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Steam in China - August, September 2012

by Isao Kanda

Guangyuan (Rongshan Coal Mine) Prison Railway, Hanwang, Shibanxi, Tiefa, Fuxin

Guangyuan (Rongshan Coal Mine) Prison Railway, August 25-26
We arrived at the Rongshan station at 6:45. On the station, two of Type C2 locomotive was preparing the departure, numbers 211 and 219.

There are three stations (see map by "Zebedee", A=First station, B=Second station, C=Terminal station). Second station is prison station. A coal mine is in the prison. There are two fixed scheduled trains per day. Trains are either a passenger train or a mixed train of a passenger train and coal wagons.

219 hauled a passenger train at 7:40. At 14:00 a train was "top and tailed" by the two C2. Train stopped in front of the prison station, the locomotive which was at the rear returned to Rongshan light engine. Coal wagons were left at the prison station. Only the passenger train goes to the third station.
The next day. 211 and 219 were up and running same as the previous day. In the standard guage depot, SY 1434 was stored. Two type C2 and two of the mystery electric (or diesel) locomotives were also stored.

There are no prisoners here now. So maybe only a question of time for the area to be open.

Guangyuan Rongshan Coal Mine Railway Vol.1

Guangyuan Rongshan Coal Mine Railway Vol.2

Guangyuan Rongshan Coal Mine Railway Vol.3

Hanwang Fertiliser Factory (Deyang Haohua Qingping Phosphate Rock Company), Aug 28
I went by bus to Hanwangzhen from Mianzhu. This area suffered the devastating Sichuan earthquake. However, it has been left as ruins as a memorial. I got off the bus and saw a SY across the crossing in the distance. Time was 8:25. I walked to the crossing. At 8:45 the SY came again pulling wagons, it was SY 1194. A freight train running between the collapsed buildings was a strange sight.
I thought you will take a different shot. I followed the railway track towards the factory. The locomotive was just 500 meters from the factory entrance. Number of trains per day is like a little though. Locomotive did not move and then waited until 15:30.

Hanwang Fertiliser Factory

Shibanxi Railway, August 29-30
I visited Shibanxi Railway. The line has progressed into tourism, but the splendor of this route is not changed. It has been done although with coal transportation is reduced. Passenger train was hauled by the loco No.9. The body has been painted green. After the initial set of passenger trains, transporting coal trains was one roundtrip at 7:30. Loco was No.8 of C2 marked with star on the front. Railway company is profitable, even if the development this area, there is no change, it remains a fun place.

How to enjoy Shibanxi Railway

Tiefa Coal Railway,September 2
I visited Tiefa Coal Railway. Lots of steam locomotive running around is a thing of the past. The only locomotive running was SY 1770, only one passenger train during the day. I tried driving the SY 1770. There is no need of a licence, to drive a steam locomotive is rare in the world.

Steam locomotive driving! (Tiefa Coal Railway)

Fuxin Coal Railway, September 3-5
The first day had been raining. Fly ash gets wet. I was not able to see the dust cloud from the fly ash tipping on any of the three days. Very bad weather and conditions. Running and moving locos were SY 0770, 1319, 1320, 1378, 1396 and 1460, six in all. Passenger trains seem to have finished.

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Isao Kanda (from Tokyo, Japan)

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2012 Isao Kanda