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Steam in China - January 2003

by Florian Menius

Yuanbaoshan, JiTong, Zhungeer, Wuhai, Daba-Guyaozi, Weihe, Tiefa, Waitoushan, Beitai

My 9th trip to China. The first days (Dec 27th-Jan 2nd), I travelled together with Thorge Bockholt and Julien Blanc, 8 days alone (Jan 3rd-Jan10th), 14 days with my brother and Andreas Walla (Jan11th-Jan24th) with my last 4 days being solo again (Jan 25th-Jan28th). Due to intensive use of taxis, the tour was quite expensive with some 21 EUR spent per day.

CNR Timetable

The Chinese timetable is available in three editions now. Content of the three books is identical, they just have different sizes.

Timetable Oct 2002 - Pocket Edition Timetable Oct 2002 - Standard Edition Timetable Oct 2002 - Magnum Edition
Chinese Timetable
Pocket Edition
Price : 5 Y
Chinese Timetable
Standard Edition
Price : 8Y
Chinese Timetable
Magnum Edition
Price : 10Y

CNR passenger service

General impression was, that loading levels of passenger trains gradually decrease. During the whole trip, I rode only 2 trains whose sleepers were booked to the last berth (Beijing-Harbin and Weihe-Tieling). The emptiest train ever seen in China was the Huhehaote-WuhaiXi train : out of 360 YW berths, 339 were still available two hours before departure. Finally, my YW coach had a patronage of some 6 or 7 passengers ...

Reason must be - no doubt - the increasing number of fast highways and express buses. The recently opened "JingShen Expressway" (Beijing-Shenyang) for example enables buses to cover the 700kms in just over 7 hours which is even faster than the fastest CNR Superexpress ("Tekuai") train.
Currently, the "JingCheng Expressway" (Beijing-Chengde) is under construction. It will be completed by 2004 and cut the travel time between Chengde and Beijing to 2 hours only! With a travel time of 4.5 to 5.5 hours, rail service between Chengde and Beijing will be threatened seriously ...

Dahuichang (Dec 28th, Jan 10th, Jan27th)

No changes.
Due to problems with the visa (I had a 30-day visa for 32 days), I was at Dahuichang on three afternoons. Both January visits offered few trains only with breaks of 1hour+ between trains. Locos in use :

Dec 28th01, 03
Jan 10th, Jan 27th01, 04

Locos seen a Beijing Iron∧Steel :

GK10059, 0068
V100317382, 17406

Dec 28th, train 2559 : Beijing Nan 21:33 - Chifeng 07:15 (YW)

Yuanbaoshan (Dec 29th, Jan 24th)

As reported. Both visits were daytrips using a taxi from Chifeng (200Y per day). Duncan`s map was invalueable! On Dec 29th, 4 JS were under steam whereas Jan 24th offered 6 JS under steam with only JS 8218 cold (under repair).
On Dec 29th, the afternoon passenger was 1h late due because no engine was available at 15:00.

JS6066(dumped), 6246(ld), 6544(ld), 8216(ld), 8218(ld, repair), 8246(hd), 8249(ld), 8250(ld), 8418(ld, oou)

Stayed at the railway hotel some 150 along the main road on the left side : 60Y for 3 persons, hot shower available on floor.

JiTong Railway (Dec 30th-Jan 2nd, Jan 20th-23rd)

Business as usual with numerous trains.

JiTong seems to have some troubles with their railcar sets. Around NewYear the Huhehaote-Daban/Xilinhaote service was cancelled several times at short notice. Furthermore, the Daban bound railcar used to be a couple of hours late.
On CNR track between Jining Nan and Huhehaote, the railcar did not operate at scheduled speed (100km/h or 120km/h). Top speed was some 60km/h thus creating 1 hour delay between JiningNan and Huhe.

At Tianshan/Chabuga, a new passenger train was announced : Tongliao-Daban-JiningNan-Baotou !

Dec 30th : Yuzhoudi, Linxi : BAU (business as usual)

Dec 30th, train 6052 : Linxi 21:23 - Baiqi 06:13 (YW)

Dec 31st - Jan 1st : Baiqi :

Between Benhong and Baiqi, the DF4Ds now dominate the traffic. Only 1 to 3 steam freights during daylight plus the steam passenger were in Baiqi`s log book.
Freight trains to Haoluku all with single QJ. From Baiqi eastwards, the line is uphill for some 4.5 kilometers and crosses Mongolian hilllands. The following 20 kilometers are downhill crossing unattractive plains.

Accomodation: The settlement around Baiqi station offers the following accomodation :

Unfortunately, the settlement around the station does not include a bathhouse. You have to go Baiqi city then - situated some 3-4 km northwest of the station.
Being around the depot, it may happen that you are approached by officials of Baiqi depot and asked to pay a 100Y fee for taking photos.

