updated : 2016/07/16
50 photos
Baiyin Mineral Railway

Baiyin Mineral Railway

The Baiyin Non-Ferrous Metals Company operates a number of mines and smelters in the Baiyin area of Gansu Province in northwestern China, producing copper, aluminium and other metals. The complex is served by a network of railways that extends into the mountains to the north and used a small fleet of SYs to work ore, chemical and passenger trains. Diesels arrived in early 2010 and steam finished in late 2015.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/11
6 photos
Baotou Steelworks

Baotou Steelworks

The steelworks at Baotou used a variety of steam locomotives including classes YJ, ET7, JF, JS and SY. Steam lasted until the end of 2008 but by then only the SY were in use. These pictures date from early 2008.
v : T000
updated : 2017/03/09
32 photos
Beijing Bureau : Beijing City

Beijing Bureau : Beijing City

China's capital city dispatches trains to all corners of this vast country, worked by a great variety of classes. Photography isn't easy but there are a few good vantage points, including one that overlooks the exit from the main station.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/10
12 photos
Beijing Bureau : Beijing - Longhua

Beijing Bureau : Beijing - Longhua

The Longhua line is part of a direct Beijing - Chifeng - Tongliao route built in the 1970s and opened in 1981. It has many long tunnels and may well have been diesel worked from the start. There's some excellent scenery on the Beijing - Longhua section as can be seen from the images here.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/10
10 photos
Beijing Bureau : Beijing - Taiyuan line

Beijing Bureau : Beijing - Taiyuan line

The line from Beijing to Taiyuan has to cross a range of mountains immediately west of Beijing and does so by following the spectacular Juma River Valley. Bridges, tunnels and superb photo locations abound, particularly around Shidu, a small resort town popular with the locals. These photos were taken in Autumn 2006 and features locos of classes DF4C, DF4D and the rare twin-unit BJs.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/10
8 photos
Beijing Bureau : Chengde - Miyun

Beijing Bureau : Chengde - Miyun

The line from Chengde to Miyun, near Beijing wasn't particularly busy but it was very scenic and most freight remained steam worked until the mid 1990s. Only a short drive from Beijing Airport, it was the ideal first destination after arriving in the country. This gallery only contains diesels at the moment.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/10
6 photos
Beijing Bureau : DaQin Coal Line

Beijing Bureau : DaQin Coal Line

This line was built in the late 1980s to transport coal from the Datong coalfield to the port of Qinhuangdao, east of Beijing. In order to avoid the Beijing metropolitan area, it runs through the mountains north of the capital utilising a succession of bridges and tunnels to conquer the difficult terrain. Trains are heavy, frequent and electrically hauled by class SS4G locomotives.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/16
4 photos
Beijing Railway Museum

Beijing Railway Museum

The Beijing Railway Museum houses a large collection of steam, diesel and electric locomotives together with some other rolling stock. Many of the locomotives seem to have been selected for being unusual, either prototypes or of historical significance, rather than being typical examples of the classes that powered China's recent development but it's still a fascinating place to visit.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/11
4 photos
Beipiao Mining Railway

Beipiao Mining Railway

The Beipiao Mining Railway was a relatively quiet affair serving a number of mines spread over a wide area of countryside around the town of the same name. By the time we arrived in late 2010, the first diesel had arrived and was handling most, but not all, of the traffic.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/11
29 photos
Beitai Steelworks

Beitai Steelworks

Steam lasted longer at Beitai than any other large steelworks but access was difficult. For a short period around 2011 it was possible to get official permission to visit, but at a high price. It was worth it though, and not just for the SYs. Steam finished when the old furnaces closed around a year later.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/11
5 photos
Benxi Steelworks

Benxi Steelworks

Benxi Steelworks still used a number of unusual steam locomotives in 1992, including XK2 class 0-6-0 tanks, built to USATC order during WWII. The gallery includes an electric and an unusual diesel as well.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/11
6 photos
Dahuichang Limestone Railway

Dahuichang Limestone Railway

The last place you would expect to find a steam worked narrow gauge railway is Beijing, China's bustling modern capital. However, only a short distance from the glass and steel towers of the city, diminutive C2 class 0-8-0s shuttled back and forth, hauling trains of tubs between the quarry and the limestone plant at Dahuichang. The line closed in 2005.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/11
4 photos
Dayan Mining Railway

Dayan Mining Railway

Dayan lies in the far north-east of Inner Mongolia, east of Haila'er, and is the location of a number of coal mines and a power station, all linked by a railway system. The line was totally steam worked until 2006 when the first diesels arrived.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/11
9 photos
Fula'erji Industrial Railways

