freight.
Yebaishou-Lingyuan : The most steamy line around Yebaishou now! We had up to 4 steam hauled trains towards Lingyuan, some of them QJbanked, too. Paths for freight trains leaving Yebaishou are at 08:35, 09:05,11:31, 13:38, 15:20 and 16:10.
Unfortunately, a new line of poles has been errected near the summitat Hongshi (luckily north of the line) making photography more difficult. In September 2000, it has notbeen in situ yet ...
Yebaishou-Chaoyang : This line sees a number of Fuxin-QJ-hauledtrains during daylight. Departures Yebaishou : 09:15 or 10:30, 14.00 and 16:00.The two timings for the morning train are alternative paths for the same trains. This trainwas double-headed with an Yebaishou engine in front of the Fuxin engine every day.We had : QJ+QJ (twice), DF4+QJ and DF4+QJ+QJ (each once). The pilotingYebaishou engine from this train comes back from Chaoyang in the afternoonaround 16:00. (By the way : the morning freight ex Yebaishou becomes the 16:30 or 17:15 freight at Zhoujiatun in the evening - it is the same Fuxin-QJ).
The afternoon departures both were single headed (=Fuxin-QJ only), but were observed only once. Another sure trainis a westbound single headed train (4 of 4 days observed, Fuxin-QJ) passingGongyingzi at 10:00.
Accomodation : We stood at Yebaishou 3.5 nights. Three of themwere spent at the JianPing Binguan which was neither bad nor overpriced: hot water after 20:00 and only 100Y per night for a three bed room.
For the last "half night", we stood at the Tielu Lüdian next tothe station (20Y/ person) - no problem ! You have to tell the staff thatyou will stay only 1 night, leave early in the morning and that you needno "bill" or "official registration".
The following Yebaishou based CNR engines could be noted during ourvisit at Yebaishou and YiXian :
|QJ||3268, 6086, 6409, 6411-6414, 6416, 6418, 6554, 6677, 6728, 6729|
|QJ dumped||6676, 6709, 6727|
|DF4||1618, 1649, 1652, 2117, 2118, 2122, 2124, 2185, 2264, 2271, 6193, 6194,6196, 7319-7322, 7367, 7368, 7427, 7428, 7452-7454, 7456, 7475, 7476|
Tour Details Yebaishou
Wednesday, Feb 14th 2001When we arrived in morning at 07:40 from Pingzhuang, we were already awaitedby our "CITS group" in front of the station. At the shed we tried to arrange a sort of "concentratedoperation" for the next days - without success. So, we had to be satisfied withthe timings of the "steam only" trains. The day was very quiet : one doubleheader to Chaoyang (09:15), and each one single header to Chifeng (12:01)and Lingyuan (13:38).
Thursday, Feb 15th 2001Today, the morning train to Chaoyang was DF4+QJ headed. Furthermore we had : 1 arrivalfrom Chaoyang (10:00), 2 funnel first and 2 tender first single headedtrains from Lingyuan to Yebaishou and 3 funnel first trains towards Lingyuanwith one of them QJ banked, too.
Friday, Feb 16th 2001The morning train to Chaoyang was QJ+QJ again. The 10:00 arrival, two trains to Lingyuan(one banked) and a banked afternoon train to Chifeng were the results ofthis day. Jan and Andreas Rauh had a short afternoon visit to the LingyuanSteelworks.
Saturday, Feb 17th 20014 trains to Lingyuan (2 banked), the 10:00 arrival, two afternoon departurestowards Chaoyang and the DF4+QJ+QJ morning train to Chaoyang made up ourlast day at Yebaishou. Together will pleasant weather, the visit to Yebaishouwas a success.
In the eveing, we changed to the Tielu Lüdian amd had some hourssleep before boarding train 2114, dep. 01:33 to Yi Xian, arr. 04:52 : hardseater for the rest of the night - but the train was relatively empty.
