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Railways in China - December 24th 2005 to January 16th 2006

Kunming, Hainan, Hangzhou-Zhuzhou, Shuangyashan, Jixi

by Florian Menius, Thorge Bockholt and Julien Blanc


If you are looking for information about steam operation you may easily skip reading this report!

Our 14th tour to China was dedicated as a "modern traction" tour. Unfortunately, the primar targets of interest (DF1 at Shuangyashan and ND2 on Hainan) proofed to become sad discoveries. As modern traction is available everywhere in China, our itinery was "weather driven" using short notice booked domestic flights to fly whereever the weather forecast promised reasonable weather.

Having spent Christmas Eve at Beijing together with Yuehong and Rob, we took the earliest morning flight from Beijing PEK to Kunming KMG on Dec 25th: China Eastern MU5714 (PEK 08:30 - KMG 11:55), 810Y

Kunming Area CNR, Dec 25th - Jan 4th 2006


This line was checked for the first 83 km to Yiliang Bei only. In contrast to Quails map, the line branches off the Guiyang line just east of Kunming Dong freight yard. The first kilometers of the line apparently use the former branch line to Wangjiaying which now firms under the name Kunming Nan (south) 17km from Kunming main station. Countryside is rather flat and boring along this section.
East of Kunming Nan, the line enters a valley which becomes deeper and more and more narrow the further you go. The Yunnan Tielu ng line is almost parallel to the line. There is a continous steep grade against Kunming bound trains. Between Qidianjie (km36) and Shijiazui (appr.km45), the ng line is out of sight as the line makes a big horseshoe on top of a hill some 200m above a big lake... Until Yongfengying the line curves through open countryside again, paralleld by the ng line.
East of Yongfengying, a massive mountain ridge is crossed using several tunnel-viaduct-tunnel sequences. As the valley decends much faster than the railway line, after about 2 km the line is some 100m above the valley`s bottom - using viaduct-tunnel combinations, of course, to find its way. Some 4km east of Yongfengying the line swings northwards leaving the ng line in the valley and descends to Yiliang Bei station via a large horeshoe (about 4-5 km long).
Yiliang Bei station is situated some 8 kilometers north of the city Yiliang in the suburban district called BeiGuCheng (北古城) or Gucheng (古城). East of Yiliang Bei, the railway crosses through another mountain ridge and continues towards Shilin.

All fast and express trains observed were hauled by Kunming based SS3 electrics. Only the Kunming-Hongguo stopping passenger train 8901/8902 was an exception as it has a SS7C on most days (otherwise SS3, too). Note that the Shanghai-Kunming train K181 tended to run late, usually 2 hours or so...
Freight trains are not too numerous, but long. During daylight, between 3 and 7 trains per direction could be observed. There can be long "gaps" between trains of up tp 4 or 5 hours! (On Dec 31th, the first eastbound freight did not run before 13:00 for example!). Except for the daily China Post Train (Kunming bound passing around noon/early afternoon), all freight trains are double-headed. Kunming based classes SS7 and SS3 are used in every combination (SS7+SS7, SS7+SS3, SS3+SS7, SS3+SS3).
Shunting duties at Kunming Dong freight yard are shared by at least 4 DF7Gs and 4-5 DF5, Kunming Nan has got a DF5, too. Kunming depot is to be found at the eastern end of Kunming Dong yard. Shunting at Kunming main station is done by a Sifang built DF7G, the wagon works just east of the station has got a DF5. A few hundred metres west of Kunming station, a stabling area can be found - mainly for passenger locos from both Kunming and Guangtong depot.


This single track line was visited as fas as Huoshaoba (50km from Kunming). Landscape is not interessting. Additionally, the line is lined by trees and bushes on both sides. So, photographic potential is low.
"Doubling" of the line is in progress. Of course, the line is doubled the "Chinese Way": instead of building a second track parallel to the existing one, a completely new double-track line is being built. This line has got a more direct alignment and therefore requires much more engineering works including some large viaducts than the old line. Once the new line has opened, these viaducts will offer some good photospots despite the uninspiring landscape.
The independantly aligned new line starts east of Jinmacun. At Jinmacun itself, a construction base exists. Four locos were seen inside the compound: 3 DF4 (incl. DF4 0344 and 0500) and one DF1.
About 4 km north of Kunming Dong close to the second "intermediate passenger train stop" between Kunming Dong and Jinmacun, a fenced-off depot-like compound can be found. The tracks visible from the passing train contained two steam locos in preserved condition and some diesels including one looking like a DF2. The compound may be (or become) a kind of railway museum...