Fula'erji Industrial Railways

Fula’erji is an industrial town on the Nenjiang (Nen River) about 30 km south-west of Qiqiha’er and is home to a number of large industrial plants, several of which have their own rail systems. This gallery contains pictures of the smart JS class locos that used to work at the No.2 Power Station and the scruffy SY class at the Heilongjiang Chemical Plant.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/06
24 photos
Fushun Mining Railway

Fushun Mining Railway

The opencast mine at Fushun was developed in the early years of the 20th Century and is served by an extensive electrified rail system. These pictures were taken on four trips over a period of almost 30 years, from 1984 to 2013, and show various classes of locomotive including a KD6 2-8-0, four different types of electric loco and, unusually for China, EMUs.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/06
74 photos
Fuxin Mining Railway

Fuxin Mining Railway

Fuxin has been a major coal mining centre for many years but the industry is now in decline and several mines have closed, robbing the railway of much of its traffic. The extensive electric system has largely closed and the remnants have been dewired. Remaining traffic is mainly steam worked, albeit with reduced volumes and a couple of diesels in use. The passenger service ceased in mid 2012.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/11
6 photos
Gongwusu Mining Railway

Gongwusu Mining Railway

Gongwusu is located in western Inner Mongolia, near the border with Ninxia and well off the beaten track. Hardly surprising that it wasn't discovered until 2007 and has seen few western visitors. It's not very busy and got by with one working engine most of the time. However, there were a few pleasant locations for those who were patient enough to wait for some action.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/11
21 photos
Harbin Bureau : Bei'an Area

Harbin Bureau : Bei'an Area

Bei'an is off the beaten track in the north of Heilongjiang but in 1999 it was one of the last strongholds of main line steam with some very well looked after QJ and JS. In 2008 it was the Heihe Local Railway's DFs that attracted me back only to find that they had recently been replaced by DF4s.
v : T000
updated : 2017/03/09
4 photos
Harbin Bureau : Haila'er Area

Harbin Bureau : Haila'er Area

This gallery covers lines in the northernmost part of Inner Mongolia, which is actually the northernmost part of China, bordering Siberia and with a climate to match. The pictures here were taken during visits to industrial lines in the area long after the end of main line steam working and feature a range of diesel classes.
v : T000
updated : 2016/09/27
24 photos
Harbin Bureau : Harbin Area

Harbin Bureau : Harbin Area

Harbin is the capital of Heilongjiang Province and one of the main rail centres in north-east China. It's famous for its cold clear winters with temperatures of 20 below being quite common. in the mid-1980s steam worked everything apart from a few expresses but the diesels soon took over much of the freight. This gallery contains pictures taken in the 1980s and in 2006.
v : T000
updated : 2016/09/27
5 photos
Harbin Bureau : Jiamusi Area

Harbin Bureau : Jiamusi Area

Jiamusi is a railway junction in the far north-east of China, close to the Russian border. In the late 1980s the depot provided QJ Class 2-10-2s to work coal trains and RM Class 4-6-2s to work many passengers. These photos were taken in 1988.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/17
20 photos
Harbin Bureau : Mudanjiang Area

Harbin Bureau : Mudanjiang Area

This gallery contains pictures taken in the Mudanjiang and Jixi areas in south-eastern Heilongjiang. Freight traffic is dominated by coal from mines in the Jixi area, which travels through Mudanjiang on its way to Harbin or beyond. In the early 1990s QJs were dominant but their place was later taken by the distinctive DF8 Class diesels and different varieties of DF4..
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/12
7 photos
Hegang Mining Railway

Hegang Mining Railway

Hegang is another town that's been a major mining centre for many years and is now in decline. Much of the system is electrified but a significant proportion of traffic was hauled by SY class 2-8-2s. These pictures were taken on a short visit to the depot at Hegang in 2005 and a longer stay in March 2007, just before steam gave way to diesels.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/11
6 photos
Heihe Local Railway

Heihe Local Railway

The Heihe Local Railway was set up in the 1990s to build and operate a standard gauge line between Longzhen and Heihe in northern Heilongjiang. The line started with a fleet of second-hand DF Class diesels and was one of the last places these could be seen in use. By 2008 they had been replaced by brand new DF4Bs.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/14
46 photos
Huanan Forestry Railway

Huanan Forestry Railway

Unusually for a forestry railway, this narrow gauge line in north-eastern Heilongjiang handled very little timber. The reason for its continued existence was coal mined at a remote spot in the hills. It was a fabulous line that ran through a variety of landscapes including a hill section where loaded trains were banked. Frequent closures and chronically unreliable engines towards the end meant it wasn’t an easy line to photograph but it was one of the most rewarding. Closure finally came in April 2011.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/08
4 photos
JiTong Rly : Tongliao-Chabuga

