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GBP 1.00 = CNY 14.5


XingYang Brickworks Railway             Early mist, then faint sun. 13 – 20degC


I opted for a re-visit to XingYang.  My first trip in Mar 03 found the railway not working.  My second attempt in Mar 05 was aborted when the railway was telephoned and they informed my office that they had an extended closure around the Chinese New Year.  This visit, my third attempt, had to be blind because the railway’s telephone number was unobtainable - it transpired that all Zhengzhou numbers now have an additional digit – note new tel no. 0371 6466 1065.


Flew ShanghaiZhenghou (1705-1850) for Y950 (Y1900 return) and travelled to the Holiday Inn by their free courtesy minibus.  They booked me a taxi for a 0600 start.  35 minutes to XingYang.  The roads have completely changed since my 2003 visit and Rob Dickinson will be pleased that he can now walk directly to the shed as there is a new main road south being constructed southwards from the road underpass west of the CNR station which crosses the railway at the workshop entrance!


Unfortunately, #07 was slightly warm on the outside siding coupled to a flat wagon and another loco (presumably #207) was inside the locked workshops.  The track between the shed and the brickworks was blocked by concrete sleepers to protect the concrete of the new level crossing.  Both rakes of empty tippler wagons were at the other end of the railway, at the newer loading point on the western side of the line and their wheels were rusty; however, the track nearer the road tunnel appeared used and there was evidence of some superficial re-ballasting.


My guess is that laying the concrete level crossing over the new road caused the railway to stop transporting clay but they took the opportunity to carry out track improvements.  The workshop gatekeeper said that the railway would resume at 0700 on Monday but I could not find out whether the operation would be one flat wagon for re-ballasting or full clay trains.


Thus, Plan C was put into operation which necessitated checking-out of the Holiday before re-directing my taxi to PingDingShan  The route is now by expressway to the outskirts of PDS and it only took 2 hours at 120kph.


Pingdingshan              Hazy sun.


SY        1209, 1687

JS        6225 (overhaul), 6253, 6421, 6429, 6786, 8030 (overhaul), 8031, 8054, 8057, 8062, 8065, 8068, 8120, 8122, 8338, 8421

QJ        6450, 6539 oou, 6813 oou

Diesels 0003, 0006, 0020, 0021, 0087, 0088, 5121


Saturday pm


Hotel car for 4h @ Y150.  Shed at ZhongKu accessed through main gate without problems, then Tianzhuang yard, QiLIDian and Mine 13.  Train #306 dep Mine 13 at 1700 behind SY1209 at last light.  Only chimney first photo was crossing the river bridge but is heavily downhill, as most of the branch appears to be.  Train beat the car to QiLiDian where JS+empties and JS+fulls were waiting.




Was refused access to ZhongKu shed through the main gate but there was no problem down the track from Tianzhuang yard.  The yard was relatively empty by 0730 but refilled again after 0800.  JS6225 and 8030 were in the works – 6225 had the superheater removed and for boiler work and 8030 was fully stripped.


JS8068 on  #105 Psr. The washery adjacent to Tianzhuang yard was shunted by JS & 0088 on fulls/empties






I did investigate the potential for a long weekend visit to Zhalainouer.  Flights from Beijing to Manzhouli were: M, W F, Su, 0805-1015.  The return flights were also M, W, F, Su, 1050-1300.  Hence, although it is much quicker to transfer from Manzhouli than Haerbin or Hailar, the non-daily flights precluded a visit being squeezed into a business trip.


Internal flights


It is always difficult to find accurate and up-to-date timetables for internal flights in China.  The office in China use http://www.english.ctrip.com/ which gives the same flights as were provided to a Chinese colleague by a travel agency for Beijing-Manzhouli.





G Howell