China - Diesel/Elec

Gallery Reformatting Complete

The remaining photo galleries have now been reformatted and uploaded with a number of additional photos added, mainly images that appeared in trip reports but failed to make it to the galleries for some reason. A photo index page in the new style has also been added. Your browser should redirect you automatically but if it doesn't, use the link below.

The new photos page has been moved into a new section called Collections, which will contain collections of photos that are linked by a common theme but don't fit neatly into the country based structure.

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China : Photo Galleries : Nancha Pictures

Nancha was one of the best places to see steam at work in China in the late 1980s. There was an almost continuous procession of QJ hauled freights on the Harbin to Jiamusi main line but the most spectacular workings were on the steeply graded branch to the north where the heaviest trains were double headed and banked. As well as QJs, high deflectored JS still worked some traffic. This update adds 39 pictures taken around Nancha in 1988 and 1989 plus a few others taken elsewhere around the same time.

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go to Harbin Bureau : Nancha Area photo gallery

China : New Harbin and Lanzhou Bureau Pictures Added

Added a new gallery for pictures from the Nancha area of Heilongjiang. Only a handful of pictures there at the moment with more to follow when the opportunity arises. Also added a few extra pictures to the Jiamusi, Mudanjiang and Harbin galleries and more to the Lanzhou - Wuweinan gallery. Plenty of QJ shots and one DFH3 diesel.

go to New Photos gallery
go to Harbin Bureau : Nancha Area gallery
go to Harbin Bureau : Jiamusi Area gallery
go to Harbin Bureau : Mudanjiang Area gallery
go to Harbin Bureau : Harbin Area gallery
go to Lanzhou Bureau : Lanzhou - Wuweinan gallery

China : Zhongwei - Gantang Photo Gallery Added

The next instalment in the Chinese photo saga, a few pictures from the Zhongwei - Gantang line, a section of the long route from Beijing to Lanzhou via Inner Mongolia. Westbound trains face around 60km of 1 in 80 gradients as they climb out of the Yellow River Valley and onto the fringes of the Gobi Desert. It was a spectacular place to see single, double and sometimes triple headed QJs hard at work in the early 1990s. The first diesels arrived in late 1993 and electrification followed shortly afterwards.

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go to Zhongwei - Gantang Line gallery

China : Shenyang Bureau Photos Added

More Chinese pictures, mainly from the Tonghua and Jilin areas in the late 1980s and early 1990s and a mixture of steam and diesel subjects.

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go to Shenyang Bureau : Tonghua Area gallery
go to Shenyang Bureau : Jilin Area gallery

China : Nov/Dec 2019 Photos Added

A large selection of pictures from my latest trip to China in late November and early December 2019 have been added to the photo galleries. The vast majority are steam shots from Sandaoling but there's also a shot of a new long-distance EMU at Beijing.

go to Sandaoling Mining Railway gallery
go to Beijing Bureau - Beijing City gallery

China : Latest Trip Report

The report from my latest trip to China in late 2019, only 3 months late this time. Once again the destination was the opencast coal mine at Sandaoling, just about the only place where real working steam locomotives can be seen these days.

go to Sandaoling Soldiers On report

China : New Photos Added

A selection of pictures from my late 2017 and late 2018 trips to China have been added to the photo galleries. There are steam shots from Sandaoling and a few from Wujiu plus a few diesels and electrics, mainly around Beijing.

go to Sandaoling Mining Railway gallery
go to Wujiu Mining Railway gallery
go to Beijing Bureau - Beijing City gallery
go to Beijing Museum gallery
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China : New Trip Report

Very late but hopefully still of interest to some. This report dates from a trip to China in late 2017, visiting the mining systems at Wujiu and Sandaoling, both of which feature working steam, and including some observations of the current main line scene, principally around Beijing.

go to Steam, Snow and Sand report

China : Nov 2016 Trip Photos

33 new pictures from the November 2016 trip to China have been added to the photo galleries. Lots of steam and plenty of diesels as well, plus a single electric.

go to Pingzhuang Mining Railway photos
go to Beijing Bureau : Central Beijing photos
go to Wujiu Mining Railway photos
go to Harbin Bureau : Haila'er Area photos
go to Sandaoling Mining Railway photos
go to China photo galleries

China : New Trip Report

The steam age is rapidly coming to an end in China but, even at the end of 2016, there was just enough activity to justify another visit. This report covers a three week trip in November and early December to see the SY Class 2-8-2s on the mining railways at Pingzhuang and Wujiu and the JS Class 2-8-2s in the opencast mine at Sandaoling. Observations of diesel and electric locos on the national system and industrial lines are included as well.

go to The End Of The Line? report

China : Photo Gallery Changes

The transfer of Chinese pictures to the new format galleries is now complete with over 1100 photos transferred and another 150 photos added, some of which have never been published before, while others have only appeared in trip reports. The pictures span a period of over 30 years, although those from the 21st Century predominate, and cover main line, industrial and forestry operations, steam, diesel and electric, so there should be something for everyone. There are almost 100 galleries organising the pictures by different categories, such as location, loco class or train type.