JiTong Rly : Tongliao-Chabuga

The easternmost section of the JiTong line was flat and uninteresting for most of its 188km but the final 19km from Fuxindi to Chabuga involved a serious climb in decent scenery. By late 2003 five DF4s hired from China Rail were handling most of the traffic and steam was eliminated shortly afterwards.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/08
72 photos
JiTong Rly : Chabuga-Daban

JiTong Rly : Chabuga-Daban

The 155km section east from Daban to Chabuga had the honour of being the world's last steam worked main line, finally succumbing to diesels in late 2005. What a superb line it was, with wide open spaces, distant mountains, long inclines and no shortage of excellent photo positions.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/08
12 photos
JiTong Rly : Daban Depot

JiTong Rly : Daban Depot

Daban was one of three depots on the JiTong line and was responsible for around half the line's fleet of approximately 100 QJ 2-10-2s.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/08
108 photos
JiTong Rly : Daban-Haoluku

JiTong Rly : Daban-Haoluku

The 204km section from Daban to Haoluku included the climb over Jingpeng Pass, 50km of steep gradients, horseshoe curves, tunnels and bridges taking the line over the Dahinggang Mountains. It was a photographic paradise, particularly in later years when traffic levels increased. The first diesels arrived in late 2004 and steam working had finished by early 2005.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/12
64 photos
Jixi Chengzihe Mining Railway

Jixi Chengzihe Mining Railway

Chengzihe was the busiest of the Jixi mine railways with plenty of steam action and some of the best industrial backdrops in China. One of the photographic highlights was the morning shift change at Dongchang when the line's SYs gathered in the yard around 8 o'clock. Electrification work started in 2010 and was completed in 2012.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/12
36 photos
Jixi Didao Mining Railway

Jixi Didao Mining Railway

The Didao system is a compact coal mining operation located north-west of Jixi and is centred on the washery at Didao Hebei. Much of the steam action was tender first but it was possible to find chimney first workings and impressive industrial backdrops. Didao dieselised in Autumn 2010.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/17
8 photos
Jixi Donghai Mining Railway

Jixi Donghai Mining Railway

Donghai is the smallest of the JIxi systems serving a single mine, Donghaikuang, east of Jixi. It does have a long connecting line to CNR but chimney first trains were downhill. The line dieselised in 2010.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/12
12 photos
Jixi Hengshan Mining Railway

Jixi Hengshan Mining Railway

Hengshan was the second busiest of the Jixi systems and featured a steeply graded "main line" between Xinhengshan and Zhongxin as well as a long rural line to Zhangxin. It was also the first system to get diesels.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/12
15 photos
Jixi Lishu Mining Railway

Jixi Lishu Mining Railway

Of the five steam worked systems in the Jixi area, Lishu was probably the most scenic and almost certainly the least productive. Lishu's mines are located in beautiful hilly country well away from the city so when the SYs did venture out, there were some excellent photo opportunities. Qikeng mine closed in 2008 and the line dieselised in 2010.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/08
9 photos
Lanzhou Bureau : Baiyin Area

Lanzhou Bureau : Baiyin Area

Baiyin is home to an interesting industrial railway system connected to a long branch that leaves the Lanzhou - Zhongwei main line at Baiyin Xi and runs east for 114km to Honghui. These pictures of diesel hauled trains on the branch were taken during gaps in traffic on the industrial railway.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/08
19 photos
Lanzhou Bureau : Lanzhou-Wuweinan

Lanzhou Bureau : Lanzhou-Wuweinan

The line from Lanzhou to Wuweinan was on the main route linking Xinjiang to the rest of China and carried heavy traffic. Southbound trains faced a 50km climb at 1 in 50 to Wushaoling summit, almost 10,000ft above sea level. The line was electrified in the early 1990s and the summit section closed after a base tunnel was opened in 2006. This gallery contains images from the steam era and of the new line in 2006.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/13
8 photos
Meihekou Mining Railway

Meihekou Mining Railway

The Meihekou Mining Railway served a handful of deep mines south of the town of the same name, connecting to the national railways at Heitoushan. SYs handled most of the traffic but by 2005 there was also a DFH5 diesel in use. Steam finished around 2009.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/13
20 photos
Nanpiao Mining Railway

Nanpiao Mining Railway

The Nanpiao Mining Railway is a Y shaped system in the hills west of JInzhou. It used a small fleet of SYs but acquired some second hand BJ diesels in 2003 and later got some DF5s. The last steam locos lasted until 2010.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/13
24 photos
Pingdingshan Mining Railway