Jan 1st, caboose of freight train : Baiqi 16:15-Haoluku 20:20

Jan 2nd : Haoluku

As expected, it was very windy there. Turnrounds of Baiqi engines can be very tight, sometimes only 1 to 1.5 between arrival and redeparture.
The lüdian in front of Haoluku station is good standard (10Y/person). There is a restaurant just next door to the station building which offers great home made noodles. Of course, there is no public bathhouse (the depot probably has got one). In Haoluku, I said goodbye to Thorge and Julien who went to JingPeng. I took the diesel railcar in the evening : Jan 2nd, K998 Haoluku 22.51-Huhehaote 07:50. Further on to Zhungeer than

Jan 20th : Chabuga

Arrived from Tongliao by bus (3.5 hours). Arrival at Tianshan at 12:00.
Many trains (every 90 mins in each direction), no wind, -15C - a perfect day. No regret to have left Tiefa after having spent only 1 day there.

Jan 20th, train 6052 : Chabuga 16:24-Daban 20:03

Jan 21st-23rd : Daban Area

Each one day was spent at Gulumanhan (taxi 1-way 80Y) and Pingdingmiao (taxi 1-way 50Y, bus 5Y) but both days were unconfortable with clouds and the heavy wind ruining many photos.
Jan 23rd was spent around Daban yard, where QJ 6639 was the new pilot, deflectorless now. Only 3 weeks earlier, this engine - one of my favorite QJs of Daban depot - had still been on line work duties towards Haoluku. Sad to see it downgraded to shunting now.

Hotels : I recommand to avoid the railway hotel near Daban station now! Staff has become abstrusive and the prices demanded were beyond imagination ! They wanted 200Y for a 3-bed room even though the shower did not have warm water.
I recommand to take one hotel in town (e.g. near the bus station). There we paid 90Y for 3 persons, had warm shower and very friendly staff!
Getting to the station is no problem as urban bus No.1 operates frequently (every 5min or so) between 07:00 and 18:00. Flat fare is 1Y. A taxi should cost 5Y. So, it is still very much cheaper to stay in town!
Another alternative may be the 3 lüdians/ binguans just east of Daban station square. The large building in front of the station houses a bathhouse, too.

Baiqi depot
DF4D4054, 4090(2002-built)
QJ6214(dumped), 6304, 6579(nd, dumped, decorated), 6633(B, passenger), 6636(H), 6849(H), 6850(H), 6854(H), 6987(B), 6997(H), 7043(H), 7052(B), 7114(nd, Baiqi pilot), 7136(H), 7138(H), 7139(H), 7140(B)
Daban depot
QJ6110(H), 6230(H), 6301(C), 6517(H), 6577(H), 6630(H), 6631(C), 6638(H), 6639(H, later nd, Daban pilot), 6763(H), 6778(C), 6828(H), 6840(H, passenger), 6851(H), 6876(H), 6878(H), 6882(H), 6891(C), 6911(C, passenger), 6925(C), 6978(C), 6981(H), 6986(H), 6992(H, passenger), 7007(H), 7009(H,C), 7010(C), 7012(H), 7037(C), 7040(H), 7081(C), 7112(H), 7119(C), 7137(H)
Chabuga depot
QJ6729, 6773, 6853, 6988, 7038(passenger), 7104(passenger), 7163, 7164
DF51436(Tongliao), 1519(Tongliao), 1694(Tongliao)

Jan 23rd, bus : Daban 14:00 - Chifeng 16:50 (25Y, modern and confortable bus)
Jan 24th : Yuanbaoshan again
Jan 24th, train K650 : Chifeng 18:40 - Shenyang 05:18 (YW)

Zhungeer (Jan 3rd-4th)

Despite Bernd`s latest, rather unfortunate visit to Zhungeer, I decided to have a brief look at the railway. I expected some depot shots and maybe 1 or 2 trains in the 2 days I was there. My expectations were more than fulfilled!

In my opinion, ZhunDong tielu is the best new discovery since 1996 when JingPeng was discovered ! Landscape is great, hard working trains and gradients in both directions almost guarantee great shots if you are lucky enough to have suitable trains.

Location names

"Zhungeer" is the name of the whole district. The town itself is called "Zhoujiawan" ( ).