Fast trains are hauled by Kunming based SS7C. About half of the SS7C seen had the latest all-yellow livery, the rest the standard red-and-creme. The stopping passenger train has got a SS3. The train from Shanghai was 1.5 hours late, too. Freight trains (only a few more than on the Nanning line) are about 50:50 brandnew SS3B(G) double-units or SS3 double headers. No SS7 were seen on freight duties.

Kunming-Guangtong (-Chengdu/Dali)

The line becomes interesting just after Kunming Xi (DF7G pilot there). On the northern side, a ridge of mountains parallels the line, to the south is a big lake. At Dushupu, a large freight yard is reached. Five Guangtong based DF5 shunt here. The line swings northwards now and soon becomes spectacular with numerous tunnels and viaducts. Uncountable photospots!
All trains seen (both passenger and freight) were hauled by single Guangtong based SS3. Number of freight trains was considerably higher than on the Nanning or Guiyang line with a freight train in every direction usually every hour. Of special interest - though unphotographable - are the four (3 published in the CNR timetable, the fourth one locally advertised) pairs of overnight trains Kunming-Dali which use double-deck coaches. However, it remains unclear to me whether the line Guangtong-Dali is electrified or not. Can someone lighten the darkness?


This line offers one pair of passenger trains to Yuxi (the fast trains N989/990 shown in the CNR timetable no longer operate, but the Zhongyicun pax 8945/8946 has been extended to/from Yuxi). As the line is not electrified south of Dushupu, motive power are Kunming based DF4 which work through from Kunming and Kunming Dong respectively on both freight and passenger trains. Based on observations between Dushupu and Kunming, traffic levels seem to be quite high (numerous diesel hauled freight trains seen). So, this line might be well worth further investigation.


CNR KunmingSS3/SS3B0130, 0139, 0292, 0296, 0298, 0299, 0301, 0306, 0314, 0320, 0641, 4296, 4539, 4542, 4543, 4545, 4546, 5031, 5033, 5159(Zz/1999), 5160, 5162, 5163, 8016(Zy/2001), 8017(Zy/2001), 8019, 8020(Zy/2001), 8021(Zy/2001), 8022, 8024, 8025, 8026(Zy/2001)
SS3B(G)5021, 5026, 5028(Zy/2005), 5029, 6042(Dt/2004), 6043
SS70003(Dt/1996), 0004, 0006, 0007(Dt/1996), 0010, 0015(Dt/1997), 0016, 0018, 0040(Dt/1997), 0042, 0045(Dt/1997), 0052, 0060(Dt/1998), 0076
SS7C0120(Dt/2003), 0121, 0122(Dt/2002 ??), 0128(Dt/2003), 0129, 0130, 0131(Dt/2003), 0157(yellow), 0159(yellow), 0160(yellow), 0161(yellow), 0162(yellow), 0165(yellow)
DF43654(Zy/1991), 6325(Dt/1993), 9393(Zy/1997), 9400(Zy/1997), 9441, 9445(Zy/1998)
DF51581, 1662, 1663, 1664(Sf/1998), 1730, 1751, 1830(Sf/2000), 1838, 1888
DF7G0051(Sf/2004), 0052, 5044, 5045, 5046(BJ/2004), 5047
CNR GuangtongSS34382, 4384, 4390(Dt/2000), 4393, 4394, 4395, 4403, 4409, 4413, 4417, 4485(Dt/2002), 4486, 4487, 4489(Dt/2002), 4513, 4518, 4520, 4546, 4548, 5231
DF4C5324(depot code not identified!)
DF51773, 1786, 1958(low nose)
JinMaCun Construction UnitDF40344, 0500