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go to China : photo galleries

China : Photo Gallery Changes

The massive task of converting the China photo galleries to the new format has started with four industrial lines, Fushun, Fuxin, Pingzhuang and Sandaoling. A total of 73 new photos taken over the last couple of years have been added to the new galleries. The old galleries will remain in place until the transfer is complete but won't be updated.

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go to new China photo galleries

China : New Trip Report

Real working steam locos are becoming very hard to find, even in China, but two of the remaining operations are still exceptionally good. This report covers a 3 week trip based around visits to the steam worked mining railways at Fuxin and Sandaoling in November and December 2015. The mining line at Pingzhuang and Fushun’s Old Steelworks were also visited, with mixed results. The report includes observations on the main line, all diesel or electric these days.

go to Steaming On report

China : Baiyin Main Line Photo Gallery Updated

More photos from Baiyin, this time from the China Rail Baiyinxi - Honghui branch that crosses the mineral railway just outside the town. The line runs through a barren desert landscape and carries a lot of coal traffic from the mines around Changzheng. In 2009 the line still used the DF4Bs that took over from steam in the 1990s but by 2014 DF8Bs had taken over.

go to Baiyin Main Line gallery

China : Baiyin Photo Gallery Updated

The Baiyin photo galleries have been updated with an additional 34 pictures from three trips in 2009, 2010 and 2014, showing steam and diesel locomotives on freight and passenger trains on this interesting industrial system in western China.

go to Baiyin Mineral Railway gallery

China : New Trip Report

With the Rongshan NG line back in action and a new steam worked line due to open at Sandaoling, November 2014 seemed a good time to visit China again. In the event we missed out on both but still had a very rewarding trip. This report covers what we saw at Fuxin and Sandaoling, neither of which disappointed.

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China : New Trip Report

This illustrated report covers a two week trip to the Baiyin and Tiehejinchang lines in China's western province of Gansu from 3 to 17 March 2014.

Both lines visited use a mixture of steam and diesel traction and, with steam in rapid decline, things didn't turn out exactly as anticipated.

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China : New Trip Report

A trip to photograph steam locomotives on the best industrial lines, including the huge opencast coal mine at Sandaoling, the largest industrial steam user, with around 17 locos required in traffic every day, and the last large scale user of JS class 2-8-2s. The SY worked Fuxin and Pingzhuang mining systems and the old steelworks at Fushun also featured. Diesels and electrics were not ignored entirely with visits to Beijing's main station and to the Fushun Mining Railway, with its remarkable electrics.

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China : Benxi Steelworks Gallery Added

Following a request for some photos of XK2 0-6-0s, I've done some scanning and added a Benxi Steelworks gallery with a few pics from 1992 including an XK2, a fireless, a rare standard gauge DFH21 diesel and an EL1 electric.

go to Benxi Steelworks gallery

China : Beijing Photo Gallery Update

The Beijing City photo gallery has been updated with 14 new pictures taken in November 2012, featuring locos of classes DF4B, DF4BD, DF4C, DF4D, DF7C, DF10F, DF11, HXD3C, SS7E, SS9 and SS9G.

go to Beijing City gallery

China : Industrial Photo Gallery Update

The Chinese Industrial Railway photo galleries have been updated with more than 70 pictures from the November 2012 trip to Bajiaotai and the mining railways at Fuxin, Pingzhuang and Sandaoling.

go to China Industrial Railway galleries

go to Fuxin Mining Railway gallery
go to Pingzhuang Mining Railway gallery
go to Sandaoling Mining Railway gallery

China : New Trip Report

The last few years have seen many of the best Chinese steam locations dieselise, electrify or abandon their rail systems altogether. Just enough survived to justify one last trip in November 2012. This report covers what we found at Bajiaotai, Fuxin, Pingzhuang and Sandaoling during an 18-day trip. There are also extensive observations of the current Chinese rail scene from journeys totalling over 6000km.

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China : Pingzhuang and Sandaoling Photos

The China photo gallery updates continue with a new gallery covering the mining railway at Pingzhuang and a major update of the Sandaoling gallery with photos from visits in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

go to Pingzhuang gallery
go to Sandaoling gallery

China : Chengzihe and Didao Photos

Two of the Jixi galleries have been updated with new photos, covering the Chengzihe and Didao mining systems in 2010. Jixi was an outstanding place for steam photography with some of the best industrial backdrops anywhere in China, attractive scenery and plenty of action.

go to Chengzihe gallery
go to Didao gallery

China : Fuxin, Fushun and Fula'erji Photos

More updated photo galleries featuring the mining railways at Fuxin and Fushun and a completely new gallery of photos from Fula’erji.

go to Fuxin gallery
go to Fushun gallery
go to Fula’erji gallery

China : Beipiao and Beitai Photos

Two new photo galleries have been added to the China Industrials section, covering visits to the Beipiao Mining Railway in late 2010 and to Beitai Steelworks in late 2011.

go to Beipiao gallery
go to Beitai gallery

China Trip Report : Coal Steel and Steam

Chinese steam may be in terminal decline but there are still a few high quality operations good enough to justify another trip. This report covers a very productive three week trip to the north of the country in November 2011, concentrating on the industrial railways at Fula’erji in Heilongjiang, Beitai and Fuxin in Liaoning and Sandaoling in Xinjiang, with brief visits to Shenyang, Fushun and Pingzhuang as well.