Pingdingshan Mining Railway

The Pingdingshan Mining Railway is an extensive system serving a number of modern coal mines around Pingdingshan and Baofeng in central Henan. The line was unusual in using JS, QJ and SY classes on heavy trains. The first diesels arrived in 2004 but steam lasted until 2009 on the long line north to Yuzhou.
v : T000
updated : 2017/03/09
32 photos
Pingzhuang Mining Railway

Pingzhuang Mining Railway

Pingzhuang was home to an extensive mining railway serving five deep coal mines and an opencast pit. The opencast electric system closed a few years ago and the deep mine system got a pair of diesels at the end of 2013 but the small fleet of SY class 2-8-2s still venture out from time to time. Traffic levels weren’t high but it was possible to get some good shots.
v : T000
updated : 2017/03/10
227 photos
Sandaoling Mining Railway

Sandaoling Mining Railway

Sandaoling, near Hami in the remote north-western province of Xinjiang, is home to the last steam worked opencast mine railway in the world. Rail operations within the pit are now much reduced and there are some diesels on surface duties but Sandaoling still has more working steam locos than anywhere else. Some SYs were in use a few years ago but the active steam fleet now consists entirely of JS class 2-8-2s.
v : T000
updated : 2016/09/27
24 photos
Shenyang Bureau : Changchun Area

Shenyang Bureau : Changchun Area

Changchun is one of north-east China's major rail centres, where the north-south main line from Harbin to Shenyang meets the secondary main line from Jilin and the route to Baicheng. In the mid 1980s it was a steam fan's paradise with QJs on freight, SL and RM Pacifics on secondary passengers and JFs on the shunts. It wasn't long before the diesels took over.
v : T000
updated : 2016/09/27
24 photos
Shenyang Bureau : Jilin Area

Shenyang Bureau : Jilin Area

Jilin was home to the last SL6 Pacifics and had some of the newest QJs on freight, a great place to visit in the late 1980s.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/16
13 photos
Shenyang Bureau : Shenyang Area

Shenyang Bureau : Shenyang Area

Shenyang is at the junction of three major rail routes, south-west to Beijing, south to Dalian and north to Harbin, as well as secondary lines to Fuxin, Dandong and Jilin. It was very busy for both passenger and freight traffic and steam lasted until the late 1990s although the best of it had gone five years earlier.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/16
18 photos
Shenyang Bureau : Tonghua Area

Shenyang Bureau : Tonghua Area

The network of lines around Tonghua was built to take Chinese coal and minerals to the Korean ports to fuel Japan's war effort. This is a very attractive part of China with wooded hills threaded by picturesque river valleys and provided the perfect setting to photograph steam locos in the 1990s and diesels a decade later.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/17
7 photos
Shenyang Railway Museum

Shenyang Railway Museum

The Shenyang Railway Museum was established at Sujiatun in the early 1980s and contains a more interesting selection of locomotives than its counterpart at Beijing. The collection includes SL7 and SL8 streamlined Pacifics, a 3-cylinder JF2 and, dating from the earliest years of the South Manchurian Railways, a DB1 2-6-4T and PL1 2-6-2. The most unusual thing of all is that it's a museum that doesn't welcome visitors, particularly foreign visitors.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/14
23 photos
Shibanxi (BaShi) Railway

Shibanxi (BaShi) Railway

This isolated narrow gauge operation was an absolute delight. Superb scenery, steep gradients, dilapidated rolling stock and friendly locals. All it needed was some sunshine to bring it to life but this part of Sichuan experiences more cloudy, wet weather than Manchester. Fortunately the clouds do break occasionally. Since our visit in 2007, the line has become a tourist attraction, losing much of its appeal in the process.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/13
11 photos
Tiefa (Diaobingshan) Mining Railway

Tiefa (Diaobingshan) Mining Railway

This busy operation links several large coal mines in the Diaobingshan area, north west of Shenyang and was 100% steam worked until 2004. Most of the passengers were still worked by SYs until recently. The area is largely flat and infested with concrete poles, making conventional photography difficult. However, at sunrise and sunset, it came into its own.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/13
6 photos
Tongchuan Mining Railway

Tongchuan Mining Railway

The Tongchuan line was unique for keeping JF class 2-8-2s in service until the end of 2004, long after the rest of the class had been withdrawn. It was a very scenic line that climbed to mines high into the hills making the old locos work for their living. Unfortunately the weather around Tongchuan was notoriously bad with poor visibility being normal for most of the winter. The line is now totally diesel worked.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/14
10 photos
Weihe Forestry Railway