Yunnan Tielu 云南铁路 (Kunming-Hekou, 1000mm), Dec 25th - Jan 4th 2006

Kunming Bei station looked abandoned. No sign of any passenger trains working. However, the ticket counter is still staffed selling tickets ex Kunming main station. Departure boards are dated 2000 and 2001 respectively. The line between KunmingBei and Kunming Nan (formerly Wangjiaying) showed signs of usage though not too heavy. However, we did not see any ng movement north of Kunming Nan!
The action starts at Kunming Nan gauge transshipment yard. Freight traffic towards Yiliang and Kaiyuan is dense with trains every 30-90 minutes in each direction. Between Guangnanwei (8km east of Kunming Nan) and Jiangtoucun (江头村,5 km north-west of Yiliang), there is a very steep climb against Kunming bound trains which requires double-heading for most trains, sometimes even triple-heading. An impressive sound of uphill trains is guaranteed! Downhill trains usually are single headed but they often have locos attached at the train`s rear.
The most spectacular section is the gorge east of Kebaocun (可保村, near Yongfengying sg station) with 15 tunnels and numerous viaducts. Unfortunately, the gorge is almost unphotographable as the line is at the southern rim of a very deep east-to-west gorge. Sun will never reach the track for long sections... Between Kunming Nan and the gorge east of Kebao, the sg line to Nanning is more or less parallel. The two lines cross each other six times.
At Yiliang (宜良, km 67, not km 70 as shown in Quails), the ng railway station is just west of the city. Yiliang formerly had an independant depot but has been downgraded to a sub-depot of Kaiyuan, the only 1000-mm-depot in Yunnan. The station area is very photogenic. Unfortunately, local police disencourages photography... All trains change loco at Yiliang, some trains are remarshalled, too. Yiliang has got a DFH21 pilot loco, too.
The following 17 kilometers to Goujie 狗街 via Yangjie 羊街 are rather flat in a very wide valley. Two kilometers south of Goujie, at a village named Gaoguma, the line turns south-east and enters a spectacular gorge. A girder bridge just south of Gaouguma starts a long sequence of photo spots. West of the bride, the railway line is at the southern side of the valley. Along the northern rim, a dirt road follows the river, too. At km 86 a small hydropower plant is reached which enables a connection between road and railway line. The photogenic section ends at km 88. Beyond that point, the valley is so deep, that sun will never reach the line. After a short tunnel at km 90, the line is surrounded by trees and shrubs - also absolutely unphotogenic (though spectacular as by now the line winds through the valley some 50-60m above the river...
As taxi drivers at both Yiliang, Yangjie and Goujie demanded "moon prices" to drive into the valley, we recommand either to walk from Gaoguma or to take a bus. A bus returning to Goujie passes the valley between 16:00 and 16:30 for example.

Passenger services have been suspended at the Kunming end of the line. However, they are still offered south of Yiliang. There is a daily mixed train from Yiliang to Kaiyuan, departing Yiliang at 10:45 (arrival time at Kaiyuan depends on traffic, but probably not before 19:00). The return working arrives at Yiliang between 15:00 and 16:30. The trains conist of two blue-white-red coaches (CNR 160km/h color scheme, similar to JiTong coaches) and a post van (same livery) attached at the rear of a freight train. The post van works through to Kunming Nan by the way. It leaves Kunming Nan around 08:30-09:00, either at the rear of a goods train but sometimes also as an independant "post train". The post van departure from Yiliang to Kunming Nan is scheduled 16:15 but may be delayed if the mixed from Kaiyuan arrives late.


Motive power of the Yunnan are both green DFH21 diesel-hydraulics (Sifang 1978-1984) Bo-Bo and DF21 diesel-electric CoCo (Sifang 2004/5, 20 to be built). DF21 have got a white-and-blue livery which is not too attractive. Only prototype DF21 0001 differs as it has got a red-white-blue livery. North of Yiliang, on the steep grades, DF21 are quite rare (usually only 1 or 2 locos in use there). South of Yiliang, where most trains are single headed, DF21 cover about one third of trains. All locos seen had Kaiyuan depot codes.
Some sources suggest that 100 DFH21 have been built in total. Therefore, it was strange to record only locos numbered below 050. Also, the recorded builder dates of DFH21 show no proper building sequence. I think there has been some renumbering.

DF210001, 0003, 0004(Sf/2004), 0005(Sf/2004), 0007, 0008, 0010(Sf/2004), 0011(Sf/2005), 0012(Sf/2005)
DFH21003(Sf/1983), 010(Sf/1978), 012(Sf/1978), 015, 018(Sf/1978), 019, 021(Sf/1978), 022(Sf/1983), 023(Sf/1979), 024, 027(Sf/1979), 028(Sf/1979), 030(Sf/1979), 032, 037, 039, 041(Sf/1979), 042, 045(Sf/1984), 046, 047(Sf/1978), 048(Sf/1979), 050


Best base for linesiding along both the Yunnan Tielu und Nanning-Kunming line is Yiliang. Numerous good hotels are available. They also are quite cheap. We recommand the "Yiliang YiKuang Hot Springs Binguan" (double 80Y) which even has got a large swimming pool in the backyard. Rooms were extremely clean and well cared for, staff friendly and helpful.
Kunming also offers numerous hotels which are also quite cheap (60Y for a double just across the CNR station square).


