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Steam in China, November 2007

by Greg Howell

Xingyang, Yinghao

XingYang Brickworks Railway

This was my 5th attempt to see XingYang (XY) in operation and was an opportunity over a weekend on a business trip to Shanghai.  CNN long range weather report was initially for full sun but this deteriorated to mainly cloudy but dry as soon as I booked my flights.


My office phoned the railway (tel. 0371 6466 1065) and they confirmed that they were operating and would continue through the weekend.  I booked my flights from Shanghai HongQiao to Zhengzhou (ZZ) (19.45/21.30 & 19.00/20.30) but had to come back 1st Class as Economy was full (Y710 out, Y1350 rtn.


Arranged taxi to XY with a 06.00 pick-up.


Saturday 10 November    Foggy ? hazy sun.


Driver waiting at 06.00 but it was lightly raining but I optimistically thought that the rain might improve the visibility!  Took 45 mins to get to XY shed with a diversion along a potholed country lane.


As reported by others but never previously experienced by myself, #207 was in steam at the stabling point and a rake of 26 wagons was waiting on the mainline.  The rain had stopped but was replaced by thick gloop.


Turn around times are 15 minutes @ LP and 10 minutes @ brickworks.

Loco hauls into Brickworks #1, reverses and then fly shunts the empties.

Loco propels into Brickworks #3 having fly shunted at the stabling point.


The new Loading Point is in use but there are tall trees that have blocked the departure shot from the LuoYang Road and they also affect afternoon shots from the road and up  the erosion gully beyond.


07.25  Empties #1  Set off to loading point (LP)
08.42  Fulls #1  Fishponds Viaduct (FPV)
09.13  E#2  dep Unloading Point #3 (far brickworks)
10.50  E#3  arr LP
11.45  Empties  at Stabling Point.  Lunch break & take water.
  Nightmare lunch as taxi driver takes ages to find café and get us food.
13.05  F#4  FPV
13.20  F#4  Unloading at UP #1

13.25  E#5  dep UP #1
14.08  F#5  FPV
  3 front wagons derail on the points for UP #2, including 1 wagon on its side. Loco stayed on rails and ok.
  Bulldozer from Brickworks #2 lifted wagons back onto track and they were hand propelled into the works for repair.
15.50  F#5  Operation restarted with 23 wagons being propelled to Brickworks #3.
????  E#6  dep for LP


I departed for XY before Fulls #6 returned.


Sunday 11 November    High cloud, some hazy sun.  7° - 20°C.


07.15  E#1  dep SP
08.25  F#1  FPV
09.05  E#2  FPV
09.38  F#2  FPV
10.10  E#3  FPV
10.45  F#3  FPV
11.10  E#4  dep UP #3
11.50  F#4  FPV
????  F#4  Unload at UP #1
12.10  Lunchtime and the driver was off on his bike while the fly shunted empties were still slowing down!
13.12  F#5  dep LP
13.32  F#5  pass UP #1
13.54  E#6  pass UP #1
14.50  F#6  pass summit, nr UP #1


After unloading at UP #3, #207 returned to the Stabling Point to take water and coal dust.
New crew (loco and brakes persons) took over and headed off to the Loading Point for a claimed second shift of 6 trips.


15.00  E#7  dep SP


Met Lai YaFei, a Chinese gricer, at the stabling point who had come out on his moped from ZZ to photograph the steam action.


I have found some Chinese characters in my notes that I presume Mr Lai added regarding the locos, again assuming it relates to the Chinese characters on the cabsides (?) :



Does anyone understand the significance of these notes?


Dep XingYang at 15.45 and go via ZZ centre to fill up with LPG.  Get caught in traffic and get to ZZ airport at 17.35.



YingHao Railway


My office telephoned the railway (tel 0389-4733 911) and they said that they were not operating but no reason was given; however, the railway did say that they would operate a train for me if I wanted.  I did not take them up on the offer.



Chinese Films


I was given a copy of That’s Shanghai magazine in my Shanghai hotel and it included 2 film reviews that caught my eye :


q       The Sun Also Rises (Jiang Wen)  The article featured a silhouette of a SY & JS :


      I obtained the DVD and the closing sequence involves a night shot with photo floods of the SY+JS hauling a rake of brake vans, followed by the sunrise silhouette sequence.


q       SanLiDong (Lin Xin)  The review featured a cameraman set up in a coal mine railway yard :


      The film appears to have been filmed at Tongchuan; however, my office was unable to locate a DVD of the film.



G Howell



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