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This is only a rough guide map based on official town/rail map.
|07:10||14:50||23:00||Shisan __ guang (13th mine)||00:50||08:50||17:10|
|09:45||15:35||21:26||Ting __ zhuang ("Gouzhuangquan")||09:55||15:49||21:36|
Trains stop at all stations, loads are 7 coaches. Fare to ═13th mine╬ 2.5Y, 4.6Y/ 4.8Y to Ting __ zhuang, the end of the other line. Intermediate timings of 8 stops of train 305 (but I`ve copied only 7 stops) are 13.46/47, 50/51, 55/56, 14.03/04, 10/12, 22/24, 31/32, 14.40/41.
On 105 we stopped at a large village. Train girls translated it as Lianwanchan (also a mine west), a colliery as Dazhuangquan (15:25) and the 15:35 terminal Gouzhongquan. Train 106 stopped at Baofeng 16:55/59 wb 5 min early.
The seven coach sets have steel meshed windows but some vestibules/vans have open windows platforms. Lines are generally flat and trundle but trash away from frequent stops especially from mine mine/station II on east line into Pingdingshan.
Passengers seen were worked by :
Pingdingshan Zhongxin station is 2-3 km north of CNR main station. Easiest train access to system is cross platform interchange at Baofeng or Yuganying.
The "hotel first grade" first biulding on right in Zhongxin station sqare has doubles for 80Y. But despite having name on door in English denied to take us on day1 we waited for shift change and got in on 2nd night. We were directed to the (foreigners) grand hotel at 180Y 23-25 minutes walk half way to CNR station. Straight down out of Zhongxin station, turn right at green 4 storey (police?) hotel, turn left just after the badge over stream. Hotel is 500m on right. Hot water and telephone(!) in bathroom.
JS 5644 : active
JS 6225 : overhaul - stripped
JS 6252 : active (Baofeng)
JS 6253 : active
JS 6292 : active, new purchase
JS 6429 : repairs
JS 8054 : not seen, new purchase
JS 8057 : active
JS 8062 : active, new purchase
JS 8065 : overhaul
JS 8068 : active, new purchase
JS 8120 : active, highly decorated
JS 8122 : active
QJ 2035 : active, deflectorless
QJ 6450 : active (Baofeng)
QJ 6690 : not seen, new purchase
QJ 6786 : active, new purchase
QJ 6813 : active
QJ 7186 : active, deflectorless
All locos face west. All locos seen also visually except JS8054 and QJ 5590. No diesels listed or seen.
English speaking depot guide explained 3 locos aquired in 2001 and 2 in 2002 but gave numbers of 6. JS 6252 and QJ 6450 were seen at and west of Baofeng on both Mar 18th and 20th but not at Pingdingshan.
What works south from Pingdingshan Dong to Wugang (CNR diesels? Luohe Xi QJs?) and north to Yuxian ? Are QJ 6690 and JS 8054 subshedded at Yuxian or does it have its own locos as in an CRJ , page 634 (1997).
Tianzhuang yard west end is the place to be for a continual JS-SY-QJ parade. Passing through on westbound passenger 304 about 09:40 with SY1002, 0758/1010/6253/6813/7186 were all standing on adjacent yard roads facing west. Alas I didn`t alight for the fot in bright sun and the next day was overcast. Another regret! Alighting 304 at 10:00 JS 8122 soon followed on loaded coal at 10:30 and 6253 at 10:45.
An afternoon session at Tianzhuang failed to provide a 5-6 loco line up despite constant moves. JS8068 arrived tender first at 17:00 on 55-60 coal loads. And as the sun sank the beast I had been waiting for : 7186 pulled in from the east at 17:20 on a mixed load of 59 tanks/ wood/containers/coal etc, split its load and headed west on about 17:30.
At night there are continual chime whistles to be heared at Pingdingshan. What a place to be! It reminded me of 1997 at Rizhao
CNR line Luohe-PingdingshanDong is electrified, locos change at Pingdingshan Dong. In addition to the long distance trains published in the CNR timetable (e.g.2505 and 2567 from Beijing), there are some unadvertised passenger trains, too :
Don`t ask me where "Pingdong" is !
Additional stops/stations : timetable shows 10 further stops between Luohe and Shenqiu, another 10 stops between Shenqiu and Fuyang Xi.
Loads : 4741/4742 11 coaches, 6071/6072 7 coaches
4741 (Mar 20th,21st): box (departed 16:45 on 20th)
6071 (Mar 21st) : Luohe-Jieshoushi : box (DF4 ?) 3246
6071 (Mar 21st) : Jieshoushi-FuyangXi : QJ 519
6071 (Mar 21st) : Fuyang Xi-Fuyang : QJ 519 (tf)
6072 (Mar 21st) : Fuyang-Jieshoushi : QJ 519
6072 (Mar 21st) : Jieshoushi-Luohe : box 3246
Box 3246 and QJ 519 both had 1984 builder plates ...
