A Guide to Interpreting the Locomotive Lists

Each locomotive list contains the following data :


The locomotive number. In some cases the number actually carried on the locomotive may be slightly different to that shown here. Pre Liberation designs, including the JF, JF6 and SL6 classes built up to the late 1950s, generally didn't display the numeric suffix to the class name. For example JF6 3333 would have carried the number JF 3333 on the cabside.


The builders details. These are given where the information is known, i.e. Builder, Works Number, Date. Chinese built locomotives generally didn't have a works number on their plates.


The industrial sector the loco works in. In the case of locos on the national system this is shown as CNR. Otherwise it may be Local Railway, Coal, Steel, Chemical, Power, or Indust (other industrial use).

Bureau or Province

For CNR locos the owning bureau is shown. For local railways and industrials the province the loco works in is given.


The location where the loco worked. For CNR locos the official allocation was usually difficult to ascertain as few recorded these details. As a result, I've generally noted the area in which a loco worked, e.g. Baotou Area, rather than specific depot allocations such as Baotou Xi or Dong.


The status of the loco at the time of the sighting.

IS = In Service

Working engines although not necessarily in steam at the time.

OS = Out of Service

Non working engine but possibly only temporarily out of traffic, e.g. awaiting repairs or a works visit.

STR = Stored

A loco that may be out of service for a prolonged period but with precautions taken to protect it for future use, e.g. chimney capped and motion heavily greased.

DP = Dumped

An engine that has been laid aside with no intention of returning it to active service. These can often be distinguished by the lack of precautions taken to protect the motion, e.g. rusty slidebars.

DT = Derelict

A dumped engine that has deteriorated or has had parts robbed to the extent that it would be extremely difficult to return to service.

SCR = Scrapped

This generally applies to locos seen being cut up or that can be identified from scrap parts but can also include reports of scrapping from staff.

PR = Preserved

Preserved engines, including those plinthed, in museums or preserved in working order either in China or abroad.

UK = Unknown

Not used very often but can cover reports where there is insufficient information to make a judgement on what the status is.

First Seen & Last Seen

The first and last dates the loco was seen at that location and with that status.


Other relevant details.

No. Rpts

The number of reports, i.e. the number of times that loco was reported at that location with that status.