The area around Yiliang has got a quite strange transport system. Taxis are seldom and very, very expensive especially if you want to leave the city. Buses operate from the bus terminal but are also not too numerous (exception is the Yiliang-Kunming route of course with departures every 15 minutes or so).
Most common is transport by minivan ("mianbaoche"). Unfortunately these minivans usually do not have destinations lettered as long as they are inside Yiliang city (probably an administrative regulation, as the minivans have got destination boards as soon as leave the city) ! There are different places for each direction where mianbaoches wait for passengers. Fares are cheap (only a bit higher than buses). So, it is quite hard to find the right mianbaoche!
The most relevant destinations are Tangchi (汤池,3Y), a city near Kebaocun/Yongfengying where you can change to mianbaoches to Fengmingcun (凤鸣村,1Y). Tangchi also has got a big hotel just at the main place where mianbaoches stop. South of Yiliang, mianbaos operates as fas as Goujie (狗街,4Y) via Yangjie (羊街,3Y). Unfortunately, the road is not close to the railway for most of its length with Yangjie station being the exception. Vehicles to Yiliang Bei station are lettered "Gucheng" (3Y). Or take a bus to Jiuxiang 九乡, which is a local "scenic tourist place".

We left Yunnan on Jan 4th:taking China Eastern flight MU5745 to Sanya (KMG 08:05 - SYZ 09:45, B737, 530Y/pers.).

Hainan Tielu 海南铁路, Jan 4th - Jan 6th 2006


The railway line along the south-west coast of Hainan is currently out of use. Parts of the track are missing/destroyed. But works are already running to rebuild the line. Permanent way works could be observed at several locations along the line. According to the depot chief of Basuo, it is planned to reintroduce passenger services on this line once works have finished (most probably this will be a through train from the mainland e.g. an extension of the Guangzhou-Haikou train to Sanya...).


The iron ore mine at Shilu, 50 km east of Basuo sends its ore to Basuo harbour for export via sea. The ore is transported by railway. From Basuo, the first 40km to Chahe go through rather uninteressting flat countryside, but the final kilometers to Shilu are upgrade and feature a tunnel and several curves. At Shilu a ND2 (ND2 0255 on Jan 15th) is employed as pilot shunting the ore wagons at the loader.
The most interesting discovery at Shilu was a electrified industrial railway at the far end of Shilu yard. Similar to open cast railways, two-section electrics similar to a LEW EL1 (Bo`Bo`Bo`) work push-pull units of open wagons. The steeply graded electric line climbs onto a hill using zig-zags. Traffic was quite dense with trains every 20 minutes or so. Quite often even two trains were visible at the the same time. As the electric railway is just "behind" Shilu station, it is possible to take photos of the ND2 shunting in the station with an electric train "on the hill" in the background.
Ore trains between Basuo and Shilu are hauled by DF4s. Usually, two DF4s are employed. According to the depot chef at Basuo, the first empty train of the day does not leave Basuo before 07:00 in the morning followed by a second empty train some two hours later. The first full train re-arrives at Basuo around 10:00. The DF4 returns to Shilu short time later. Traffic ends at midnight. About 4 to 5 return workings can be expected during daylight.
At Basuo, another ND2 is active as pilot (ND2 0036 during our whole visit). It trips the ore cars to the unloading facility in the harbour (fulls are pushed) which is about 1 km west of Basuo yard.


According to Basuo depot chef, the line to Haikou is complete and operational. It branches off the Shilu line just after the river bridge at Chahe. But there is almost no traffic along this recently built line! If we understood correctly, there is only one freight train per day without fixed schedule, sometimes even no train at all! Trains are DF4 hauled.