Infrequent freights all had QJs. The 2 loads we saw had 49 and 49+van respectively. Engines QJ 1271, 6901, 7006. At Zhoukou a line to southeast looks more than just an industrial spur
South of Luohe the most amazing heart rending sight of the bash! A QJ at sunset plodding up a 2-3 km long horseshoe viaduct over the mainline with 55-60 on. Big regret I didn`t stay on to try to fot this ! Prints invited if anyone does. I presume this concrete viaduct over the south main line links Fuyang line to Luohe Xi and Wuyang.
Luohe : just southwest of Luohe small stabling point including coaling crane but no station. Zhoukou : 2km southwest of station had 2 QJ (no sign of dumped locos in a repair/ storage compound at north east end).
Jieshoushi : just a turning triangle at east end, presume FuyangXi locos work out and back.
Fuyang Xi : north side of line 1 km east of station, contained 506, then 519 plus one other QJ which came off and took at short freight along branch line to north at 14:30.
Suspect not wise to alight 4741 at Shenqiu. Appears to be just farming area, nowhere to stay. Zhoukou hotel straight across and up from station, turn right after 8 min (opposite street market on left). Hotel is 2nd /3rd door on right. Double 120Y, warm water pm.
Box and 3 coaches ran in from north end at 09:55. Box uncoupled and no one got in the 3 coaches. So certainly 951 (of Apr 2000 timetable) doesn`t run but 07:20 out agrees with timings of 955 (of Apr 2000 timetable). These timings were still in use Mar 2001 when Florian Menius visited. Draw your own conclusions !
Having had most weather including hail on previous visits (May & Sept) I expected bitter cold but intense wind which blows you over, duststorms and sandstorms (which rain down on your hat like hail) were not appreciated. Overnight snow on easter Sat (Mar 30th) was perfect in bright sun till melted by 11:00 am, ground remained dry and by 14:00 we were sheltering from gusts of dust! On the viaduct side what a remember as grassland has been cultivated leading to dirt storms at viaduct, too.
Noted the "MeiLe Hotel" clearly marked in English, north side of road about 500m west of Railway Hotel. We stayed 12 nights at the green brick 4 storey hotel next to the railway hotel. Double rooms only 80Y, it is usually 120Y (perhaps 80Y is off season tariff). Only problem here is waking staff and going in (gates locked - climb fences) when arriving on either steam passenger. Opposite on south side of road old buildings being demolished - not for another shine hotel I hope ! Someone has to get it over to them that we come for steam not trains! Or they will have a lot of empty hotels when boxs arrive.
Following locos were seen working out of Daban : 6110/25, 6230/74, 6301/51/88/89, 6483, 6517/72/76/80, 6630/38, 6760/63, 6828/40/78, 6925/78/81/86/92/6/7/8, 7002/7/9/12/40/1, 7112/37/43.
Various people emerged from Daban loco on foot and motorbike to sell/give me assorted badges. In return I showed them fots of steaming 2000 25NCs - which they all wanted! But declined when I held up five fingers!
Pleased that 4 of the 7 passengers I rode produced new QJs with further potential of QJ 6751 and 6301. 7002 out of Daban being my 124th (and last?) QJ.
The 3 CNR trains continue with their CNR diesels, not SY as one recent report. CNR timetable page 202 shows 6683-6688 incorrectly. They all go to/from Diaobingshan. Maybe 6683/6684 split at Tieling, one part going to Kaiyuan.
Diaobingshan station has an internet cafe, the hotel on right outside station still offers 160Y doubles and I still don`t know what is on offer on 2nd and 3rd floors for 120Y and 140Y ...
Train 203 : changing loco at Sanjiazi could be frequent - 22 min booked. Passenger locos noted : SY 0063, 0393, 0435, 0665, 0860, 0979, 1771. Further engines : SY 1147, 1255, 1749, 1764, 1769, 1770. Also JS 5029 stored outside the carriage works 2.9km out on Dongguantun line.
The Daqing hump shunt is now CNR box.
Fare 2Y, pay on train. Kilometer posts scarce. Post 7 is just north of mine station with 2 road closed up shed (Qiantun ?). Further stops at 09:40, 09:45, 09:48 (mine, "Qiantun" ?), 09:55 and at 10:12 run through 3 track ex colour lights disused station and mine. By now CNR parallel again on west side. At 10:18 pass a siding connection to a mine and arrive in Hushitai (parallel to CNR and 0.7km north of station) at 10:21.
SY 0537 coals, runs round and couples to coach. Lady conductor says it returns to Yintaizi at 14:40. No other passenger stock or locos seen on the system! Only a handful of coal trucks at some mines. Yintaizi and Qiantun appeared to have no loco coaling facilities.
At Yintaizi noted most/all freights electric but various passengers still diesel. In approximately 65-75 min at least eight electric southbound freights were noted in procession. And throughout the bash passenger trains ran to time ! A bit different to South Africa!
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