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Steam in China - Nov 2003

by Ian Juden

Nanpiao Coal Railway

Nanpiao has reverted to 100% steam. The BJ class diesel is under heavy repair, and there is possibly one other diesel here totally dismantled. I visited the shed at dusk and could not see clearly.

Details as previously reported. Here between 11/24 and 11/28. The Sanjiaxi branch is much more rural than Banjita, with scenery similar to Jing Peng, but only 2 pass and 1 frt in daylight. Banjita line busier - 2 pass and up to 3 frt.

Fuxin - 11/29 & 11/30

Still going gangbusters. 17 different SYs seen in use over two days, all clean and three ex-works. At repair shop one being steamed, one completely stripped down with boiler being rebuilt. Open pit has hit deep seam of coal, therefore virtually no spoil trains working, and reduced level of ops compared to my last visit in 2000. Wulong-Taiping-Gaode double track section seeing a movement every ten mins between 07.30 and 11.30. Afternoons quieter, a train every 20 to 30 mins. Wangyang to Xinqui and Wulong to Xinqui passengers unchanged, but much shorter rakes (7 & 3 cars respectively). Mining has re-started in Xinqui area and coal trains coming on to line to Wulong. I didn't have time to investigate.

Mining now extends much further south than previously, perhaps as much as 25km south of Qinhemen. Appear to be new branches in this area. 5 SY seen at super pit about 5km North of Qinhemen.

N.G. Electric system to NE of pit in Fuxin extended, and 5 locos working. Passenger ceased, and most of track to Gaode lifted.

N.G. Electric system just north of Qinhemen connecting super pit to washery at Sanjin very busy - train every 5 mins.

Electric passengers around open pit in Fuxin not seen, and assumed discontinued. Has been massive scrapping of electrics since 2000. Superseded by more modern and versatile power - SYs.

Weather abyssmal - smog - visibility less than 500m most of both days.

Jing Peng - 12/1 & 12/1

Weather - Sunny with snow sprinklings on ground, but very, very windy - may be as low as -35 ( your choice degC or degF) incl wind chill factor.

5 each way in daylight. QJs mostly clean. Biggest problem is gricer congestion.

Flights from BJ to Liuzhou

There are daily flights dep 15.20 pm at about 1150 yuan (incl discounts) one way, flying time 3.5 hours. I do not know return times, but presumably am ex Liuzhou. Connects poorly with train schedule from Lzh to JCJ, so overall only a few hours faster than K5/K6. Looks like I'll have to make do with PDS for JS action.
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© 2003, Ian Juden , email: iejiej@yahoo.com