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China Trip Report : Industrial Survivors

A marathon three-week trip to northern China in Winter 2010, visiting the best of the remaining steam operations at Sandaoling, Jixi, Huanan, Tiefa, Fuxin, Beipiao, Pingzhuang, Yuanbaoshan and Hongmiao. Despite the decline in steam working over the past year, we still saw almost 60 locos in steam.

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China Trip Report : Jixi and Baiyin

It’s getting harder to find photogenic, busy, steam worked industrial systems in China. Both the systems we visited in early March 2010 were under threat of modernisation in the near future. The best part of the Jixi system is expected to be electrified during 2010 and Baiyin received its first diesel a couple of weeks before our arrival and a second was being commissioned while we were there. The steam action was still excellent but it felt like the end was getting close.

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China : More Photo Gallery Updates

More Chinese photos, this time mainly from from my diesel trip in October 2008. The pictures are from the Tonghua, Bei'an and Mudanjiang areas, the Beijing - Longhua line and the Fushun Mining Railway.

Tonghua pictures
Bei'an pictures
Mudanjiang pictures
Beijing-Longhua pictures
Fushun pictures

Chinese Diesel Videos

I've put five video clips from my recent trip to China up on YouTube. The quality isn't quite as good as I'd like but I'm reasonably pleased with the results. The clips include the inevitable green DF4Bs around Modaoshi, an orange DF4B at Daoqing, a DF4DK near Bei'an and a pair of DF8s west of Mudanjiang, all unsilenced of course.

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China Trip Report - Diesels in the North-East

A trip to photograph diesels on scenic lines in the north-east of China, starting with the Tonghua-Hunjiang area then Fushun, Bei'an, Mudanjiang and finishing on the Beijing-Longhua line. As well as the diesels, there are a few industrial electrics on standard and narrow gauges and a handful of steam locomotives as well.

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China - Fushun Pictures Added

Some vintage pictures from the Fushun Opencast Mining operation in 1984. The big pit was filled with fog but we got some interesting pictures of the surface operation including 3 different classes of electric loco, a KD6 (USATC 2-8-0) and an East German V100.

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Chinese Photos - Chengde and Longhua Lines

Two new photo galleries added covering the Beijing - Longhua and Beijing - Chengde lines, both of which run through mountainous country north-east of the capital. The Longhua gallery features photos of DF4 and DF8B diesels taken in September this year. The Chengde gallery includes pictures of diesels taken in the 1990s and 2006.

Beijing - Longhua photos
Beijing - Chengde photos

Chinese Photos - Beijing-Taiyuan

The Beijing - Taiyuan line has to cross a formidable mountain range just west of the capital. The mountains aren't particularly high but the terrain is broken and rugged and not at all suitable for a railway line. This wasn't enough to stop the Chinese engineers who pushed the line through by tunnelling and bridging on a dramatic scale. The railway they built is a scenic delight and very rewarding to photograph, not least because of the continued use of BJ class diesels on some services. These photos were taken in Autumn 2006.

Beijing - Taiyuan photos

Feature - Chinese Diesels - Updated

Following my recent visit to China the BJ, DF4C and DF4D pages have been updated with new photos and additional information.

Go to Chinese Diesels

China Trip - Diesels & Electrics - Sept/Oct 2006

With no QJs on the Jitong Railway this autumn, my thoughts turned to photographing China's diesels and electrics. Steam is now confined to industrial operations and I was beginning to miss the excitement of photographing big trains on scenic main lines. China has a remarkably varied modern traction scene and those used to seeing nothing but QJs, JSs and SYs might be surprised at the plethora of different diesel and electric classes in use. For my first modern traction trip to the middle kingdom, I didn't attempt to maximise variety but chose five lines with good scenic potential including one threatened with imminent closure and one with rare diesels on some passenger workings.

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Feature - Chinese Diesels

For the railway enthusiast, China offers a fascinating mix of old and new locomotives, American, Japanese, Soviet and European influences, steam, diesel and electric traction, heavy traffic, stunning landscapes and friendly people. This feature describes more than a dozen classes of loco with brief technical details where known, history and operational data. Classes are listed alphabetically.

Go to Chinese Diesels

More Chinese Diesel Photos Added

A few DF5 Class pictures have been added to Chinese Diesel photo gallery.

Chinese Diesel Photos Added

Chinese Diesel photo gallery added with 29 photos.