There is a regular bus service between Zhoujiawan and Huhehaote. Travel time is some 3:15 hours, fare 18-19Y. During the day, buses operate every 25 (afternoon) or 30 minutes (morning). Furthermore, there are additional long distance buses from Zhoujiawan. Departures from Zhoujiawan bus terminal are:

Huhehaote07:00..(30min)..13:00, 13:25..(25min)..18:00
Dongsheng07:00, 07:50, 08:30, 09:00..(60min)..12:00, 12:30, 13:00, 13:25, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 16:40, 17:20
Baotou08:00, 08:30, 09:30, 10:30, 14:30, 15:00
Taiyuan08:00, 18:00
(terminus of ZhunDong railway)

Additionally, there is a passenger train along the electrified Zhungeer-Datong line between Zhoujiawan and Datong. It consist of 4 YZ+1 XL only, is hauled by a non-CNR DF4B (I saw DF4 3863) and almost empty! If you want to cover the track Fengzhen-Zhoujiawan, do not wait too long! The train must be hot candidate for cancellation ! The timetable in April 2001 was as shown below. Expect some retiming +/- 20 minutes as I saw the train arriving at Zhoujiawan not before 20:05 (Acknowledgment to Robin Gibbons for translating into Pinyin).

952 951         Chinese Timetable
(Zhungeer DaZhun Station)
06:43/48Zhaojunqiao Chengjiangsuo19:42/47
(Yellow River Bridge)
(Datong city)

According to an advertisement, "Yanzhuang" belongs to "Datong City" but I have no idea, where its excact loction is... Probably it is a suburb or district of Datong city.
It may be easier to board the train at Danzhouying which must be quite close to Fengzhen CNR station.


There are numerous lüdians and hotels around DaZhunTielu station and the bus terminal. (I stayed at a lüdian for 7Y/person - my second cheapest accomodation with only Wuhai being cheaper two days later!)

The Line / Locations

As reported previously, Zhoujiawan has got 2 railway stations. Both are called "Zhoujiawan" but they belong to different railway companies.

Zhungeer Map
Zhungeer Map (© by Bernd Seiler)
Zhungeer Map (Chinese)
Zhungeer Map (Chinese Version)

Do not try to reach tunnel 2 (T2) from the Dongsheng road! You won`t find the railway line! A taxi to Haizita station costs 50-60Y and it takes some 45minutes to get there whereas a train needs only 20 minutes (so, forget any chasing !). At its closest point (near Hazita), the railway is some 1.5km away from the Dongsheng road ...


Between Zhoujiawan(ZhunDong) and the coalmines at Xiyingzi, the maximum load for 2 QJs are 44-48 empty and 24-26 loaded wagons respectively.

Pattern of operation is quite easy : A train of empties from Datong arrives at Zhoujiawan(ZhunDong) station, hauled by a SS3 electric of "DaZhun Tielu". As electric trains usually have more than 60 wagons, the empty train has to be split into 2 parts. The two parts depart in close sequence and go to the coal mine at Xiyingzi (each train QJ-double headed). Depending on the number of empty coal wagons, additional QJs are sent to Xiyingzi as light engine workings and follow the empty trains.

As soon as all wagons are loaded at Xiyingzi, a "procession of loaded trains" starts: 2 QJs and 24-26 fulls make up one part of the train. A loaded train which has got less than 24 wagons or is single headed only indicates the end of the "procession". The first part of a loaded train is back at Zhoujiawan some 16-20 hours after the departure of the first part of the empty train. At Zhoujiawan, the parts of the loaded train (usually 3 parts) are combined to one long train again and depart behind SS3 towards Datong.

The dispatcher at Zhoujiawan(ZhunDong) knows the timings of loaded trains some hours in advance. But he does not know when empty trains will run because he does not know when the next electric train from "DaZhun Tielu" is to arrive ...
Usually, there are only 1 or 2 electric trainswithin 24 hours. So, some 3-4 empty and 3-5 loaded trains along ZhunDong appear within 24 hours.

Due to the pattern of operation, you need some luck to get trains in daylight.


Most QJs are in very bad condition. Given their condition, I fear that they will not survive longer than 1 or 2 years ...

ZhunDong TieluQJ6563, 6565, 6573, 6613, 6907, 6946, 7054, 7058, 7067
QJ (dumped)6555, 6827, 6944, 6995
DaZhun TieluSS 30673
DF 43863

I did not see the 14th QJ (QJ 6759) of ZhunDong Tielu.

My Visit

I was very lucky. On Jan 3rd at 12:30, I arrived at Zhoujiawan bus terminal with a bus from Huhehaote. I went to ZhunDong Tielu station by moutche ("5Y"). There, I was welcomed by 13 QJs : 9 under steam and 4 dumped ones. 6 out of the 9 steamed ones were preparing to depart soon. 68 empty coal wagons waited for their QJs, too. So, two double headed trains for Xiyingzi of empties (44 and 23 wagons respectively) departed at 13:50 and 14:45. So, within 2.5 hours after my arrival, I had had my first 2 uphill trains... ... Later, 2 additional QJs folowed the trains light engine (departing at 16:30).
Next morning, I inquired about trains at Zhoujiawan ZhunDong: 3 loaded trains were scheduled to arrive until noon : two double headed ones with 25 and 26 wagons each and a single headed one with 9 wagons. So, I immediately took a taxi and went to Haizita. The third train was back at Zhoujiwan by 12:20. At 14.20, a 60 wagon freight left Zhoujiawan hauled by SS3 0673. No more emties were on the system with 12QJ out of the 13 QJs seen being on shed again (1 QJ was still out on the line with a permanent way train). No more train movement were forcast until sunset as no empty wagons were available and no electric train scheduled to arrive. So, I took the 15:55 bus back to Huhehaote