Sunday, Feb 18th 2001After check-in at the hotel in front of YiXian station and a recovery breakuntil 09:00 due to the morning fog, we hired a minibus (for 5 persons)and went to Zhoujiatun again (80Y one way). In the evening we were pickedup at Zhoujiatun by our bus again.
Munday, Feb 19th 2001As we intended to spend the morning around Beipiao Nan, we left YiXianat 06:00 in the morning. The day before`s minibus was 300Y for the wholeday. We arrived at Beipiao Nan just before 08:00 and were really impressedby the amount of steam here ! We had expected to see two morning freightsplus one Chaoyang passenger only. There were up to 5 QJs presentat Beipiao Nan station at the same time ! The steam action until noon was (at 08:00 no QJ present) :
Da`an Bei is not busier ! At 12:00, we left Beipiao Nan and went to Shangyuanwhere we had the 2 afternoon wb freights from YiXian. The second trainwas chased but as the road is not very good, we only got a departureshot at Nanling station. Afterwards, we went to the climb from BeipiaoNan towards the summit tunnel just before Nanling station and waited forthe 16:00 eb freight. But it did not appear until 16:45 when the lightfailed. We arrived back at YiXian at 18:00.
- 08:10 : QJ 6226 arr. freight from Chaoyang
- 08:35 : QJ 6086(tf) L612 - Chaoyang to Beipiao passenger
- 09:05 : QJ 6991 arr. freight from Luotuoying/Beipiao
- 09:30 : QJ 7117 arr. freight from YiXian
- 09:40 : QJ 6086 L 613 - Beipiao to Chaoyang passenger
- 10:05 : QJ 6776 arr. light engine from Beipiao
- 10:40 : QJ 6990 arr. light engine from Beipiao (now 5 QJs at Beipiao Nan!)
- 10:45 : QJ 6776 dep. freight to Jinzhou
- 10:50 : QJ 6226(tf)+QJ 7117 dep. freight to Chaoyang
- 11:30 : QJ 6172 arr. freight from Beipiao
- 11:45 : QJ 6991+6990 dep. freight to YiXian
In the evening, the group wassplitted again into its parts : "low-budget" left YiXian for Da`an Bei (via Jinzhou and express 1343 overnight to Da`an Bei) whileJan and Andreas ("CITS") stood another night at YiXian and visited theFuxin Coal Railway on Feb 20th. In the morning of Feb 21st, we met up againat
Da`an Bei, Feb 20th-24th, 26th 2001Da`an Bei was a dissapopintment this time compared to my previous visitsin March and September2000. On the one hand this was due to a sometimes poor weather withstrong north-westerly winds and overcasted sky but on the other hand, trafficlevels were low with few morning trains. Once, there was no southboundtrain along the Ranghulu line until noon !
This time, we tried the third lüdian at Da`an Bei station (10Yper person) which is the worst one. There are no in-house toilets - youhave to leave the building and to go to a seperate "barrack" behind the building.
On the other hand, a new (forth) lüdian has opend in front thestation (just across the temporary station exit). It offers both showerand hot water (Jan and Andreas / ["CITS"] stood there).
My September 2000 description is stillvalid concerning steam operation, but we saw no JS on the line towardsQianguo. Even the Changshantun pilot was QJ.
Additional information :In order to vary the shots, I visited both the Taipingchuan and the Ranghuluend of the lines from Da`an Bei.
At Taipingchuan, freight trains from all 4 directions change loco. Thismeans that DF4 from Baicheng, Tongliao, Zhengjiatun and Da`an Bei plusQJs from the latter depot can be seen here. The line towards Da`an Beiis doubletrack as far as until Changqing station. Just west of Taipingchuanstation the two tracks are not parallel but some 300m distant between eachother. The "loco service station" is situated between these tracks.The triangle next to the shed is freely accessible. The depot itself has got no fence, too. So, it is possible to enter the depot from its back (near the traingle), take photos and to leave again immediately.
