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QJ 6650, not seen on 26/1, appeared LE on the afternoon 28/1, to visit No. 1 mine for coal. It returned and backed on to a train in Shenxi yard and then gradually receded eastwards from sight. It again went LE from the mine towards Tianzhuang yard at 08.45 on 30/1. I went by No 2 bus from the road that goes under the railway just west of the shed to where the railway crosses over the road just south west of No. 8 mine to photograph the incoming passenger train (8065) at 09.30. 6650 had got there first and was in a fire-cleaning siding to the west of the mine. It shunted a few empties onto a train already in the station and then disappeared with them to the east at 10.55. Do the ‘QJs’ from Yuzhou work trains only as far as here, with diesels then taking them directly to the CNR yard?
While in the area I went to Sipo. There is no sign of steam at the shed or steelworks. Everything is diesel.
In the past steam had been heard shunting to the west of PDS passenger station. A town map shows a line north west to some factories. Diesel 10D 0061 brought freight from this line to the CNR station yard at 17.50 on 28/1. I did not go to the factories to see if any steam remains.
Incidentally, two days later attempts at three bus stations in Zhengzhou failed to get a bus ticket to Yuzhou – not even advice to go to another bus station. So is this journey possible by public transport – or should I have been asking for Yuxian?
In 10/2005 there had been a steam crane ‘in steam’ on a nearby siding, adjacent to a pile of coal. Now, instead, there is a small conveyor-fed hopper above the track. There was no sigh of ash disposal or a water supply. I checked the siding; it is simply part of a turning triangle. The nearby riverside wharf sidings were shunted by diesels. One line, not explored, not used for a day or two, goes off from those sidings through a gate. Lines shown on the map between the station and the railway bridge over the river are just sidings, not needing a dedicated loco. So why erect the coaling hopper?
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© 2008 David Thomas