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Steam in China 2007

by Peter Munk

Pingdingshan

I travel on business several times each year to China. (I am a USA based engineer, I work for a company that manufactures industrial equipment, and I travel to China whenever a factory that has purchased our equipment needs some help to get it running properly.)

Last month I had business in Luoyang in Henan Province and after my work was completed I had time for a one day visit to the Pingdingshan Coal Railway. Here is a quick summary of my trip.

I visited Pingdingshan on June 22-23, 2007. I did not see any of the QJ's that have been reported here in the past, but a number of JS and SY locomotives are still active hauling coal from up to 10 mines scattered around this city.

I spent early morning at the Tianzhuang yard. Lots of activity up to about 9:30 AM with trains of empties being made up and sent out to the mines. Saw JS 6429, 8031, 8054, 8057, 8062, 8421 and Diesels 0060, 5121. All the 8000 series locos were built in 1987.

Mid-morning I moved West to the Shenxi yard. Saw JS 6225, 8031, 8057, 8068, 8120, and Diesel 0131. Number 8057 was pulling a long string of empties, the train was over 40 cars long. Number 8068 was pulling the morning passenger train from Shisankuang (10:20 AM arrival at Zhongxin). Crews were friendly, most waved and one crew invited me into the cab for a look around while waiting for their next move.

After lunch I headed further West to the passenger station at Zhongxin, where a large crowd of passengers was waiting to board two trains. The 1:30 PM West bound train to Hanzhuang was pulled by JS 8068. The 1:40 PM East bound train to Shisankuang was pulled tender-first by SY 1687. Six coaches and one express car on each train.



JS 8057 and JS 8120 at Shenxi yard



JS 8068 on passenger

My final stop was North of the city at Mine #1, not too much activity here, just JS 8122 shunting cars into sidings.

A general note -- all the engines I saw were facing West, so you will get your best photos in the afternoon. But you will see more activity in the morning.

With steam in decline throughout the country, it was great to visit a place with over 10 locos still in service, and still well-maintained.

Peter Munk

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2007 Peter Munk