Jan 4th, train 4607 : Huhehaote 21:30-WuhaiXi 07:02

Wuhai (Jan 5th-6th)

Shunting at Wuhai Xi has been diselised since November 2002. DF5s from Baotou depot shunt now and have replaced the JS. The same is valid for line work towards Xinqu and Huangbaici. Now, Jilantai has got the last steam shunter in the area (1 JS).

Line work between WuhaiXi-Jilantai is still 100% QJ. Unfortunately, there were no trains at all other than the daily mixed train. So I had only 1 (downhill) train during daylight only per day. Because of this reason, I did not go to Benjing and Jilantai as planned initially. The mixed had the same QJ every day (QJ 7056) and operated on time.

QJ7053, 7056, 7057

By the way : Wuhai City is one of the "racist towns" where foreigners are forced to go the expensive "Wuhai Binguan" some 2 km from the station. After having been refused by 2 hotels close to the station, I was invited by an muslim family from Xinjiang province to stay with them. 5Y and honest people instead of 200Y for an anonymus hotel room. "The author beats the system ..."

For the other night, I had the hotel next to WuhaiXi station ("Renhe Binguan"), which turned out to be the best cared for and cleanest hotel I ever had in China. The "suite" costs 200Y but was bargained down to 150Y - it is worth every single 1Y spent !

Jan 7th, train K43 : Wuhai 05:45 - Qingtongxia 09:15

Qingtongxia (Jan 7th)

There is no second local railway at Qingtongxia. The track from Qingtongxia station to Qingtongxia city just across Yellow River is CNR property and goes to some industries. It is served by the Qingtongxia`s CNR pilot (DF5 of Yinchuan depot). CNR traffic on the mainline Zhongwei-Yinchuan-Shizuishan is 100% SS3 and SS3B.

CNR, Yinchuan DepotSS30413, 4210, 4283, 4313, 4319
DF51346, 1874

DaGu Tielu : Daba-Guyaozi Railway (Jan 7th-8th)

The correct name of the railway is "DaGu Tielu" (DaGu railway), not GuDa railway. I read this on several wagons, facilities and at the depot and was corrected by railway staff when inquiring about "GuDa railway".

The Line - Daba Area (Jan 7th)

The power station halfway between Qingtongxia and Daba next to the CNR line is called "Daba Dianchang" (dianchang= power station). Daba Dianchang has got its own pilot loco : DF4 9178. It trips the wagons from the power station to the exchange yard some 2.5 km south of Daba CNR station.
From this exchange yard, the track continues northwards to the "DaGu Tielu" part of Daba station which is situated west of the CNR station but parallel to it.

Here, wagons are exchanged between CNR and DaGu Tielu. There is always at least one QJ under steam at Daba as it serves as pilot for both CNR and DaGu station. Furthermore, it hauls the wagons between Daba Station and the Power Station Exchange Yard.
A servicing point for steam locos is situated at the northern end of Daba station, a wye exists near the power station exchange yard.

The DaGu line leaves Daba northwards, climbs onto a dam and crosses over the Qingtonxia-Yinchuan CNR line about 1 km north of Daba station. For the next 45 km, the line never reaches ground level again. It is always onto a high dam and crosses through boring, flat landscape. Given its potential for taking photos the section Daba-Lingwu is one of the worst lines, I have seen so far !
"Highlight" is the Yellow River bridge at km 30 but not very great, too. Forget this railway between Daba and Lingwu !

Jan 7th, train 2587 : Daba 16:37 - Qingtongxia 16:55

The Line - Guyaozi Area (Jan 8th)

Beyond Lingwu, the character of the line changes. It becomes hilly, sand dunes come in sight. The line enters a wide river valley where a water reservoir is currently being built. It follows the southern rim of the valley. Once, the water reservoir has been finished, the line will be situated at the southern bank of the lake. Deep cuttings and embankments follow one after each other : 300m dam-300m cutting-300m dam and so on ...
There is a dirt road from Lingwu to the building site of the dam. But beyond the dam, there is no road access at all. The line is far away from the road Lingwu-Guyaozi road, too (maybe some 1.5-2.0 km).

The section offers steep grades climbing with 14%o towards Guyaozi.

Lingwu-Guyaozi Map

Around km 60 a kind of highland is reached. The road comes in sight again and is crossed near a nice viaduct some 6 km short of Guyaozi. Some areas with sand dunes are passed again. Another bridge is situated just 1 km short of Guyaozi.