Weihe Forestry Railway

A vast network of 2'6" gauge lines was built to exploit the forestry resources of Manchuria but in recent years most have closed as logging operations have been scaled down. The Weihe Forestry Railway was one of the last to use steam traction and finally closed in March 2003. These photos were taken a couple of weeks earlier when the railway was still very busy.
v : T000
updated : 2017/03/09
4 photos
Wujiu Mining Railway

Wujiu Mining Railway

Wujiu is located in the far north of Inner Mongolia, 60km north-east of Yakeshi. The railway serves four deep mines but only one was loading coal during our Nov 2016 visit, and not very much coal either. Steam is used for work around the mines but a diesel handles transfers to/from the main line connection at Meitian.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/13
12 photos
Yaojie Industrial Railways

Yaojie Industrial Railways

The mining town of Yaojie is blessed with two industrial railways, one heading south through a spectacular gorge to connect with CNR in Haishiwan and the other serving an aluminium smelter and a ferro-alloy works up the Datong River valley north of town. Both lines were steam worked in 2005 but one went diesel soon afterwards. The other retained a couple of SYs into 2014.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/13
8 photos
Yuanbaoshan Mining Railway

Yuanbaoshan Mining Railway

The Yuanbaoshan Mining Railway serves a number of coal mines and a major power station south of Chifeng in eastern Inner Mongolia. The line's main claim to fame was its fleet of smoke-deflector fitted JS class 2-8-2s. These attractive engines were kept very clean and made excellent photographic subjects. Diesels arrived in 2006 but steam is still occasionally used.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/14
67 photos
Zhalainuo'er Mining Railway

Zhalainuo'er Mining Railway

This large opencast mine in the far north east of Inner Mongolia was entirely steam worked by a large fleet of SY class 2-8-2s. Imagine Clapham Junction transplanted into the Grand Canyon and you get the idea. This was almost certainly the most spectacular steam location to survive into the 21st Century. The opencast mine system closed in 2009.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/13
16 photos
misc industrial railways

misc industrial railways

Visits to a number of industrial operations only produced one or two worthwhile pictures, not enough to justify a dedicated gallery, and are grouped together here.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/14
77 photos
C2 Class NG 0-8-0

C2 Class NG 0-8-0

Most Chinese narrow gauge lines used 28 tonne 0-8-0 tender engines, usually known as C2s, and produced in quantity at Harbin and Shijiazhuang from 1958 to 1988. The design originated in Russia and some Chrzanow, Skoda and Mavag built locos ended up in China.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/16
17 photos
JF Class 2-8-2

JF Class 2-8-2

The JF Class 2-8-2 dates back to 1918 when ALCo supplied a batch 25 locos to the Japanese controlled South Manchuria Railway. The JF was built in quantity during the period of Japanese occupation and production continued after Liberation until 1957, by which time around 2000 locos had been built. Locos on the national system were still in use as shunters in the late 1980s but didn't last much longer. A few survived in industrial service until 2005.
v : T000
updated : 2017/03/10
272 photos
JS Class 2-8-2

JS Class 2-8-2

The JS Class 2-8-2 was designed as a main line freight locomotive, a development of the JF Class 2-8-2s introduced on the SMR in 1918. The JS was in production from 1957 to 1988 and over 1900 were built. A few remain in industrial service in 2016.
v : T000
updated : 2016/09/27
250 photos
QJ Class 2-10-2

QJ Class 2-10-2

The QJ Class 2-10-2 was a development of the Soviet LV Class, almost certainly based on the OR21 prototype that never went into production. Datong Works started building QJs in 1964 and over 4700 had been built by the time production ceased at the end of 1988. QJs worked main line freights all over China right through to the end of steam and were a common sight on passenger trains as well.
v : T000
updated : 2016/09/27
9 photos
RM Class 4-6-2

RM Class 4-6-2

The RM Class 4-6-2 was China's last steam passenger design, combining a Russian designed boiler with a rolling chassis based on that of the earlier SL6 Pacific. A total of 258 were built between 1958 and 1966 but, despite their relative youth, they were early victims to dieselisation with the last being withdrawn in 1990.
v : T000
updated : 2016/09/27
19 photos
SL6 Class 4-6-2

SL6 Class 4-6-2

The SL6 Class 4-6-2 was one a number of Pacific designs introduced during the Japanese occupation of Manchuria and production restarted in 1956 after the Liberation. Despite the SL6 being a much older design than the RM, they outlasted their younger cousins by a year with the last survivors working until 1991.
v : T000
updated : 2017/03/09
457 photos
SY Class 2-8-2

