Westbound QJs

Chinese Railways

Westbound QJs

06 Oct 2004 5 2 483
A pair of QJs are almost at the summit of the Jinpeng section of the Jitong Railway with a westbound freight. The exhaust may not have been as spectacular as that in the icy winter months, but it was a pleasant experience to relax in the hills with a bottle of beer whilst watching the traffic on the last steam operated main line.


21 Jan 2008 1 1 336
Afternoon service to Linghe sets out from the Huangjia terminus of the Nanpiao Mining Railway. The bustling street market alongside the line here was a favourite location for watching the passenger trains.

Last ride

02 Oct 2004 228
Heading west from Chabuga behind QJ 6911 on the daily stopping passenger service over the Jitong Railway. This was my last ever ride on a scheduled long distance main line steam passenger train. When I left the train at Lindong there was a tinge of sadness as I stood and listened to the locomotive accelerating into the gathering dusk.

Climbing from the pit

19 Jan 2008 5 1 223
Sometimes you get double value in a photograph and this shot from the Jalainur opencast coal mine in the Mongolian Autonomous Region demonstrates a two tier approach.

Evening departure

13 Dec 2008 1 273
An early evening service is seen leaving Mifengyang uphill on the Shibanxi Coal Railway. It was almost dark when I took this shot and it was a case of erecting the tripod, high ISO setting, and hoping that the low exposure speed wouldn't be too much of a problem head-on. Not something that could be attempted with film.

Steam and cabbages

12 Dec 2008 299
A trainload of building materials heads uphill after passing Caiziba on the Shibanxi Coal Railway.

On the crossing

11 Jan 2006 238
A young lass unconcernedly crosses the line just ahead of a heavy train heading away from the washery on the Meihekou coal railway.

Shunting at Liugongli

04 Dec 2009 256
SY 0819 was rearranging a train at Liugongli on the Baiyin Mining Railway after delivering bagged material to the yard on the siding in the background.


04 Dec 2009 271
The wheels of SY 0965 which was undergoing a major overhaul in the Baiyin workshops.

Tanks to the summit

18 Apr 2005 1 2 246
A pair of QJs is working hard as they near the summit to the west of Chaganhada with a westbound train of oil tanks on the Jitong Railway.

On the limits of adhesion

20 Jan 2006 248
The morning empties head towards Shenbutong and the Kuangsan copper mine on the Baiyin Mining Railway. The heavy train on icy and snowy rails was working at the very limits of adhesion and the train finally slipped to a halt a bit further up the line. I had intended to make the shot from higher up the hill, but the train followed so soon after the passenger service that I had only scrambled part way up the slope. As it happened the resulting angle wasn't too bad.

Ash plant

01 Dec 2006 325
A yard man signals for another locomotive to draw forward to the ash cleaning area in Nanchang Yard during the morning servicing break on the Chengzihe system of the Jixi Coal Railway. The coal pickers stand on the ash wagon in the hope of rich rewards in a few minutes time.

On the climb

05 Oct 2004 247
QJ 7137 heads west on level 3 of the climb above Reshui on the Jinpeng section of the Jitong Railway. The train has already traversed the second level seen below and behind.

Getting away from Lindong

20 Apr 2004 260
QJ 7049 lays a smokescreen over Lindong station area as it gets a westbound freight underway after prolonged shunting operations. The second locomotive is QJ 6905 which is not in steam and is being moved back to Daban after overhaul.

Passing place

23 Apr 2004 1 239
The station at Jinpeng was often very busy with trains taking water and cleaning fires. This afternoon view shows an eastbound freight arriving with a westbound service ready to depart as soon as the section is clear. This line was not really designed to serve many intermediate places and it is clear how far from the town the station is located.

Jinpeng climbing

06 Oct 2004 231
A westbound freight heads towards san di crossing on the first 180 degree curve as it climbs from Reshui on the Jinpeng section of the Jitong Railway.

A memory of Baiyin

05 Dec 2009 192
A wider version of a previous image of shunting the coal wagons at Baiyin. You could probably still take this shot given a bit of patience waiting for steam to show up.


18 Apr 2005 223
It is just before 6am as the eastbound passenger service leaves the wayside crossing station at Chaganhada on the Jitong Railway. The sun hasn't quite made an appearance and I was hoping the train would be a few minutes later, but it was not to be.

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