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Steam in Shaanxi province - August 2008

by "TW"

Meijiaping

The author of this report has asked to remain anonymous

I am a Japanese who loves steam locomotives since 40 years.

There were the last JF-1 in Tongchuan, Shaanxi and it is currenty thought to be no live steam there. However, I was told from the travel agency in Xi'an that there are several steam in use in Tongchuan and told me to visit there to see.
I did not expect a lot, thinking maybe there were SY living in some coal mines. (I personally don't like class SY.)

On August 15, 2008, I went there with my son and the travel agent in his car from Xi'an. He insisted that we were sure to see some steam, possibly JS/QJ/SY!
Finally at the tar chemical factory (Meijiaping D.F.), we found a JS moving around.

JS 5098 (Single slide bar so presumably renumbered from JS 8xxx ? D.F.)
 

It is forbidden place to visit inside, however, we were lucky to enter into. (http://www.sxcoking.com/) Also, there was a SY 0363 in cold condition, maybe it is reserved for future replacement of some locomotives around there, they said.

The JS 5098 is thought to work to CNR station yard maybe 5-6 km away. (Note: JS 5094 seen here by Dave Habraken in August 2006 D.F.)
See http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/saab_kun/15244072.html for more pictures and Japanese text.

We went to the yard of CNR and found QJ 2698 was there! We were told that the QJ belongs to a Cement factory next to the Tar Chemical factory. It has no deflectors and dirty, but, I was so excited to see a real QJ during the Olympic period.

Unusual looking QJ 2698 (Similar looking QJ 2694 seen by Dave Habraken in August 2006 D.F.)
 

The number on the cabside is clear
 

See http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/saab_kun/15179412.html for more pictures and Japanese text.

After returning to Japan, I was informed from the travel agency that near Tongchuan area, there may be a lot of unknown coal mines and maybe JF(?) or QJ are still active somewhere.

I will visit again in autumn to find other precious live locomotives in Tongchuan, Shaanxi.

Subsequent to the above report "TW" has compared his pictures of JS 5098 and QJ 2698 with the pictures Dave Habraken took of JS 5094 and QJ 2694 in August 2006. He thinks the JS and QJ he saw are the same locomotives Dave saw but now renumbered. He thinks the final 8 indicates overhauls completed at Luoyang Works in 2008. The actual Luoyang overhaul dates on the tender frames are Jan 2008 for JS 5098 and Nov 2007 for QJ 2698.

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