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Steam Lines in China 2018

The run down in working steam in China continues and as of January 2018 only four lines are known for certain to still use steam on a regular basis. One other line is also thought to still use steam but no reports have been received for 12 months, while a further site holds an annual 'steam festival,' usually in January and 2018 may see the start of scheduled steam operations on a new tourist railway in Henan province. The coal mine at Sandaoling and the tourist line at Shibanxi are the only locations where multiple daily steam workings are the norm. At other locations steam may be used for only a few hours each day or on an irregular basis. Operations at Sandaoling are now thought likely to continue until 2020 but apart from Shibanxi, continued steam operations elsewhere could end without notice. 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.

Latest updates:

Sandaoling news (December 2017)

Remaining Steam Lines


This is by far the most active remaining steam location with 8 locos in daily use, four on coal trains from the open cast pit and another four for around Nanzhan for shunting duties and coal traffic plus shunting between Nanzhan and Erjing/Yijing. According to a December 2017 report, 2 further locos are likely to be overhauled and returnd to service in 2018 and steam operations are now thought likely to continue until the projected closure of the open cast mine in late 2020.

For the most recent reports see News for 23 December and Duncan Cotterill's report of his visit in December 2017.


On his visit in March 2017, John Raby found plenty of activity with the tourist season in full swing and 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 2016 visitor recorded the loco in use as SY1007 with the second one apparently dumped. 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 1st November and Michael Reilly's report of February 2016.

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, with visitors in November and December 2017 reporting days with little or no activity. See Duncan Cotterill's and Martn B0chnig's reports from November and December 2017 respectively.

Other possibilities and/or lines which may have recently ended steam working.

(Diaobingshan) Tiefa

The system here organises a steam festival over an extended weekend every January. That for 2018 was due to be held from 19th - 21st January with 2 SYs and the systems' KD6 in use. At least one SY also remains available for charter at modest rates but there is no "regular" traffic.

Yujian (ChaoQi)

Scheduled steam hauled trains on this newly opened tourist line in Henan province may start in 2018. See News for 18 June 2017.


A December 2017 report stated all steam here finished earlier in the year


Steam working at the Xiyang Phosphate factory at Xifeng, north of Guiyang in Guizhou province, ended in early 2017. See Martn B0chnig's report from December 2017.


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.

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.