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Steam Lines in China 2017
This is an active listing of lines that are known to still use steam or those that have recently stopped. The list does not claim to be exhaustive; only lines for which first hand reports or information have been received within the last six months are included. The main development in 2016 was the end of steam working at Fuxin in Liaoning province, leaving Sandaoling and the tourist line at Shibanxi as the only locations where multiple daily steam workings are the norm. Almost all remaining steam locomotives in regular service are now over 30 years old and nearing the end of their normal working lives and at most sites may be used for only a few hours each day or on an irregular basis. Up to date information, including confirmation of lines where working steam no longer exists, is always welcome, please send to the webmaster.
For information including maps, loco lists and links to trip reports on these and other lines prior to October 2014, please see the original Steam Lines page. For convenience, clicking the line's title will take you to the description and a list of the most recent relevant reports.
Sandaoling news (December 2016)
Fuxin steam working ended here on 31st August - see News
Fushun news (December 2016)
Pingzhuang news (December 2016)
Remaining Steam Lines
A December visitor found two locos in steam with one in use, the same position as reported in February 2016. For more details see reports by Harada Keisuke (March 2016), Michael Reilly (February 2016), Duncan Cotterill (November 2015) and John Athersuch (November 2015).
All steam working ended here on 31st August. Up to 5 SYs were in use to the very end. September visitors confirmed DF4DD diesels were handling all traffic.
This system has acquired 2 or possibly 3 DF4 diesels to handle all trip working to/from the China rail exchange sidings at Pingzhuang Nan. However, reliability problems have meant periodic returns to steam working and the exact situation varies on an almost daily basis. The most recent report, by Duncan Cotterill in November was of two SYs in steam daily, including on occasional trip workings to China Rail but December visitors found only one engine in steam and little or no activity.In February 2016, Ian Hopkins found just one SY in service.
Now that steam at Fuxin has ended, this is the most active remaining steam location with locos in daily use on coal trains from the open cast pit and for trains to the deep mines to the East. Up to four locos and fixed rakes provide a frequent and dramatic service from the open cast pit.
Up to 5 engines are in use around Nanzhan for shunting duties and coal traffic plus shunting between Nanzhan and Erjing / Yijing.
There have been a number of reports suggesting that steam working out of the open cast mine will finish by May 2017, possibly sooner. For the most recent reports see News for 27 December , 11 December and Duncan Cotterill's report of his visit in November 2016.
On his visit in March 2016, John Raby found plenty of activity with the tourist season in full swing with frequent excursion trains in addition to the scheduled weekday passenger trains in each direction.
There are two SYs based here with one in use at any one time, steamed on a daily basis to take wagons to and from the exchange sidings with CNR. A December visitor recorded the loco in use as SY1007 with the second one apparently dumped whereas in February Michael Reilly reported the opposite. See also John Athersuch's report of November 2015 .
SY1407 is normally in steam daily at JianJing colliery near Jiutai in Jilin province, approximately 40km NE of Changchun but sees use no more than 2-3 times weekly to take wagons to and from the CNR exchange sidings at Yingcheng, 4km away. The time of operation varies, presumably in accordance with CNR requirements. Another SY appears to being used as a source of spare parts. See the news report of 8 December, Michael Reilly's report of February 2016 and Peter Haworth's and John Athersuch's reports of September and November 2015.
Wujiu Coal Mine
Wujiu has one diesel (DF4DD) and 3 useable SYs: 1134, 1225 and 1546, only one of which is in use at any one time. Operation appears irregular. Actual and prospective visitors in February and May 2016 found no activity but November visitors have been more successful as evidenced by Duncan Cotterill in 2016 and John Athersuch in 2015.
The Xiyang Phosphate factory at Xifeng, north of Guiyang in Guizhou province has 3 SYs, one of which is in steam daily for occasional shunting in the yard and possibly for trip working to CNR exchange sidings although this normally appears to be handled by a diesel loco. Steam was last confirmed here in October 2015, when the loco in use was SY0434, which must be one of the oldest still in service.SY1169 is also reported to be here, the identity of the 3rd loco is at present not known.
Other possibilities and/or lines which have recenly ended steam working.
QJ 6652 has seen seasonal use in winters past at CRH depot in Xian as a stationary boiler.
Panzihua Steelworks, Sichuan
Chinese guide and enthusiast Zebedee stated in November 2014 that Panzihua steelworks in Sichuan province still has steam. But there have been no corroborating reports.
The last real train (a train hauling bricks and sand to seal up the mine at Yujiabian) ran at Rongshan on 9 November 2014 behind C2 219.
Just prior to closure, Peter Haworth found C2 211 and 219 both working hauling regular coal trains.
In past years the mine system here has organised a steam festival every January and at least one SY remains available for charter at modest rates but there is no "regular" traffic.
If you have information about these or any other surviving steam operations, please let the SY-Country webmaster know:
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© 2005, F.Menius, 2007 Dave Fielding, 2014, Trustees of SY-Country.