As Taipingchuan is loco change point only, they have no "spare engines"there. This means that all arriving engines will go back within the nexthours and no "new" engines can appear at Taipingchuan.
Traffic along the line to Da`an Bei is some 50-70 % DF4 at the moment.This means about 2-3 QJ hauled freights per direction during daylight.Additionally, the 3-YZ-coach-long Da`an Bei-Taipingchuan mixed 6818 and 6817are QJ hauled (and very photogenic of course as they operate around noonhere). Though the low number of steam trains, the section towards Changqingis well worth a visit. Especially the 4 km long double track section southof Changqing offers "mainline atmosphere" in a better than "Da`anAverage" landscape. Furthermore, afternoon departures at Taipingchuan passingby the depot (climbing onto a dam until the overfly over the Baicheng linesome 3 km west) are a great sight.
At Taipingchuan, long-dumped and derailed formerly Baicheng-based QJ992 (built 1975) is dumped in front of the signal box.
As mentioned before (see Report by Michael Rhodes)virtually all tanker trains from Da`an Bei terminate either at Dulitunor Linyuan. So, Ranghulu itself sees fewer trains than the Da`an Bei end.As some light engine movements could be noted arriving at Ranghulu, itis likely that the tanker train`s engines go to Ranghulu for coal, waterand being turned.
At Ranghulu, the line to Da`an Bei leaves the station to the west passingthe depot area. Freights which arrive at Ranghulu from Qiqihar directionand go on towards Da`an Bei do not enter the station but use a bypass track.This track leaves the Qiqihar mainline some 3km west of Ranghulu and meetsthe TongRang-Line line some 2 km north of Zhuangzhi station from where it goes parallelto this track to Zhuangzhi station (means : "double track" section). Enginesare exchanged at Zhuangzhi then.
Photogenic potential is limited as very much industry, poles and -south of Zhuangzhi - the parallel highway spoil photography. But a afternoondeparture leaving Ranghulu freight yard is a good spot. Ranghulu probablyis one of the largest freight yard (in addition to Fuxin) which still seesregular QJ-freight departures.
Engines noted :
|QJ||3179, 3251, 6112, 6143, 6361, 6367, 6368, 6379, 6435, 6484, 6571, 6586, 6773, 6825, 6851, 6852, 6882, 6886, 6887, 6889, 6891, 6924, 6926, 7081, 7086, 7104, 7119, 7173|
|DF4||1098, 1472, 1543, 1549, 2120(Changchun), 2128(Tongliao), 2178(Tongliao), 2488(Tongliao), 3281, 3315-3317, 3986-3989, 6075|
|DFH3||0010, 0076, 0085, 0268 (all Changchun based)|
Tour Details Da`an Bei
Tuesday, Feb 20th 2001We arrived at Da`an Bei at 05:56 in the morning and checked in at the (bad)lüdian mentioned above. Our first sighting after sunrise was the former"Tourist Train" (now having the strange numbers L701 and L702) from Qianguoto Baicheng : QJ hauled, of course (QJ 6848 from Baicheng depot). We tookfast 2209, dep. 07:27 (but more than 30 min late) as far as Xinhuatun (arr08:49+ 35`). As photogenic potential was not great at Xinhuatun (birch forestto the north, embankement to the south), we stood only 45 mins there andtook passenger 6004 back to Xiangyangcun - a station in the middel of thenowhere 10km south of Xinhuatun but with a small tann forest next to theline. Riding 2209 and while being at Xinhuatun, no southbound freight wasseen. At Xiangyangcun, the first southbound freight (in fact the firstsb daylight freight of the whole day !) arrived not before 12:25 ! At 14:39,we took passenger 6003 back to Xinhuatun and further on to Da`an Bei bytrain 2155, dep. 16:35, arr. Da`an Bei 17:53.
