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The period was dominated by hot weather reaching up to 33-34 degrees celcius, several days cooled down a bit by a rain shower in the hours just after midday. So it was T-shirt and shorts all the time …
A problem was getting access to the trains, they were all very crowded. Compared to earlier trips during springtime where we got on the trains we wanted, this time we often had to catch a later train, which meant lots of wasted time. This was partly caused by the tremendous numbers of students travelling during this period.
Pleasant flight with SAS to Beijing and further on via Harbin – Mudanjiang to Jixi. Steam observed en route:
must be one of the busiest steam locations in the world today. In Beichang a steam movement often can be watched every 10 minutes! A good place to observe is at the crossings between Beichang, Dongchang and Nanchang where the lines create a triangle.
A top photo position is the large river bridge about three kilometres to the west, just before Jixi Xi. On the east bank there are huge hills which give you a brilliant view to the bridge with Jixi City in the distance. From Jixi Xi (interchange to the CNR) there are steam workings in the afternoon to the mine further west of the city. Trains can be heavy on this system; we saw one SY hauling up to 54 C62 cars with coal. It must be far more than 4.000 tonnes! We also saw P62 boxcars without roof top loaded with the black gold!
Locos seen here: SY 0237, 0590, 0733, 1058, 1344, 1351, 1437 (decorated) and 1544.
is good too. Five engines meet up in the morning sun at Hengshan West before leaving for the mines. But by far not so much activity as in Beichang; probably the best must be the incline to Zhongxin east of Hengshan. On June the 28^th we saw an SY with empties at 10:50 followed by another only 10 minutes later, banked. The day before only produced two light engines uphill at 8 o´clock and SY 1340 with empties 40 minutes later. Perhaps afternoons provide more? The line to the mine in Erchang to the north east was worked three times between 7 and 10 in the morning by SY 0898.
SY here: 0341, 0804, 0898, 1018, 1095, 1340 and 1369, all facing east.
on a very hot June 27^th : the north-eastern line to the power station was worked by a spoil train just after midday. Most action certainly around Didao Hebei with four engines in the afternoon, two of them working coal trains to the CNR-station.
SY here: 0407, 0950, 1205 and 1213, all facing west.
It was no problem getting around, it seems you can go where you want and everyone is friendly here. A great experience too was riding the workers train from the office building (dep. time 7:35) to the bottom of the mine, for free! This is not JiTong (yet?) The train consisted of SY 1256 and one YZ coach. The other train drove to the south of the mine area pulled by SY 1041. We watched another passenger arrive to the office building at 16:25 o’clock with SY 1256, 2 YZ and SY 1601. Most action are taking place in the mine itself; there are not so many trains to be seen on the lines east and west of the large pit.
8 SY were dumped on two tracks in a field east of the mine: SY 0614,
1689 and 1664 in one track and SY 1619, 0613, 1286, 1401 and 1663 on the
other. The last 3 still with coal in the tenders.
At the northern depot 3 SY were dumped, partly behind walls: 1126, 1234 and (difficult to identify!) 0056 with JF-style tender.
Working SY: 0682, 0794, 0795, 0867, 0957, 0958, 0959, 1041, 1119, 1193, 1240, 1256, 1257, 1258, 1284, 1285, 1287, 1303, 1371, 1375, 1376, 1416, 1424, 1448, 1449, 1450, 1496, 1586, 1587, 1601, 1617, 1618, 1654, 1678, 1681 and 1690.
SY 1416 looks great with large deflectors! 0957 is very handsome too, with brass boiler rings and other fittings. 1258 was newly painted.
There is a hotel about one kilometre to the south east from the railway station, but in order to get closer to the mine area we stayed in a small hotel-like apartment for 40 yuan a night; nice and clean room and very friendly people. It is situated some 3 kilometres west of the mine, close to the Zhalainur Police Department in the town.
Many freights are shunting in Lindong on the sidings there: boxcars, C62-cars with coal and yellow tank-cars for the petrochemical industry. Yard pilot in Chabuga is QJ 6991 without deflectors.
QJ´s in service: 6878, 6891, 6911, 6977, 6984, 6988, 6991, 6998, 7002, 7007, 7010, 7012, 7030, 7037, 7040, 7048, 7049, 7063, 7104, 7105, 7143, 7163 and 7164.
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