The Locomotive Lists are an attempt to present as much information as possible about the disposition of China's wide and varied standard gauge steam locomotive fleet. The aim is to produce a list or lists of where individual locomotives work or have worked. The lists don't cover every steam locomotive in China, just those that come under the national numbering system and just those that have been reported. That excludes most narrow gauge engines and a few industrials such as the fireless locos at Benxi. It may be extended in the future to cover the locos that ran on metre gauge sections of CNR and the standard gauge oddities as there are so few of them. Most narrow gauge lines had their own numbering systems so they're firmly in the "too difficult" category.

There are three sets of lists...

Class Based Lists

The first set is arranged by class and contains details of all reported locomotives, whether in main line or industrial service. Larger classes are subdivided into several lists.

CR Bureau Based Lists

The second set covers locos in national railway service and is arranged geographically by Bureau and area.

Non-CR Location Based Lists

The third set covers locos in industrial or local railway service and is arranged geographically by province and location.

Every loco listed will appear in the class list and one or both of the geographical lists.

A Guide to Interpreting the Locomotive Lists

This page contains the information required to understand the structure of the data in each list and the definitions of the abbreviations and acronyms used.

Background to the Locomotive List Project

The project started as an attempt to draw up a list of the locos seen on my own trips to China but soon outgrew its modest beginnings. At the time of writing in mid 2006, it's grown into a database of more than 33,000 sightings of almost 6,500 locos of 58 different classes from 1976 to the present. The data has been taken from reports on the internet, in Continental Railway Journal and World Steam, the IRS book (Industrial Locomotives of the Peoples Republic of China), my own sightings, those of friends or in old reports in my possession or those I've managed to borrow.

It would be impossible to catalogue the whereabouts of every Chinese standard gauge steam locomotive throughout it's working life with the data readily available to foreign observers. However, it's amazing how much has been discovered since China opened its doors to foreign gricers in 1976. There's still a lot of data out there in the gricing community I haven't got access to . . . yet.

There's less in the way of information on standard classes, such as QJ and JS, prior to the 1990s at the moment. Early reports were, understandably, preoccupied with the more exotic locos then to be found in many parts of China and the workhorses barely got a mention. I'm interested in any sightings prior to 1990 anywhere in China, anything on CNR in southern or central China at any time, anything from less well visited locations, any sightings of classes which disappeared early, e.g. FD, RM, SL, JF6, even standard JF, anything which could add to the body of knowledge such as additional data on building dates. Information doesn't have to be particularly detailed. All I'm looking for is the date (year and month), general location (e.g. Changchun Area) and a list of numbers (including the class name), e.g. SY 1201, not just 1201. The status of each loco is important as well, e.g. was it in service or dumped.

If you think you can help, please contact me via the link at the bottom of the page.