SY Class 2-8-2

The SY Class 2-8-2 has been China's standard industrial steam locomotive for the last few decades. Over 1800 were built between 1960 and 1999, to a design derived from a 1920s ALCo light Mikado. The SYs were versatile machines and handful remain in industrial service in 2016.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/13
9 photos
BJ Class diesels

BJ Class diesels

The BJ was a compact powerful B-B diesel-hydraulic design that differed from most hydraulics by using a medium speed engine. The class was built at Beijing Feb 7th Works between 1975 and 1991 and dominated passenger traffic around the capital during much of the 1980s. They were later cascaded to secondary lines before withdrawal. A few still survive in industrial use.
v : T000
updated : 2017/03/09
70 photos
DF4, DF4A, DF4B Class diesels

DF4, DF4A, DF4B Class diesels

All three classes are very closely related and are often lumped together as DF4 Class. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the DF4 dieselised China. It wasn't China's first diesel class but it was the first really successful class and well over 4000 DF4, DF4A and DF4B were built from 1969 to the mid 1990s. DF4s are becoming rare in main line service but some continue on industrial lines.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/16
17 photos
DF4C class diesels

DF4C class diesels

The DF4C was a development of the successful DF4B with a new, more angular bodystyle, a new blue livery and an uprated 16V240ZJC engine. They were quite common in northern China but rare in the south.
v : T000
updated : 2017/03/09
25 photos
DF4D Class diesels

DF4D Class diesels

The DF4D was the final iteration of the successful DF4 line and came in passenger and freight versions. The class was introduced in 1996 and many are still in use today, working freight and passenger trains on non-electrified lines.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/16
16 photos
DF5, DF5B, DF5D Class diesels

DF5, DF5B, DF5D Class diesels

The DF5 is a Co-Co diesel-electric for heavy shunting and trip working, powered by an 8-cylinder inline version of the engine used in the DF4. It comes in a number of variants and has found favour with the national railways and industrial operators.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/16
5 photos
DF7G Class diesels

DF7G Class diesels

The DF7G is a Co-Co diesel electric designed for heavy shunting and trip work and uses a 12-cylinder version of the engine used in the DF4 series, making it considerably more powerful than the similar looking DF5. Locos are in service with the national railways and various industrial users.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/16
9 photos
DF8 Class diesels

DF8 Class diesels

The DF8 Class Co-Co diesel-electric dates from the same period as the DF4B but it was around 36% more powerful, making it ideal for heavy freight haulage. Some went to the Wuhan area but most were based at Mudanjiang, working coal trains from Jixi and Qitaihe to Harbin.
v : T000
updated : 2017/03/10
10 photos
DF8B Class diesels

DF8B Class diesels

The DF8B was a development of the DF8 but lacked the good looks of its predecessor. The class was in production from 1997 and built at both Qishuyuan and Ziyang. It was a useful machine for heavy freight work, rated at 3680kW, and is still in widespread use on non-electrified lines. DF8Bs have now been displaced from the most demanding duties by new HXN3 and HXN5 diesels.
v : T000
updated : 2017/03/09
5 photos
DF11 Class diesels

DF11 Class diesels

The DF11 is a high powered Co-Co diesel-electric designed to haul fast passenger services on non-electrified lines. Extensions to the electrified network since the class was introduced in the early 1990s have deprived these diesels of much of the work they were intended for but they can still be found working passenger services on many secondary main lines.
v : T000
updated : 2016/09/27
5 photos
DFH3 Class diesels

DFH3 Class diesels

The DFH3 was a powerful twin-engined B-B diesel-hydraulic produced in the 1970s and 1980s and largely used to dieselise passenger trains in north-east China. They weren't the most reliable locomotives and were swept aside by the same tide of DF4s and electrification that finished off main line steam. Some went into industrial service but it's unlikely that any are still in use.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/16
5 photos
GKD1, GKD1A Class diesels

GKD1, GKD1A Class diesels

The GKD1 and GKD1A classes of diesel-electric locomotive are Bo-Bo hood units built for industrial use by Dalian Locomotive works. Power comes from a 6-cylinder inline version of the 240ZJ engine used in many classes including the DF4 family.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/17
4 photos
HXD3B/3C/3D Class 25kV AC electrics

HXD3B/3C/3D Class 25kV AC electrics

The HXD3B, HXD3C and HXD3D Co-Co electric locomotives were built at Dalian from 2008 as a joint venture with Bombardier. The 3 classes are intended for freight, mixed traffic and passenger work and have been produced in large quantities. They can be seen on electrified lines across China.
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updated : 2016/07/16
4 photos
SS3 & SS3B Class 25kV AC electrics