Basuo depot is home to the locos shown in the table below. Unfortunately, the ND2 are only shunting now (each one at Basuo and Shilu). The depot chef indicated, that they may be completely retired soon. Some of the ND2 marked oou seem never to have entered service as some of them still beared Hengshan or Changsha depot codes.
Amongst the DF4s, DF4 2022 is of particular interest. This formerly orange DF4A(K) is green now and obviously has a standard gear ratio now as top speed was indicated as 100 km/h, no longer 120 km/h. Due to its bad condition, it is used on permanent way trains only, not for regular freight trains. The DF3s and JS were all dumped in various corners of the Basuo depot.

JS6499, 6500, 6502, 6503, 6509, 6512, 6513 (all oou)
ND20036(EP/1981), 0198(EP/1984,oou), 0203(EP/1984), 0205(EP/1984), 0206, 0209(EP/1984), 0217(oou), 0220(EP/1985), 0226(EP/1985,oou), 0233(oou), 0255(EP/1986), 0257(EP/1986,oou)
DF32129(Dl/1973,oou), 2145(Dl/1973,oou)
DF40522(Dl/1982,oou), 0740(Dl/1985), 2022(Dl/1975,green), 3822(Zy/1994), 3823(Zy/1994), 3824(oou), 3825(Zy/1994), 3868, 3869(Zy/1994)


Basuo has got a number of hotels. Unfortunately, the better ones are neither close to the bus terminal nor to the railway station or harbour. But cheaper one exist, of course! But be prepared that your "hotel" may turn out to be a local bordell (as ours did...).


Sanya airport is about 8 km east of the city. A metered taxi to the bus terminal or railway station costs 23-25Y. Do not accept the 50Y demanded by taxis waiting at the airport! Between Sanya, Basuo and Haikou (and some other cities) non-stop express buses exist using Daewoo built air-con buses. Sanya-Basuo costs 39Y and takes only just over 2 hours for the 170 kilometers! Buses leave about every hour and use the toll free (!) expressway. There are also "ordinary" buses along the "old" road, cheaper (23Y) but also much slower.
Between Sanya and Shilu, there are hourly buses, too (fare 11Y). They need some 1:15 to 1:45 hours for the 60 km journey.

We left Hainan on Jan 6th using Hainan Airlines HU7329 (Sanya SYZ 17:20 - Shanghai Pudong PVG 20:10, B737, 720Y per person).

Hangzhou-Zhuzhou, Jan 7th - Jan 10th 2006

Four days were spent along the "old" Hangzhou-Zhuzhou mainline between Hangzhou and JinhuaXi using Julien`s private car. As the Hangzhou-Jinhua expressway is parallel to the railway line, this is a very confortable way of linesiding which had been absolutely unthinkable a few years ago... Pujiang-Shanghai via expressway (>300 km) takes only 2.5h without exceeding speed limits!
Scenic sections can be found between Meichi and Puyang as well as in the area around Pujiang and Dachen.
Of special interest were the works on the "new" Hangzhou-Zhuzhou railway line which will become a electrified double track 200-km/h-line that crosses the landscape usually some 5 to 10 meters above the surrounding terrain either using large dams or impressive viaducts. The new line also has got numerous tunnels, too. Between Hangzhou and Jinhua, there will be passenger stations only at Zhuji and Yiwu. But both stations are some 5 and 8 kilometers away from the towns respectively. The old line and its stations will be abandoned once the new line has entered operation. Given the current situation of works, the new line might be completed as early as in late 2006 (so few time left to see the charming "old" mainline...). At the Hangzhou end, the 4th Construction Unit (SiJu) is in charge of the construction works. ND2 and (old) DF4s are used (with each two seen working). At the Jinhua end, old and new line join each other near Xiaoshuo. There, the base of the "5th Construction Unit" (WuJu) can be found. Three BJ were seen here. There are numerous photo positions where the new line can (or must) be included in your picture of the old line.
Traffic is quite dense with usually 3 to 6 trains per direction and hour. Fast trains are hauled by Shanghai and Hangzhou based DF11 or Hangzhou based DF4D and DF4DK. A smaller number of trains also has got orange DF4B(K)s (Hangzhou locos). Of special interest are the trains between Hangzhou/Ningbo/Shanghai and JinhuaXi/Quzhou/Lanxi/Qingshan as they use white-and-yellow double-deck coaches and are often DF4B(K)-hauled. Other hot candidates for DF4BK haulage are the Hangzhou-Wenzhou trains (blue-and-white air con coaches of the JinWen Railway). Note, that the early morning trains towards Hangzhou often were considerably delayed - up to 2 hours! Freight traffic between Hangzhou and JinhuaXi is 100 % DF4B (usually single headed) using locos of Hangzhou (>95%) or Yingtan depot (<5%). A Hangzhou based DF5 shunts at Yiwu and three DF7C at Jinhua (also Hangzhou depot).
At JinhuaXi, all passenger trains change loco. West of JinhuaXi, DF4B(K), DF4D and DF4DK of Nanchang, Xiangtang and Shangrao depots are in charge. Freight trains west of JinhuaXi are hauled either by Hangzhou based DF4B working through from Hangzhou or DF4Bs of Yingtan depot (50:50 split). Among the green DF4B several locos from the passenger series DF4 2101-2678 were seen. Apparently these loco have standard gear ratio now as some of them were seen with "top speed 100km/h" marks.


