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Steam in China - 2005

by Hsiang Tseng

Jiang-he Coal Railway

This narrow gauge may be the oldest railway in Chong-qing Area. It was open in 1890s, to transport coal from the mine. The passenger service ceased long ago, however, the coche is still in the depot in Luo-ba-chang. There are 3~5 coal services per day, from Luo-ba-chang to 302. In each service, there are 5 independent trains running. The headway should be 3~5 minutes. The staffs there are unfriendly, and command me do not take photos.


Chong-qing Monorail

This monorail was open on 18th June 2005, from Jiao-chang-kou to Zoology garden. The technology is basically from Japan.


Yong-rong Coal Railway

This 762mm gauge electric railway is located near CNR Shang-shi-qiao Station, 10 km from Yong-chuan City. You can hire a taxi for CNY 15, or take the bus for CNY 0.5 only. The coal train service is usually frequent, unless you arrive there at wrong time. From 2 to 4 pm, when morning and afternoon shifts change, there are usually no trains.


Wei-yuan Coal Railway

The highway from Zi-zhong to Huang-jing-gou is always under re-construction. Some corrupt communists always do this, because they can receive many kickbacks in those meaningless "constructions". Therefore, the traffic jam on this road happens 24 hours per day, 7days per week. Sometimes it takes 3 hours or more, from Zi-zhong to Huang-jing-gou. I suggest you to hire a motorcycle to do this journey. It takes you only CNY 50 and 50 minutes.

In Huang-jing-gou, I hired a motorcycle for CNY 40. The driver is also a railway staff, and is familiar with this area. The timetable is basically no change. Outward train leaves around 6:40~7:00am. Recently the staffs there become friendlier. I met no problems to take photos in the depot and other places.


Mo-jiang Coal Railway

This electric narrow gauge railway is located in Sha-wan District, Le-shan City. You can hire a taxi from the city center. It may cost you CNY 60 and 1 hour to reach there. Passenger trains are served by some "birdcage" wagons, and start from Cao-ba Terminal every 1~2 hours. The fare is CNY 0.5 per trip, whether Chinese or foreigners. Their locomotives are green, and there are some railcars in the depot. Photo-taking there is basically no problems.


Bai-yin Colored Metals CO. Railway

"Colored metals" means nonferrous metals, such as copper, the main products in Bai-yin.

The Transportation Department in Bai-yin operates copper trains, sulfuric acid trains, as well as passenger trains, and all of them are hauled by steam locomotive. There is a main yard on the east side of Bai-yin City, called Yun-shu-bu (Transportation Department) or Bai-yin-gong-si (Corporation). A small passenger station "Lin-shi-che-zhan" (Temporary Station) is located in the city, although this station is permanent. There are two types of trains open for the public: one is the shuttle train between these two station; the other is the commuter train to Shen-bu-tong-kuang (deep copper mine). All passenger trains are operated in the early morning or at nightfall, but the timetable sometimes changed without notices, however, most passengers know the correct schedule. I don't know how they can do this!


Liu-jia-xia Railway

The passenger services and steam-hauled mixed trains in Liu-jia-xia no longer run to CNR He-kou-nan Station, because CNR thinks the steam locomotives are ugly and shameful that shouldn't appear on the CNR lines or stations. Now the steam-hauled mixed train only appears on the section between Liu-jia-xia and Shang-quan. CNR's beautiful diesel locomotives (from Lan-zhou West Section) continue to haul the cargo wagons from Shang-quan Station.


Yao-jie Coal Railway

I visited Hai-shi-wan only. A south-bound train always arrives in Hai-shi-wan around 9am, then runs back to Yao-jie in one hour. That seems a good idea to follow this train and take some photos in the canyon.


Ha-mi Coal Railway

Although the fork of this railway from CNR is Liu-shu-quan Station, I don't suggest you to leave the train at this station, because there are nothing there. Even you cannot find a taxi or 3-wheels. You can take the bus directly from Ha-mi City to San-dao-ling (RMB 10).

This is my visit route: South Station---> Dong-bo-li-zhan ---> Ken-kou ---> Openpit ---> Xi-bo-li-zhan. I didn't spend much money to hire a taxi, because I was so lucky that I always met the commuter buses at right time, and met some kind drivers who let me took their locomotives.

Dong-bo-li-zhan is the most interesting place. There are several passenger services from there, including one train organized by two substitute cars to Xi-bo-li-zhan, and a railcar to East Mine. Both of them leave the station around 8:40am and 8:40pm.

All trains on this railway have an "on-board" signal equipment. Maybe you associate with those high-tech equipments on TGV or ICE, but you may be disappointed, because that's nothing more than an arm signal on the roof, to let the drivers on the other side know they should run or stop. That's really a special design.



Life in China

Baby in the Basket

In 302, Jianghe Coal Mine


Sale Fishs

In Liu-Jia-Xia


Girl Waiting the Train

In Bai-yin


Boring China News Report "Xin-wen-lian-bo"


Train trough Wu-qiao-ling Mountain


Breakfast on T295 Train (CNY 10)


Mutton Lunch on Qinghai to Tibet Railway Train (CNY 27)

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© 2005, Hsiang Tseng wmdw2003@yahoo.com