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YELLOW RIVER STEAM - March 2008

by Peter Semmelroch

Baotou, Baiyin and Liujiaxia

Baotou Steelworks 7.-8.03.08

Compared to my last visit in Nov 2006 steam activity has been considerably reduced: The raw material supply yard for the blast furnaces 1, 2 and 3 is now served by 2 brand-new GK1C diesels. The slag tipping of the steelworks slag (not the iron slag from the blast furnaces) is now done by GK0 or GK1 diesels (this slag tip is adjacent to the rolling mill yard). The rolling mill yard that used to be steam shunted itself was not visited, as well as the stabling point that used to be there. Slag trains at blast furnaces 1-3 and slag tipping are still steam. New blast furnace 5 is now working and is completely diesel as is and was blast furnace 4 already.

Their working steam fleet is down to 12 or 13 locos:
SY 1293
SY 1431
SY 1517
SY 1631 (decorated)
SY 1676 (under heavy overhaul in the works)
SY 1677
SY 1696
SY 1697 (not confirmed to be still there as it was not seen, but should be still around maybe at the rolling mill yard)
SY 1723
SY 1727
SY 1731
SY 1743
SY 1748

Dumped in the depot are now:
SY 1518
SY 1521
SY 1719
SY 2015
And also still:
YJ 232
JS 58001
ET7 5328
ET7 5332

SY 1725 reported in Baotou in Nov. 2006 is thought to be a false identification.
The loco possibly has never been there.

The following locos dumped in Nov. 2006, have vanished, obviously being scrapped:
SY 0422
SY 0710
SY 0824
SY 3012

Of the 11 locos seen under steam 4 are on standby in the main depot any time, while 1 is on standby at the stabling point for the slag tipping, so only 6 are working at a time.

Baotou Steel claims to end steam until end of 2008, which might be possible, also I doubt it. Possibly steam is only on standby after that, at least SY 1676 is under overhaul at the moment.

Baiyin 9.-11.03.08

Not much change to report compared with Nov.2006, trains run basically as usual.
Locos seen:
SY 0135, SY 0139, SY 0194, JS 8021 remain derelict in a locked yard besides the depot.
Two or three further unidentified JS remain derelict in a yard nearby.
In the scrap line behind the shed are now SY 0150 (ex. Yaojie railway!), SY 0819 and SY 1097 (also ex Yaojie railway!)
SY 0612, SY 2008 were in the shed for minor repairs while SY 1583 was under heavy overhaul.
SY 0965, SY 1013, SY 1047, SY 1470, SY 1581 and at least one further unidentified SY (working the copper smelter slag train) were in steam and working.

Not seen were SY 0206, SY 1067 and SY 1597.

SY 0888 belonging to another nearby works was also visiting the depot for some maintenance.

Liujiaxia 11.03.-12.03.08

Still 4 JS around:
JS 8223 and JS 8226 also disguised as 8223 were in steam and working.
JS 8227 was cold in the shed receiving maintenance and is still workable, while JS 8352 was locked away in another compound. It is not clear whether this loco is still operational.
JS 8226 had been recently overhauled (2007.07), but it is not clear where this has happened (Tianshui?, Baiyin?).
A first GK2 diesel is due to arrive in April, but no further diesels are planned for 2008 and they claimed to need 3 diesels to replace steam completely as freight levels from Gucheng to the chemical plant, into Liujiaxia and on the line along the Yellow river to Shaoxuan/Shangpo continue to require two working locos at a time, although all pass service has been suspended as reported before.

PS 15.03.08

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2008 Peter Semmelroch