SS3 & SS3B Class 25kV AC electrics

The SS3 and SS3B Co-Cos were built in large numbers from 1978 to 2006 as China's main line electrification programme gathered speed. Although primarily a freight locomotive with a maximum speed of 100km/h, SS3 and SS3Bs have also been used on passenger trains. They are still widespread in southern and western China.
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updated : 2017/03/09
4 photos
SS9, SS9G Class 25kV AC electrics

SS9, SS9G Class 25kV AC electrics

The SS9 and SS9G are high powered electric locomotives designed to haul fast passenger trains and introduced in 1998. Most of the class were built to a modified design between 2002 and 2006 and look quite different to their older cousins. Both variants can be found working from Beijing and in the north-east.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/16
5 photos
21E Class 1500V DC electrics

21E Class 1500V DC electrics

These locos were very similar, if not identical, to a large number of locos built by Skoda in the 1950s and 1960s for use on industrial railways in Eastern Europe and Russia. They are unusual in consisting of three separate 4-wheel units coupled together, eliminating the need for bogies and making them Bo'Bo'Bos.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/16
6 photos
ED85 Class 1500V DC electrics

ED85 Class 1500V DC electrics

The ED85s are probably the oldest locomotives in use in China today. The design dates back to the late 1920s and most of the survivors were built in the 1940s. They can still be found at work on the Fushun opencast mining system and, unusually for China, have worn at least four different liveries over the past 30 years.
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updated : 2016/07/16
5 photos
EL1 & EL2 Class 1500V DC electrics

EL1 & EL2 Class 1500V DC electrics

The EL1s and EL2s were Bo+B'o+Bo and Bo+Bo electrics built by LEW in East Germany and widely used in Eastern Europe and Russia as well as China. The EL1s had 2-section bodies but the smaller EL2 had a single section body.
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updated : 2016/07/17
5 photos
ZG150 & ZG100 1500V DC electrics

ZG150 & ZG100 1500V DC electrics

The ZG100 and ZG150 were the local equivalents of the EL1 and EL2 and came in two versions, the ZG150-1500, a 2-section Bo+B'o+Bo, and the ZG100-1500, a single section Bo+Bo. They had noticeably longer noses and shorter full height sections than the LEW locos.
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updated : 2016/07/16
6 photos
narrow gauge electrics

narrow gauge electrics

Many industrial sites had their own narrow gauge electric railways, built to a variety of gauges, and there were a number of longer distance narrow gauge lines, usually at 762mm gauge. Locos came in all shapes, sizes and colours.
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updated : 2016/07/16
4 photos
NYJ1, NZJ1, NZJ2 Class diesel units

NYJ1, NZJ1, NZJ2 Class diesel units

China produced a number of diesel units in the 1990s, designed to speed up passenger services on key routes. They followed the British HST concept with permanently coupled power cars at each end of a set of coaches. After a few years most had gone, replaced by true high-speed electric units or locos and coaches.
v : T000
updated : 2017/03/09
71 photos
Beijing

Beijing

Beijing Municipality includes a lot of countryside as well as China's Capital City. As would be expected, there are plenty of good photographic locations in the area from cityscapes to dramatic mountains and plenty of railway action with a bewildering number of different classes in evidence.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/13
92 photos
Gansu

Gansu

Gansu Province lies in China's arid north-west with its capital in Lanzhou on the Yellow River. This gallery will contain images from the main lines during the transition from steam to diesel and electric and from a few industrial lines, the last of which used SYs until late 2015. There are also a few pictures of main line diesels taken over the last decade.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/16
11 photos
Hebei

Hebei

Hebei Province surrounds Beijing with high mountains in the north and west contrasting with the flatlands of the south-east. Although its railways include some of the world's busiest main lines, it's the secondary lines through the hills that are more rewarding to visit. Most are still diesel worked.
v : T000
updated : 2016/09/27
276 photos
Heilongjiang

Heilongjiang

Heilongjiang is in China's far north where temperatures plunge way below zero every winter. Far from being a deterrent, the cold, clear weather made it the perfect destination for winter steam photography. Steam lasted until 1999 on the main lines and the province was home to some of the best narrow gauge and industrial lines as well.
v : T000
updated : 2016/09/27
75 photos
Jilin

Jilin

Jilin Province had much to offer the steam photographer in the 1980s and 1990s. RM and SL6 Pacifics worked their last miles from Changchun and Jilin respectively and there was plenty of QJ worked freight on the main lines, some of which were very scenic. The JS worked lines around Tonghua and Hunjiang were amongst the most photogenic in China and there were a few good industrial operations as well.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/17
194 photos
Liaoning

