Steam in China - January 2005
by Andrew Fisher
February 7th Works
JF2446 was not in steam (sadly) but looked regularly worked. SY0891 was shunting the yard. Security staff and the over officious level crossing keeper violently refused to allow photography. A visit to the nearby offices can easily provide a full permit to enter and film freely, but at the exorbitant price of 200yuan (too much just for some shunting). If the JF had been working, I might have considered this but for an SY............
Best approach is from the railway overbridge near the Lugouqiao roundabout (on the way to Dahuichang). There's a path up to the railway and a gate entry into the end of the Feb 7th yard. You can wait here for the steam engine to appear without entering (or you can enter if you're bold). There's no security here and it's well out of sight of the offending crossing keeper.
Plenty of action here with the usual 2 C2's working hard. The money collectors were patrolling the line above the level crossing but didn't try very hard. They disappeared about 4pm and no money exchanged hands!
Access to both sites
Both the above locations are easily reached by bus. Route 937/3 passes Feb 7th and terminates across the road from the Dahuichang line. The service can be found near the Nanlishilu subway station and also passes Beijing Xi railway station. Feb 7th can also be accessed by route 624 from Gongzhufen subway station but this doesn't go on to Dahuichang.
I visited Chongqing on 3rd January, hoping to see the GJ class 0-6-0's. Sadly, I have to report that they were taken out of service in July 2004.
However, all 8 are still on the depot at DaDuKou station. GJ1062/1063/1069 and 1075 all clearly worked to the end and are in excellent condition. GJ1007/1019/1047 and 1065 however are in poor condition and haven't worked for some time.
Management told me that all 8 are due to be broken soon. I would ask everyone to use whatever contacts you have to get as many as possible of these locos saved very quickly. Tiefa and Beijing Railway Museum might be interested.
SY1360 was also on depot and out of use.
Interestingly, SY0145 was newly refurbished and inside the workshop. I was told that this work had been done for steelworks at Jiangjin (about 30km south west of Chonqing). I didn't have time to visit this site.
I was also told that nearby steelworks at JiuLongLu (?) and coal mines at TianFu Coal Co., Huayun were still operating steam but was unable to research either of these leads.
At Km810 just north of ChongQing (south of BeiBei) is a railway trackwork factory. There I saw 10 JS's and 3 QJ's together with a selection of ageing diesels. Details as follows:-
JS6277 & 6538 in steam. JS6262/6322/6331/6335(high deflectors)/6443/6524/6526/6535 oou.
QJ2407 in steam. QJ3468/3477 oou.
The locos in steam are used for shunting the yard and JS6277 was run around the yard purely for the benefit of my video camera! Very obliging!
JS8377 was out of use in the depot at Luocheng. JS8374 was operating the regular timetabled mixed services between Luocheng and Sancha, with departures from Luocheng about 06.50 and 12.10, last working getting back at 18.00 (but usually 1 to 2 hours late). The climb out of Sancha towards Luocheng is smokebox first and gives excellent photo opportunities. The morning train leaves Sancha about 10.00am.
I walked the branch line into the fertiliser works just outside Sancha, and was immediately apprehended by security! However, a friendly attitude secured a guided tour of the works by the management (and as much tea as we could drink). SY0371 is out of use for repairs and SY0980 was active on shunting duties. The latter was blasted up and down a few times for our benefit - nice video!
Andrew Fisher dtl@ModelshopDirect.com