Guyaozi has got a medium sized yard with some 7 or 8 tracks. The large depot area is just next to the yard.
From Guyaozi, the branch to the the coal mine extends eastwards for some 3km. Unfortunately, this steeply graded section is lined by barbed wire fences on both sides of the tracks. So, it is almost unaccesible and not very photgenic, too!

Railway staff was extremely friendly and very keen to see the third "waiguoren" being interessted in their railway (the other 2 visited Guyaozi in November : Bernd Seiler & Alexander Wesserer).


Qingtongxia : There is a good hotel (and a great, muslim noodle restaurant) just next to Qingtongxia railway station (70Y). But as the lower section of the line is quite boring, it does not make any sense to stay there! The city Qingtongxia is some 6km away from the station on the opposite side of the Yellow River.
On the other hand, Qingtongxia has got generous sleeper allocations which seem to be too large. So, it might be a good idea to board a night train at Qingtongxia and not at Yinchuan.

Lingwu : Has got several hotels, too.


There are bus connections from Qingtongxia to "Daba Dianchang" and towards Lingwu/Guyaozi. Buses start at the bus terminal in Qingtongxia city.
Lingwu is best reached by bus from Yinchuan (70 km).


As said before : only Lingwu-Guyaozi section is worth a visit. Lingwu probably is the best base camp for linesiding.

Very strange are taxi drivers in this area! Both times I took a taxi, the first price quoted by the driver was lower than what I had expected to be a fair price! I have not experienced similar negotiations during all my travels in China! For example:
a) "Motuche" (3-wheel taxi) from Qingtongxia station to Daba station, road distance some 20km. Usual fare would have been some 20-25Y, the driver wanted 15Y only. Finally, we found an agreement that 20Y are ok.
b) "Xiali Taxi" (Tianjin 7100) for full day Qingtongxia-Guyaozi and return, some 200km in total. Fare quoted by driver : 150Y only!

Very, very unusual behaviour for Chinese taxi drivers but not unwelcome at all !


DaGu railway owns 11 QJs, all being operational.

In addition to locos mentioned by Bernd, I saw QJ 7194 and QJ 7200, too. As Bruce Evans already said, QJ 7061, 7194, 7195 and 7205 have been aquired from Tianjin Local Railway in autuum 2002. According to notes on their tenders, they were overhauled at Tianjin between Sept and October 2002.

DaGu railway is quite interessting railway concerning their locos, as you can see both very new and quite old QJs there.

Locos (under steam, unless indicated, locos seen in bold letters):

DaGu TieluQJ1465, 2690, 2869, 6545, 7036, 7061(cold), 7194(cold), 7195(cold), 7200, 7205
Daba DianchangDF49178

This makes 10 QJs. So, one engine of DaGu Tielu is still unknown ...

Pride of the railway is QJ 7205 with brass boiler rings and decorations around the smokebox door. QJ 7205 is in immaculate condition.
I was advised at least three times by different railway employees that I should take a photo of 7205! At Guyaozi depot, I met a DaGu Railway official who invited me to have a closer look at the locomotives ! He (I had not asked for it !) suggested that I should go inside the shed where QJ 7205 was under repair !
It was the first in China I heared the word "piaoliang" (=beautiful) in connection with locomotives by railway staff. Usually, this word is exclusively used for "human beauty", e.g. nice girls etc.
3 years ago, I remember to have been laughed at by railway staff at Da`an Bei, when I said QJ 6809 ("Olympia loco") would be "piaoliang"... They only accepted "haokan" (="beautiful" in a rather general meaning) for 6809.

Additional information about DaGu locomotives (by Bruce Evans and Roy Bowden)

QJ 7036 : I recall having seen this loco several times in the early to mid-1990s at a depot near to what I call the Qingtongxia Power Station (="Daba Dianchang", FM) while travelling on trains to and from Zhongwei. A short distance north of the power station the small depot was on the west side of the main line. Initially I was not aware of the construction of the new Local Railway (the DaGu line) so assumed the loco was either a power station loco or a loco belonging to the construction unit building the power station. On what may have been my last visit to Zhongwei I saw new line construction taking place north of this depot and also to the east of the Yellow River when I travelled by car from Zhongwei to Yinchuan. Around 1996 the opening of the DaGu Local Railway to the Lingwu coalfields was reported in Railway Gazette International. I then assumed that 7036 could be one of the locos for the new line. I also have a record for 7036 at Zhongwei shed and suspect it went there for certain levels of attention.
QJ 7036 was used for comparitive testing by David Wardale during his time at Datong works. After completion of his work at Datong, it was sold direct to industry, and as far as I know, never worked for China Rail. This is the first report of it in normal service.