CNRDF4 1232(YT), 1243(YT,Dl/1986), 1302(HZ), 1306(HZ,Dl/1987), 1312(HZ,Dl/1987), 1315(HZ,Dl/1987), 1333(HZ,Dl/1987), 1334(HZ,Dl/1987), 1336(HZ,Dl/1987), 1339(HZ,Dl/1987), 1341(HZ,Dl/1987), 1342(HZ), 1348(HZ,Dl/1987), 1349(HZ,Dl/1987), 1350(HZ,Dl/1987), 1351(HZ), 1352(HZ,Dl/1987), 1354(HZ,Dl/1987), 1355(HZ,Dl/1987), 1358(HZ), 1420(HZ), 1530(?), 1716(HZ,Dl/1989), 1717(HZ,Dl/1989), 1718(HZ,Dl/1989), 1719(HZ,Dl/1989), 2160(NC), 2219(HZ,green), 2245(HZ,Dl/1990), 2369(HZ,Dl/1992), 2371(HZ,Dl/1992), 2376(XT), 2396(HZ,Dl/1993), 2401(HZ,Dl/1993,green), 2446(YT,Dl/1994,green), 2463(HZ,Dl/1994), 2468(HZ,Dl/1994), 2469(HZ,Dl/1994,green), 2509(HZ), 2510(HZ), 2511(HZ,Dl/1995), 2567(SR,Dl/1996), 3182(HZ), 3303, 3304(YT), 3329(HZ,Zy/1989), 3330(HZ,Zy/1989), 3331(HZ,Zy/1989), 3336(HZ), 3337(HZ), 3356(HZ,Zy/1990), 3371(HZ), 3373(HZ), 3452(HZ,Zy/1990), 3599(HZ,Zy/1992), 3602(HZ,Zy/1992), 3687(YT), 3699(HZ), 3701(HZ), 3752(HZ,Zy/1993), 3755(Zy/1992), 3851(HZ,Zy/1994), 3879(HZ), 3881(HZ,Zy/1994), 3882(HZ,Zy/1994), 3884(HZ,Zy/1994), 3886(HZ), 3887(HZ,Zy/1994), 3888(HZ,Zy/1994), 3962(HZ,Zy/1993), 3967(HZ,Zy1993), 3986(HZ), 6263(HZ,Dt/1993), 6264(HZ,Dt/1993), 6265(HZ), 7058, 7070(XT), 7073(YT,Dl/1992), 7242(HZ,orange), 7245(HZ,Dl/1993), 7256(YT,Dl/1993), 7360(HZ,Dl/1992), 9017(HZ,Zy/1996??), 9019(HZ), 9049(YT), 9189, 9391(HZ,Zy/1997), 9392(HZ,Zy/1997)
DF4D0002(XT), 0003(XT), 0004(XT,Dl/1997), 0130(HZ,Dl/1997), 0223, 0226, 0227(XT), 0232(XT,Dl/1998), 0239(XT,Dl/1998), 0285(XT,Dl/1998), 0396, 0408(NC), 0409(NC), 0410(NC), 0411(NC), 0413(NC,Dl/1999), 0417, 0459(HZ), 0462(HZ), 0463(HZ,Dl/1999), 0466(HZ), 0470(NC), 0475(NC), 0477, 0485(HZ,Dl/2000), 0511(HZ), 3062(NC), 3122, 3124(NC), 3141(HZ), 3143(HZ), 3145(HZ), 3189(HZ), 3190(HZ), 3191(HZ), 3192(HZ), 3193(HZ), 3194(HZ), 3195(HZ), 3196(HZ,Dl/2002), 3204(HZ,Dl/2002), 3205(HZ), 3216(HZ), 3218(HZ,Dl/2002), 3220, 3253(HZ), 3256, 3264(HZ), 3265(HZ), 3266(HZ,Dl/2002), 3268(HZ), 3269(HZ), 3270(HZ), 3281(HZ), 3282(HZ,Dl/2003)
DF110007(SH,Qi/1996), 0020(SH), 0021(HZ,Qi/1996), 0027(SH,Qi/1996), 0028(SH), 0032(SH,Qi/1997), 0041(SH,Qi/1997), 0042(SH,Qi/1997), 0043(SH,Qi/1997), 0075(Qi/1998), 0077(SH), 0081(SH,Qi/1998), 0084(SH), 0097(SH), 0110(SH), 0117(SH,Qi/1998), 0154(SH,Qi/1999), 0271(SH), 0299(HZ), 0340(HZ,Qi/2000), 0341(HZ,Qi/2000), 0342(HZ,Qi/2000), 0370(Qi/2002), 0372(HZ), 0400(SH), 0434, 0435(HZ), 0436(HZ), 0439
SiJuND20052(EP/1981) plus 1 unidentified one
DF40491, 2020(Dl/1975,green)
WuJuBJ3120(BJ/1980) plus at least two others

