Beijing Museum, Dahuichang, Lindong and Jingpeng
15 - 16 February & 25 February - 01 March 2004
Supplementary Report by Bryan Acford
Having joined the group late and departed early we fitted in a few more regular haunts, these notes supplement the comprehensive report on the main trip by Duncan.
Beijing Railway Museum – Sunday 15th February
As reported the collection of locos continues to increase, although the lack of informative display boards makes the museum a second best to Shenyang. It is, however, rail connected so the theoretical potential exists to return some locos to working order in the future.
Adjacent to the museum is an electrified line and at first sight it appeared busy with a freight train passing every few minutes. This is in fact a trap for the unwary and jet-lagged gricer. It is a circular test track and at the time of our visit an SS7 was hauling a short freight past every few minutes!
Dahuichang Limestone Works – Sunday 15th February
The weather was fine and sunny so we made the trip out to the suburbs by which time it was getting too warm for white smoke from the locos. Operations commenced at 1400 and No2 along with a freshly overhauled but numberless class-mate were in action. Train frequency was approx half-hourly but we left when the sun started to go behind cloud.
Beijing to Pingdingshan - 15th - 16th February
We took train 2505 direct to a gloomy Pingdingshan where we arrived at 0750 the following morning. DF4B 2278 ex Beijing Xi, DF4D from Luohe – PDS Dong and a DF4B onwards.
See Duncan's report for details of Pingdingshan, Nanpiao, Huludao, Tiefa and Shenyang Museum.
Ji-Tong Railway - 25th February – 1st March
On 25th February we left the main group and took K648 fromShenyang– Chifeng arriving at 0611 the following morning. We were hoping for a flying trip to Lindong with the hope of catching the eb passenger en route but in the event the roads were treacherous with hard packed ice in some places. So we opted for safety and finally arrived in Lindong around 11:00, crossing 4 westbound trains between Gulumanhan and Lindong, where we teamed up once again with Li Wei Feng who was to be our driver for the following days.
We spent the next couple of days based in Lindong. There was little new to report but traffic levels were pretty good with about 5 daylight westbound through Lindong, mainly morning departures from Chabuga which repeated the general pattern in September following the timetable changes. Whilst at Lindong we saw 6905 being dragged eastwards in a freight apparently marked up for works.
Locos seen working Daban – Chabuga :QJ 6351, 6478, 6576, 6631, 6778, 6825,6884, 6911, 6978, 6984, 7037, 7049, 7081, 7163
We briefly went east of Chabuga on 25th Feb and the afternoon passenger stormed past in fine style headed by 7104. No view on diesel activity but other gricers suggested that most freight was steam at present.
We headed to Reshui on the afternoon of 26th February stopping briefly to visit Daban depot. The depot was surprisingly quiet with only two locos having attention indoors.
Running Shed etc:QJ 6751, 7112, 6825, 6840, 6631, 6978, 6580, 7037, 6876, 6878, 6385
Dump (not complete list):QJ 6636, 6125, 6638, 6110, 6572, 6375, 6388.
The interesting one here is 6636 which is a Baiqi loco and had not previously noted. It was the loco nearest the main-line and we checked it’s number twice. It’s rods has been removed.
We spent nearly 3 days of crystal clear cold weather but with a strong northerly wind at Reshui, a complete contrast to the previous week further south. There was little different to report. The practice of running block trains from CNR in two parts was continuing and on one day accounted for most of the eastbound daylight traffic. On 29th Feb and 1st March there were some unusual operating practices in place. Many trains were stopping in the loops on the climbs (especially Hatashan) for no apparent reason when there was no opposing traffic. It did not seem to be loco related and all signals were working so there is no ready explanation (communications problems?). The end result was that the timetable was decimated with, for example, 6998 & 6735 leaving Jingpeng at 1315 but not passing Shangdian until 1620 on 29th February. The usual locos were in action but on 29th February decorated but scruffy 6633 (Baiqi) headed east as the second loco in a freight. With a couple of sister locos already dumped it will be interesting to see if it is authorised for works.
Locos seen working Daban – Haoluku :QJ 6385, 6577, 6630, 6633, 6735, 6751, 6763, 6808, 6828, 6840, 6851, 6876, 6878, 6925, 6981, 6986, 6998, 7002, 7012, 7040, 7041, 7112, 7143, 7164.
Some claim that the locos have been struggling recently – our observations didn’t bear that out. Certainly there were few very clean locos around when compared to my last visit in September but it is the middle of winter and keeping locos clean is a challenge. All seemed steam tight and with the exception of leaky air pump on 6630 gave few problems. We saw 6751 fail on one occasion with some sort of smokebox problem, but the crew managed to sort it out after 30 minutes work at Xiakengxi. One disappointing development is that nearly all locos have now lost their makers plates – doubtless for resale.