QJ 7061 : This loco used to work into Baotou but I think it was actually a Hohhot depot loco - until the end of mainline steam there around 1996. It then seems to have gone to the Tianjin Local Railway and following dieselisation of this system has returned west to the GuDa Local Railway.


There are about two return trips during daylight. Accordnig to staff and confirmed by observations, there is usually a train from Daba to Guyaozi in the morning and a train back around noon. No fixed timetable exists though. A single trip Guyaozi-Daba or return takes some 2 hours.


Can be tricky as the line is close to the HuangHe (Yellow River). Both days I spent there were cloudless and would have been sunny if there hadn`t been the fog from the Yellow River! Even beyond Lingwu and at Guyaozi, visibility was still bad. Looked very much like Southern China - though the tempartures were -5C to -15C and dessert, of course, is no typical "Southern China Landscape".

Jan 8th, train 2004 : Qingtongxia 19:27 - Baotou Dong 04:59
Jan 9th, train 7465 : Baotou Dong 06:53 - Baotou Xi 07:38

Baotou Steelworks (Jan 9th)

It is no problem to enter the slag tip yard from Baotou Xi CNR. Just walk in through an unguarded gate. I watched SY 1676 there disposing some slag.

Jan 9th, train 4608 : Baotou 13:53 - Salaqi 14:56

Salaqi (Jan 9th)

The branch line northwards from Salaqi, which situated som 50km east of Baotou Dong on the Baotou-Huhehaote main line, belongs to CNR and is worked by the Salaqi shunter, a Baotou based DF5. In my case, it was brandnew, 2002-built DF5 1929. Heavy freight traffic with Huhe-based DF4Bs !

Baotou SteelworksSY1521, 1676
(Baotou depot)
DF44219, 4241, 4243, 4251, 4274, 4327, 4328, 4339, 4340, 5126
DF4D3210(2002-built), 3258
DF51568, 1569, 1805, 1806, 1857, 1929
(Huhehaote depot)
DF41407, 1422, 3383, 3644, 7055, 7056, 7289, 7293, 7294, 7300, 7305
DF4D3104, 3106, 3156, 3157, 3168, 3171(2002-built)

Jan 9th, train 2003 : Salaqi 15:57-Baotou Dong 16:26
Jan 9th, train K264 : Baotou Dong 20:27-Beijing 10:20 (still hauled by NY7 diesels between Kangzhuang and Beijing).
Jan 10th : Dahuichang again, where I met Ameling and Hans.

Beijing Metro (Jan 11th)

A new metro line has opend in Beijing. It starts at Xizhimen and passes Beijing Bei station. For most of its length, it is on surface or uses elavated track. So, you can perfectly use it for sightseeing ... The line (No.13 !) is being extended to Dongzhimen soon. From Xizhimen, the line parallels the railway line to Nankou. Beyond Qinghe station, it swings eastwards and follows the Jing-Bao line. Beyond Wangjing station the metro turns south again and goes to Dongzhimen (partially underground near Dongzhimen).
As there is no interchange station between the circle line and the line 13 at Xizhimen, you have either to buy a new ticket there are purchase a "connection ticket" at 5Y which allows to change subway at Xizhimen without paying another time.

Jan 11th, train T47 : Beijing 16:00 - Harbin 04:29
Jan 12th, train K265 : Harbin 05:49 - Yabuli 09:09

Weihe (Jan 12th - 18th)

Nothing to add. As great as ever (maybe even better ?).

Weihe 2002 was better than 2000 or 2001 - even without the passenger train! Log traffic levels were incredible with numerous loaded trains during daylight. Out of the 7 days we spent at Weihe, 3 days offered no less than 5 loaded trains during daylight, one day even 6 loaded trains! Additionally, there were between 3 and 5 empty trains during daylight.
Further improvements :

The additional log traffic more than compensated the lack of passenger trains!

If you haven`t been to Weihe, buy your air ticket tomorrow! Such great forestry railway operation will never come back. Nowhere in the world !

Weihe Forestry RailwayC2030, 033, 034, 035, 053, 054, 055
C2 (oou)032 (yes! 032 is locked in the shed at Weihe!)
CNRDF 41259(Yi), 1516(Yi), 1925(Yi), 1973(Yi), 1975(Yi), 1979(Yi), 5142(Harbin), 7108(Yi), 7109(Yi)
DF 4 D3095(Sankeshu)
DF 51214(Yimianpo)
DF 80046, 0098 (all Mudanjiang)

Jan 18th, train 2018 : Weihe 23:01 - Tieling 08:50

Tiefa (Jan 19th)

Had a quite unlucky day there with only tender first workings or trains funnel first but against the light in the morning. The afternoon was spent at the Faku line : only 2 trains until light failed. Luckily, both were funnel first (1 passenger and 1 double-headed freight).