Practical tips

At both JinhuaXi and Zhuji, there are excellent hotels integrated in the station buildings. Ask for a room with view onto the railway and you`ll be offered constant DF4 "noise" during the night. Especially JinhuaXi is impressive as freight trains in both directions accelerate when passing through the station. Additionally, the passenger locos waiting for their train tend to wait just below your hotel window...
Going to Pujiang by public transport, you should be aware, that the city Pujiang is some 30 km north-west of the station. The city next to Pujiang station is called Zhengjiawu!

JinWen Tielu 金温铁路, Jan 9th 2006

The JinWen Tielu operates the 251 km long single-track railway line between Jinhua and Wenzhou. Main depot is at Jinhua Nan. Some 4 km south of Jinhua Nan, the line reaches the first mountains and passes through pleasant hilly landscape for the next 15 kilometers. The scenic section ends at a village called Yecangba which can be reached by urban bus No.302 from Wuyi (passes in front of the station). Based on maps, the JinWen railway will be much more spectacular further south towards Wenzhou. At Wuyi station, we had some contact with the station`s police man who did not want us to take photos. Obviously, the police man never had had foreigners at his station who took pictures. He probably just did not know how to react...
All trains seen were hauled by DF4Bs, all in white-and-blue livery. During daylight, some 3 to 4 freight trains can be expected in each direction plus the numerous passenger trains. So, you are kept busy...
Note, that there is an additional passenger train Wenzhou-Jinhua-Wenzhou (neither advertised locally nor in the CNR timetable!!), that arrives at Jinhua around 09:00 and re-departs at 10:10 (train 5098). Wuyi can also be reached by express bus (every 15-30 minutes, 45 minutes travel time) from Jinhua bus terminal.


The DF8B and the DF12 both had white-and-blue JinWen livery, too. Both were seen at Jinhua Nan depot and did not move. Shunting at JinhuaNan was done by DF4 7402.

DF47401, 7402, 7619(Dl/1998), 7620(Dl/1998), 7621, 7624, 7625(Dl/1999), 7626, 9464(Zy/1998), 9465, 9466(Zy/1998), 9478, 9479, 9481, 9482(Zy/1998), 9490, 9492(Zy/2000), 9493(Zy/2000)

We left the area in the afternoon of Jan 10th by train N510 (orange DF4 2463 heading 13 double-deck coaches...).

In the morning of Jan 11th, we took Shanghai Airlines FM9171 (Shanghai Pudong PVG 08:30 - Harbin HRB 10:55, B757, 1230Y per person). The rest of the day was spent at Harbin SonghuaJiang Bridge (line to Qiqihar) and visiting the Ice Lantern Park before boarding the overnight train 4137 to Shuangyashan (which has been downgraded to a non-AC train!).