Liaoning

Liaoning is in China's heavily industrialised north-east and is home to busy main lines and some of the most interesting industrial systems, several of them electrified. Steam lasted on the main lines until the start of the 21st Century and is still hanging on in industrial service today. This gallery will contain images of steam, and diesels on the main line and all three forms of traction on industrial systems.
v : T000
updated : 2017/03/09
327 photos
Nei Menggu (Inner Mongolia)

Nei Menggu (Inner Mongolia)

Inner Mongolia covers a vast area and was one of the most rewarding provinces for the steam enthusiast. It was home to the JiTong Railway, the world's last steam worked main line, the fabulous Zhalainuo'er opencast coal mine, Baotou, with it's steelworks and JS worked suburban passengers to mention just a few of the many highlights.
v : T000
updated : 2017/03/10
276 photos
opencast coal mines

opencast coal mines

Steam worked opencast mines are the most incredible places to see and photograph steam locomotives, whether looking down from the rim at a dozen locos scurrying back and forth or getting in close at the coal face. Zhalainuo'er (Jalainur) lasted until 2009 and Sandaoling is still working in 2016, just.
v : T000
updated : 2017/03/10
400 photos
deep coal mines

deep coal mines

Deep coal mines provided employment for more steam locomotives than any other industry in China and that continues to the present day. Many mine systems included lines running through attractive countryside and interesting industrial architecture. Diesels on mine systems have not been ignored.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/16
56 photos
forestry railways

forestry railways

The forests of north-east China were once home to hundreds of miles of narrow gauge forestry railways but most disappeared in the 1990s, leaving only a handful to see in the 21st Century. The last true steam worked forestry lines finished in 2003, leaving Huanan, by then only hauling coal, to cling on until 2010.
v : T000
updated : 2017/03/09
115 photos
sheds and workshops

sheds and workshops

Locomotive depots, servicing points and workshops can be very photogenic places providing a contrast to the photos of locomotives at work. In China most servicing was carried out in the open air, even in the frozen north in winter, and traditional sheds, as found in Britain, were rare on the national system or industrial lines. In workshops and sheds, where they existed, the lack of light was a challenge.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/12
43 photos
steelworks

steelworks

The steel industry was the third biggest employer of steam locomotives in China, after the national railways and the coal mines. Getting permission to visit steelworks was difficult but not impossible. They weren't the easiest photo locations either but could be very rewarding.
v : T000
updated : 2017/03/10
1099 photos
steam

steam

China was the last country in the world to use steam locomotives in quantity. However the steam era is rapidly drawing to a close in 2016 with no more than a couple of dozen locos at work across the whole country on most days. It was a different story at the turn of the century with locos of different classes and gauges hard at work on the main lines and in industry.
v : T000
updated : 2017/03/10
184 photos
diesels

diesels

Diesels were very much in the minority when I first visited China in 1984 but there was plenty of variety. As DF4s eliminated steam and earlier diesel classes from the main lines, everything became very uniform but variety returned later with new main line and industrial classes appearing. All three eras will be represented here.
v : T000
updated : 2017/03/09
50 photos
electrics

electrics

It wasn't until around 1990 that main line electrification it really took off. These days 25kV 50Hz electric traction is the norm on principal lines across China with many different classes of electric loco in use. Some industrial lines electrified much earlier and 1500V DC electric locos dating from the 1940s are still at work.
v : T000
updated : 2017/03/09
199 photos
passenger trains

passenger trains

Passenger trains aren't confined to the national system in China. Many industrial and local railways used to operate their own passenger services but few of these now survive. On the main line it's a different story and passenger traffic is growing rapidly with frequent high-speed EMUs on main routes as well as more traditional long distance and local passengers.
v : T000
updated : 2017/03/09
258 photos
main line freight

main line freight

China's railways still carry incredible volumes of freight traffic with freight trains outnumbering passengers on most lines by quite a margin. As on most systems there are block trains of coal, containers or oil tanks but also a large volume of wagonload freight, making for interesting consists.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/17
17 photos
preserved locos

preserved locos

Preserved and plinthed locomotives, whether in museums of elsewhere.
v : T000
updated : 2016/07/16
86 photos
narrow gauge

narrow gauge

Narrow gauge lines were once a common sight in China, whether they were forestry lines, local railways or short industrial links between a quarry and processing plant, they usually have one thing in common, that they've closed, and the few that remain are probably living on borrowed time.
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