Wednesday, Feb 21th 2001In the morning, we took a picture of the L701- mixed to Baicheng (QJ 6848again) before -once again- taking fast 2209 as far as Taiyangshen. At Taiyangshen,we met Jan and Andreas who had arrived with fast 2209 from Shenyang/Fuxin.
The rest of the day was spent between Taiyangshen and Lizhi beforereturning to Da`an Bei by passenger 6006, Lizhi dep.19:41, Da`an Bei arr.21:00.
Again- with the exception of a sb freight we crossed at Xinzhao at 07:55 -the first sb steam freight did not arrive before 13:15 ! But the afternoonwas "Da`an Bei at its best" : great light and 11 steam hauled freights within 4 hours until sunset at 17:15 ... In total, we had 15 freights between 08:30 and 17:15, 14 ofthem steam (plus 1 DF4).
Thursday, Feb 22th 2001In the morning, we watched mixed 6818 to Taipingchuan (dep. 06:28, QJ 7086)and L701 (QJ 6848 again) before going to Changshantun by fast K652 (dep.08:15, arr. 08:46, DFH3 double headed). Due to strong northerly wind, thebridge at Changshantun was unphotographable for steam trains. After theusual 3 morning steam workings (10:00 wb, 11:00 eb /light engine, 11:45eb), we took fast 4243 back to Da`an Bei (dep. 12:38, arr. 13:17, DFH3hauled) where we spent the rest of the day. In the evening,we met the "Steam Extreme Team" at the well-known "northern crossing" nextto the shed.
After dinner, the "low-budget group" left Da`an Bei for Baicheng (fast2155, dep. 18:04, arrival Baicheng 19:35) while Andreas and Jan stood atDa`an for another day and visited Tiefa on Saturday, 24th.
At Baicheng, we stood at one of the numerous hotels outside the station(double 80Y).
Friday, Feb 23th 2001Early start at 05:00. We took the overcowded Hailar-Baotou express K 276,dep. 05:26. This train has as few as 4 hardseat coaches, which did notsatisfy the need by far. So, we had to stand the 2 hours until 07:30 whenwe arrived at Taipingchuan.
At Taipingchuan, we stored our baggage at the lüdian left of thestation (3 bed room for 40Y) before taking passenger 6003 dep. 09:34 toChangqing. As staff there did not allow us to take photos at the station,we immediately walked southwards towards Taipingchuan and the double-track section. Between 10:00 and sunset (17:00), we had 1 northbound and3 southbound freights plus the two passengers and a afternoon nb departureDF4+QJ+QJ. As the DF4 had ruined our afternoon departure spot at Taipingchuan,I decided to stay another day at Taipingchuan.
After a short recovery at the lüdian, Stephan and Andreas Walla took fast 2190to Chengde (dep. 21:15), where they spent aonther day before flying backto Germany on Sunday, 25th. For the next 16 days, I was alone now.
Saturday, Feb 24th 2001Another day spent between Taipingchuan and Changqing. I had 2 steam hauled freightseach direction (DF4 : 5 sb and 6 nb trains) plus the passengers and a light engine arrival from Da`anBei. I was nearly diing when I was waiting at the "afternoon departure"spot from 14:00 on and prospects for my shot got worse and worse due to the disappearing sun... But then - 20 minutes before sunset - in great evening light, the prettiestof Da`an Bei`s QJs (QJ 6435, undecorated, but brass boiler rings and immaculate condition)left Taipingchuan, hauling a 45 wagon tanker train - it was a kind of dream !
In the evening, I took fast 2083, departure 21:13 to Baicheng, arrival23:38. As I intended to go to Wulanhaote at 04:22 (train K955) in the morning,I waited in the waiting until I had to learn that you are not allowed toboard this train at Baicheng. Then it was too late to look for a lüdian.So, I spent the whole night in the waiting room at Baicheng station ...
This report is to be continued : see Part II,Feb 25th - Mar 11th 2001
Dresden, Mar 28th 2001
© 2001, F.Menius , email:email@example.com