As reported previously, some passenger trains have been cancelled. Complete timetable of remaining passenger trains is as shown in the tables below.


H211 201 203 205 207   202 204 206 208 H210
05:12 06:28 09:40 14:51 18:32 Diaobingshan 07:08 08:45 13:56 18:14 20:25
| 06:38/00 15:01/03 18:42/43 Sanjiazi 06:49/58 08:34/35 13:44/46 17:36/04 |
| 07:04/06 15:07/08 18:47/48 Dajiang 06:43/45 08:28/30 13:39/40 17:30/32 |
| 07:11/13 15:13/15 18:53/54 ___ 06:36/38 08:21/23 13:33/34 17:23/25 |
| 07:16/17 15:17/18 18:57/58 Qiaonan 06:32/33 08:17/18 13:29/30 17:19/20 |
| 07:24/32 15:25/33 19:05/13 Xiaonan | | 13:14/22 17:04/12 |
05:44 07:52 10:21 15:53 19:33 Wangqian 06:16 08:02 12:54 16:44 19:53


? 401 403 405   402 404 406
  06:40 14:06 21:20 Diaobingshan 02:18 10:03 17:56
  07:18/19 21:52/53 Faku 01:45/46 09:23/25
00:30 07:53/58 22:21/22 Xiaokang 01:15/17 08:50/52
00:43 08:19 15:36 22:37 Dongguantun 01:00 08:29 16:17


301 307 309 303 305   302 308 310 304 306
07:16 09:14 14:26 17:31 19:15 Diaobingshan 06:21 09:31 13:32 17:22 19:06
07:26/28 17:41/51 Sanjiazi 06:11/13 17:10/12 18:55/56
07:32/33 17:55/56 __ __ 06:05/07 17:04/06 18:50/51
07:39/41 18:02/03 Xiaoqing 05:57/59 16:56/58 18:43/44
07:44 09:40 14:52 18:06 19:41 Daqing 05:54 09:02 13:03 16:53 18:40


101 103 105 107   102 104 106 108
06:40 09:52 14:39 18:20 Diaobingshan 06:32 08:34 13:44 18:03
06:50/02 14:49/51 18:30/32 Sanjiazi 06:20/22 13:33/34 17:34/53
07:37 10:37 15:25 19:06 Daming 05:47 07:50 12:58 17:00

Locomotives seen in Shenyang/Benxi area

Tiefa Coal RailwaySY0435, 0665, 0860, 1255, 1683, 1749, 1751
CNRSS40558(Su), 0566(Su), 0568(Su), 0604(Su), 0608(Su), 6062(Su), 6063, 6089, 7003, 7038
DFH30026, 0031, 0047, 0050 (all Benxi)
DFH50057, 0105, 0312 (all Benxi)
DF41037(Benxi), 1040(Benxi), 1041 (Benxi), 1043(Benxi), 1046(Benxi), 1051(Benxi), 1052(Benxi), 1067(Benxi), 1432(Benxi), 1530(Sh.Xi), 1673(Benxi), 1771, 2348(Benxi), 2433(Zhengjiatun), 4315(Su), 4361(Jinzhou), 6200(Sh.Xi)7170(Su)
DF51028(Benxi), 1423(Benxi, orange), 5005(Benxi, orange), 5006(Benxi, orange)
DF75156(Su), 5342(Siping), 5483(Siping)

Jan 19th, train 2219 : Tieling 20:47 - Zhengjiatun 00:06, lüdian at Zhengjiatun (10Y/person)
Jan 20th, train K698 : Zhengjiatun 05:30 - Tongliao 07:20
Jan 20th, bus : Tongliao 08:30 - Tianshan 12:00 (fare 24Y), see above
Back at Shenyang on Jan 25th, 05:18
Jan 25th, train 6649 : Shenyang 06:19 - Waitoushan 07:32

Waitoushan (Jan 25th)

Waitoushan, situated half way between Shenyang and Benxi, has got a coal railway system. It is almost entirely worked by electrics. Only one single SY is on the roster.

Waitoushan Coal System

SY 1012 operates a passenger shuttle service with 6 return trips per day between Waitoushan CNR station and "KuangWaiKeCheXian" (literally : passenger track outside mine) near the coal mine and close to the city of Waitoushan. Trains to "KuangWaiKeCheXian" are funnel first. Length of the line : appr. 3 km.
The train consists of 6 old style coaches with longitudinal seats inside : each two example of hard-seat coach types YZ21, YZ30 and YZ95 - a fine sight !
Fare is 0.5Y, pay on the train.