Shuangyashan, Jan 12th 2006

To our great pity, we had to learn that the Shuangyashan Coal Railway no longer uses DF1 (which had been our motivation to go there): the depot area at SYS contained one DF7, one GKD3B and three DF10Ds when we arrived there in the morning. Staff confirmed that DF1 operation ended back in 2004 when the first batch of DF10Ds was received.
In contrast to steamy days when the SYS area gave a very rundown impression, we were positively surprised. The station at Zhongxin for example has been renovated as well as the depot area. Additionally, coal traffic volume has increased considerably! A two hour period spent at Zhongxin station produced three empty and two loaded coal trains passing the station. Trains also were reasonably longer than previously with up to 35-40 wagons now. Some of them used DF10Ds double heading (empty trains) or had a DF10D banker (loaded trains). Passenger trains were seen as well (10:15 arr from Shuangxing, 10:30 arr from Fushan, both DF10D hauled, green YZ22 coaches). The three DF7s seen were much less intensively used than the DF10Ds. The GKD3B seems to belong to Shuangyashan Power Plant.

On CNR tracks, two Sifang built low-nose DF5 were pilots at SYS itself. Freight trains to Jiamusi mostly had DF4Cs - a contrast to last year when all trains to SYS had green DF4Bs. The orange DF4Bs on passenger service which had replaced the DFH3 some 2 or 3 years ago have been replaced by Sankeshu based DF4DKs now. Things change fast in China...


Shuangyashan KuangYaJiTuanDF70292(BJ/1995), 3046(BJ/1995), 3138(BJ/1997)
DF10D0030(Dl/2004), 0031(Dl/2004), 0032(Dl/2004), 0033(Dl/2004), 0034(Dl/2004), 0036(Dl/2004), 0037(Dl/2004), 0070, 0071(Dl/2005)
SYS PowerPlantGKD3B0004(Zy/2003)
CNR JiamusiDF4B1818(Dl/1990)
DF4C2004(Sf/1998), 4430(Dl/1997), 4449(Dl/1997), 5110(Zy/1997)
DF52006(Sf), 2007, 2015

As there were no longer any DF1s at SYS, we continued to Jixi by bus (13:40 ex SYS, using the expressway via Fulitun, Jiamusi, Huanan and Qitaihe, arrival Jixi at 18:05, 51Y/person).

Jixi, Jan 13th - Jan 15th 2006

The coal railway systems at Didao (Jan 13th, constant snowfall) and Chengzihe (Jan 14th, dusty, partly sunny) were visited. Jan 15th (snowfall again) was spent at the CNR main line between Jixi and Jixi Xi freight yard.

There is few to add to previous reports. Most important information obtained was that the Coal Mining Administration plans to replace its steam loco in winter 2006/2007. Compared to my visit last winter, the traffic volume at the Chengzihe system was somewhat lower but still worth the visit.


Jixi-DidaoSY0407, 0950, 1213
Jixi-ChengziheSY0590, 0733, 0863, 1018, 1058, 1351, 1437
CNRDF41218(MD,Dl/1986), 1263(MD,Dl/1986), 1735(HB,Dl/1990), 1924(MD,Dl/1991), 1966(MD), 1977(MD), 2123(San), 3795(MD,Zy/1993), 3799(MD,Zy/1993), 3807(MD,Zy/1993), 6490(MD), 9282(MD,Zy/1996), 9308(MD,Zy/1996), 9312(MD)
DF4D0508, 3019(San,Dl/2000), 3020(San,Dl/2000), 3091(San,Dl/2001), 3235(San), 3238(San), 3249(San,Dl/2002), 3302(San,Dl/2003), 3315(San), 3317(San)
DF51054(MD), 2055(MD,Sf/2003), 2057(MD), 2065(MD,Sf/2003), 2066(MD,Sf/2003), 2067(MD,Sf/2003)
DF80045(Qi/1990), 0050, 0066(Qi/1991), 0072, 0080(Qi/1993), 0086(Qi/1993), 0102, 0107, 0110(Qi/1994), 0112(Qi/1995), 0123(Qi/1995), 0133


A very successful tour. Especially the modern traction gricing in Yunnan and Zhejiang was most satisfiing as it allowed "my way" of gricing - going to the lineside, sit down and wait for trains passing by. Glorious days of steam are definitely over! It is time to switch to modern traction!


Many thanks to Thorge and Julien for their companionship and to Yuehong and Rob for their hospitality at Beijing.

Florian Menius
January 23rd 2006

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2006 Florian Menius,