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Anyang Steelworks - January 2005

by Peter Munk

Back in November I was planning a business trip to Henan province. My trip was postponed to January. My original plan was to visit Pingdingshan. (I found out that Xin Mi mine is up and running again, but access to the area is still restricted.) At the last minute, one of my local coworkers suggested visiting Anyang instead - as a former employee at the steel mill there, he knew that steam was still in use, and he was able to call a supervisor and get permission for access within the plant.

Anyang is in the Northeast corner of Henan province, about 200 km north of Zhengzhou. The plant is formally called the Angang Steel Works, the city is Anyang. The mill is listed on the Steam Line directory at the QJ-Country web site. After the molten steel is produced, it's poured into large vats, and steam engines are used to shunt them to the areas of the plant where the steel is formed into pipe or girders. The plant has 5 engines, so they can always keep 3 in service. The engines stay inside the plant. At the time of my visit, 3 engines were in constant use, with 2 shuttling the full vats around, and one bringing in coke and empty vats to the production area. All the engines are 2-8-2's, all built at the Tang Shan works in Hebei province. The engines I saw are:

SY 0995, built 1975
SY 1627, built 1988
SY 1640, built 1989

It was very exciting to see steam in action, and more exciting when one of the engineers invited me into the cab. I rode with him for a few switching moves, then he told me it was time for me to go to work, so I shoveled a few loads of coal into the boiler. The engineer told me that the steam engines are scheduled for replacement next September, so anyone who wants to visit Anyang should do so in the next 6 months. In the meantime, the engines are being kept up very well, all looked to be in excellent condition.

Peter Munk
Feb 11th 2005

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© 2005, Peter Munk pmunk@MottCorp.com