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Jitong, The Snows of October 2002
Louis Cerny reports:
About 25 cm of snow fell on both sides of the Jingpeng pass during the day and into the evening of October 20, followed by a morning with cloudless deep blue skies. Another 20 cm or so fell overnight on October 22-23, with much cold, sunny weather through October 28. The highway over Jingpeng Pass was closed for about 24 hours starting around noon on October 20. Railroad operations were not affected.
Some days did not get above freezing at Reshui during this time, a circumstance that did not occur until about a month later in 2001. Minimum temperature during the trip at Reshui was said to be minus 19 degrees C. (The official low during the period at Linxi was minus 14 degrees C.) This may indicate a colder and snowier winter this coming season.
The first three photos were taken on October 21 after the first snow. Photo 1 shows a westbound train about 6 km east of Galadesitai. Photo 2 shows the traditional view at the level crossing west of Reshui, and photo 3 shows a westbound train on level one above Reshui at the crossing of the trail up to levels 2 and 3.
Photo 4 shows level 3 on October 24, and photo 5 shows an eastbound approaching Shangdian on October 28)
Reshui - Daban
Some changes have occurred in Linxi and Daban, and revised maps are provided here as well as a new map of highway 303 and the Jitong Railway between Reshui and Daban. (Maps from Daban to Tongliao are on Hans Schaefers's website.) The street underpass at Linxi has been completed, capable of taking two tracks but having only one at present. The former traffic circle with a statue of an eagle in the center at the main intersection in Linxi has been replaced by a regular intersection with traffic lights. At Daban, a Pagoda on a hill south of the mainline and west of the engine terminal and shops provides good views in both directions down the mainline, plus views of locomotives using the engine terminal Y track. Some highway 303 kilometer posts have been revised between Daban and Lindong.
Photo 6 shows a single-headed freight heading west from Daban taken from the Pagoda area October 29.
Photos 7 and 8 show westbound freights leaving Yuzhoudi and west of Yuzhoudi, also on October 29.
Full steam facilities (ash pits and water columns) were in place at Baiyinkulun (mid-point on the line) and Xilinhot, but I was told no steam-powered trains had operated since the line opened on August 1, 2002. However, four steam locomotives are stored at Xilinhot and the crane on the wreck train stationed there is steam powered. The coal traffic which was the main justification for constructing the line has failed to develop.
Photo 9 shows the steam facilities at the north end of Baiyinkulun on October 19
A new road allows access to the station at Jingpeng via the multi-arched road bridge east (geographically north) of the city, so that it is no longer necessary to ford the river. Traffic levels were good, with 79 steam movements noted in 76 hours of observation between Reshui and Jingpeng October 18-29. The new ore loading facilities at Meggandalai, formerly known as Shangshuitou, can be reached via an unpaved road by turning left (south) of highway 303 at about kilometer post 1107 west of Jingpeng.
The maps show Highway 303 Reshui and Daban with details of Linxi and Daban.
A-Betweeo Yuzhoudi and Galadesatai is, I believe, the steepest average grade between any two stations on the JiTong. Many fine photo positions exist here. Tbereare three general S formations in this stretch. The middle one has a lesser grade between the two curves for a future passing siding.
B-Wenduhesbuo station is right along highway 303, and the highway parallels the railroad closely for about 1.5 kilometres to the east. Beware of four huge dips in the highway at this point, which are lethal if taken at full highway speed.
C-For about 15 km east of Pingdingmiao up to where highway 303 crosses over the railroad, the railroad is visible from the highway about 85% of the distance, aod provides a good opportunity for videos of fast-running QJs taken from road vehicles against an interesting hilly background.
D-See detailed maps of Linxi and Daban
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