The complete timetable of the passenger shuttle is:

104106108110112102 103105107109111101
06:4507:4508:4315:5717:5418:55Waitoushan CNR05:0807:2308:1815:1816:4818:38

The whole system is electrified - except for the platform track at Waitoushan CNR. This explains the use of the SY. The rest of the system is worked by electrics. LEW (Henningsdorf) built electrics of both EL1 (4axle) and EL2 type (4axle+4axle) are used. The depot for both the electrics and SY1012 is situated just next to Kuangwaikechexian station.
A steep electric line climbs onto a nearby mountain with at least 2 reversals (see map). EL2s tend to serve the "mountain line" with the smaller EL1s working the flater sections.
Most coal gondolas used on the system are lettered "Waitoushan-Benxi-Nanfen". So, coal probably goes both to Benxi steelworks and to another industry located at Nanfen (which is quite likely to have some SYs, too...).

A motuche taxi from the city/coal mine to the CNR station costs some 5Y.

SY1012 (Tangshan 6/73)
EL 1 (LEW)11(1975 built), 20, 21

Conclusion : Waitoushan is well worth a short side trip when being around Benxi or Beitai.

Jan 25th, train 6637 : Waitoushan 10:16 - Shiqiaozi 10:25

Shiqiaozi (Jan 25th)

The steep branch line eastwards is served by CNR locos. No steam hauled line there. The factory does not have a loco at all.
To Benxi by bus (4Y, 45mins).

Jan 25th, train 4280 : Benxi 13:00 - Beitai 13:22 (DFH3 0050)

Beitai (Jan 25th)

As reported. Problem here is, that on publically accessible places 95% of steam movements are either tender first or pushed trains. Inside the fenced off area, numerous funnel first workings appear. If you do not have a guide and do not want to enter the steelworks illegally (which might cause effects on future visitors..), Beitai is a place for watching steam only but not for taking photos. Just sit down, enjoy and talk with the extremely friendly railway staff !

As said before, numerous engines are in superb condition.

SY0322, 0792, 0864, 1005, 1054, 1077, 1131, 1514, 1567, 1577, 2019

Rest of the tour

Jan 25th, train 6635 : Beitai 15:50 - Benxi 16:10 (DF4 2348)
Jan 25th, train 6632 : Benxi 17:05 - Liaoyang 18:50 (DF4 2348)

At Liaoyang, I stayed at the railway hotel just north of the station (80Y).

Weather forecast for the next 2 days was snowfall. Indeed, next morning, there was heavy snowfall! So, I cancelled my trip to Dengta, Dashiqiao etc. and had a lie in. Around 09:00, I went to the ticket office and asked for a ticket to Beijing : unavailable, as Chinese New Year was only 6 days ahead !
By accident, I saw a girl in front of the station advertising an express bus to Beijing (130Y). It departed at 10:00, was very empty (loading level less than 30%) and confortable. So, I travelled back to Beijing by bus : some 700km in 8 hours using the new ShenJing Expressway.
Once in Beijing, it had clear and cloudless sky again.

Jan 27th : Beijing

Visa troubles (my visa officially expired today!) made me go to the Beijing visa office - though the brilliant weather! I`d had loved to go to Qinglongqiao and take photos of the NY7s hauling the Baotou-Beijing (K264) and Moskwa-Beijing train (K4) beneath the great wall!
I went to Dahuichang then - for the third time within one month.

Jan 28th : Xinglongxian

The day was spent at Xinglongxian, half way between Beijing and Chengde. Great landscape and numerous trains (6 freight trains plus 4 passengers within 4 hours). Especially the BJ+BJ double headed freights are a pleasure for both eyes and ears... One of the most pleasant days of the trip!
(I know now, what to do in future instead of taking photos of tender first SYs in run-down, industrial areas ... FM)

DFH50036(Nankou, oou), 0051(Nankou), 0368(Beijing)
DF40451, 0640(Nankou), 0645(Nankou), 0646(Nankou), 0651(Chengde), 0675(Nankou), 0676(Chengde), 0678(Chengde), 0707(Chengde), 1030(Chengde), 1033(Chengde), 1659(Nankou), 1662(Nankou), 1937(Chengde), 2601(Tianjin), 2645(Tianjin), 4015(Fengtai), 6097(Nankou), 9008(Chengde), 9217(Chengde), 9283(decorated)
DF4D0034(Tianjin), 3114(Tianjin), 3115(Tianjin), 3150(Tianjin)
DF7C5514(blue, Chengde)
DF10F001(Beijing), 011(Beijing)
DF110015, 0023, 0024, 0061, 0062, 0113, 0126, 0142, 0143, 0145, 0316
DF11Z0001(A+B), 0002(A+B)
BJ3055, 3063, 3086, 3088, 3105, 3123, 3128, 3145, 3241 (all Chengde)

Jan 29th

Flight return to Frankfurt via Copenhagen (SAS flight). No problem with the overdue visa at the border control in Beijing by the way!

Dresden, Feb 8th 2002
Florian Menius

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