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Steam in China - October 2004

by Neil Edwards

Hegang, Jixi, Tiefa, Yuanbaoshan, Pingzhuang

Hegang Mining Railway 11/12-10-2004

In steam: - SY 0498 (Tangshan 4/1972), SY 0555 (Tangshan 8/1972), SY 0635 (Tangshan 3/1973), SY 0799 (Tangshan 3/1974), SY 1370 (Tangshan 5/1985), SY 1498 (Tangshan 11/1986), SY 3013 (Changchun 1993),SY 3014 (Changchun 1993), SY 3023 (Changchun 1998)
Stored SY 0472 (Tangshan 3/1972), SY 1030 (Tangshan 7/1975)
Workshops SY 0683 (Tangshan 7/1973), SY 3024 (Changchun 1999).

Jixi Coal Mining Administration

14-10-2004 Lishu Coal Mine (also known as Muleng)
Present and in steam: SY 0951 (Tangshan 2/1975), SY 1118 (Tangshan 9/1980)

Location: - Visible from the main line, Lishu (Lishuzhen) is 59km south of Jixi on the Xiachengzi line (Quail Route 12G). The stabling point is almost adjacent to the main road, just look for the smoke, the third locomotive based here SY 0477 (Tangshan 3/1972) was in the Jixi mining workshops. Trains are unpredictable but worth seeking out as the line is very steep in places.

15/16-10-2004 Hengshan Mining Railway
Present and in steam: SY 0341 (worksplate is unclear on both sides, dates look flatenned), SY 746 (0746) (Tangshan 11/1973), SY 804 (Tangshan 3/1974), SY 1095, SY 1369 (Tangshan 5/1985).

16-10-2004 Jixi Mining Workshops
All that were present in steam or on steam test: Depot pilot SY 1344 (Tangshan 1/1985), SY 0477 (Tangshan 3/1972) from Lishu Coal Mine, SY 1018 (Tangshan 7/1975) from Chengzihe Mining Railway, SY 1437 (Tangshan 2/1986) from Chengzihe Mining Railway (back in traffic the following day!), SY 1446 (Tangshan 4/1986) from Didao Coal Mine

Donghaikuang Coal Mine
Both engines present were in steam: SY 0639 (Tangshan 3/1973), SY 1545 (Tangshan 5/1987)

Chengzihe Mining Railway 15/16-10-2004
Present and in steam: SY 0237 (Tangshan 7/1970), SY 0590 (Tangshan 11/1972), SY 0733 (Tangshan 10/1973), SY 0863 (Tangshan 8/1974), SY 1058 (Tangshan 9/1975), SY 1437 (Tangshan 2/1986), 16th only see above, SY 1544 (Tangshan 5/1987).

Chengzihe Mining Railway serves Dongchang, Xinghua and Zhengyang mines, and also the former mine at Chengzihe Beicheng (now a coal grading site), with a conection to the main line 6km from Nanchang
There is also an overhead narrow gauge electric railway at Xinghua mine which is well worth a visit.

Didao Coal Mine
Present and in steam: SY 0950 (Tangshan 2/1975), SY 1205 (Tangshan 1/1983), SY 1213 (Tangshan 3/1983)

In all a very impressive system with good photo opportunities on the Hengshan system in the early morning, at Hengshan Xia, with the colourful (very!) station buildings in the background.The stabling point is a long (very!) way from here not 1km as indicated on an internet map. The management advised us of a morning train with a banker going from Hengshan to Zhongxin, although the proximity of foliage etc make photography difficult (rather head on) it is a super sight. Excellent photo opportunities on the Chengzihe system especially early in the morning when the locos gather for their daily rosters and start their shunting movements etc. Afternoon shots were also very good at the other end of the system where there is a church and coal is loaded onto donkey carts. Didao rather quiet with most of the action being tender first, right way round is downhill, good afternoon light though, the local school children want your autograph in their English Books, so I guess not a lot of foreigners visit this location. Muleng has some excellent photo opportunities as the line has quiet a steep grade up to the reversing point (locos chimney first), where the load is then pushed to it's destination. A long curve is adjacent to the road near the stabling point. The management informed us of a 3pm departure on 16-10-2004 behind SY 1118, but it is against the light for the road crossing when the video jocks want to stand on the hill, at this time of day. Donghaikuang was very quiet late in the afternoon, with both locos standing beneath the loading towers.

Tiefa Mining Railway 18/20-10-2004

In steam: - SY 1183 (Tangshan 7/1982), SY 1255 (Tangshan 10/1983), SY 1412 Tangshan 11/1985), SY 1683 (Tangshan 5/1990), 1751 (Tangshan 12/1993), 1767 (Tangshan 4/1995), SY 1769 (Tangshan 6/1995),1772 (Tangshan 10/1999), the last standard gauge steam engine built worldwide and in use.
Workshops KD6-487 (Baldwin???), SY 1770 (Tangshan 7/1995)

Stored outside of the works, some tenders still with coal in indicates that they are not for scrap, some have been reported for sale.
JS 5029 (Dalian 1957), SY 0023 (Tangshan 12/1966), SY 0063 (Tangshan 6/1967), SY 0393 (Tangshan 7/1971), SY 0435 (Tangshan 10/1971), SY 0665 (Tangshan 5/1973), SY 0860 (Tangshan 7/1974), SY 0979 (Tangshan 4/1975), SY 1147 (Tangshan 9/1981), SY 1771 (Tangshan 9/1999).

It was noted all passenger services were steam hauled including Faku branch, several freight were steam between Sanjiazi and Diaobingshan.

Yuanbaoshan Mining Railway 21-10-2004

In steam: - JS 6246 (Datong 1983), JS 6245 (Datong 1983), JS 8246 (Datong 1987), JS 8250 (Datong 1987)
Two JS were locked up in a seperate shed Main shed: - JS 6544 (Datong 1986), JS 8216 (Datong 1987, carries 1996 works plate, but why????), Ex-works JS 8218 (Datong 1987), JS 8249 (Datong 1987).

Pingzhuang Mining Railway 22-10-2004

In steam: - SY 0210 (Tangshan 4/1970), SY 0463 (Tangshan 2/1972), SY 0766 (Tangshan 12/1973), SY 0916 (Tangshan 11/1974), SY 0942 (Tangshan 1/1975), SY 1025 (Tangshan 7/1975), SY 1083, with deflectors, (Tangshan 6/1976), SY 1441 ex-Xilin, SY 1487 (Tangshan 9/1986), SY 1764, ex-Tiefa (Tangshan 1/1995)
Stored: - JS 1001 (Dalian 4/1960)

Although I didn't explore inside the works, some early JS surely remain?

My thanks to Rob Pritchard and the Industrial Railway Society who provided much locomotive works details, augmented by myself and others in the group from our personal observations.

Neil Edwards

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© 2004, Neil Edwards, email: wrecksandrelics@yahoo.co.uk