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Steam in China, January 2011

by Trevor Maxted

Sandaoling, Baiyin

Just back from a trip to Sandaoling and Baiyin, 09/01-24/01. BA flight LHR-PEK, Hainan Airlines to Urumqi and onward overnight train, K8782, to Hami (Kumul). We spent eight days at Sandaoling where things are very much as previous/recent reports but since our last visit, 2006, the coal trains now leave the pit chimney first and these are well worth recording. We had intended to visit Yamansu but due to a fair amount of snowfall we thought it would look like any other part of winter China covered in the white stuff and would not have realised the desired 'desert' type pictures.

JS 8368 exiting east pit (14/01/2011)

JS 8173 exiting east pit (14/01/2011)

JS 8081 exiting east pit late PM (14/01/2011)

Coal loader, JS 8081 evening departure (14/01/2011)

JS 8366 on surface mines working (15/01/2011)

JS 8173 at east station (16/01/2011)

After Sandaoling we took an overnight train, T296, Hami to Lanzhou and on to Baiyin by road. Baiyin was also as per recent reports with the DF7G diesel glued to the freight up to Shenbutong and the GKD1A diesel on trip/pilot work. The latter really is a pain as it seems to do the lions share of trip duties but there is still a reasonable amount of steam activity. Both passenger trains are still all steam but at this time of year only the PM ones are in reasonable daylight. SY in use were 0965, 1013, 1047, 1581, 1583 & 2008. SY 1470 was in works for a heavy overhaul. An evening flight from Lanzhou back to Beijing on the 23rd. We had variable weather, generally sunny but often with the usual haze and pollution, but it was very cold. Mornings usually started at -25C and reached to a peak of about -12C during the day. It was said to be the coldest winter there for more than 40 years! Well worth the effort but for how much longer?

SY 1047 in the depot (21/01/2011)

SY 1583 on return trip work (22/01/2011)

SY 1047 on PM passenger near Shenbutong (22/01/2011)

Trevor Maxted

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