FolkestoneJack's Tracks

The delights of Baiyin

Posted in Baiyin, China by folkestonejack on February 23, 2009

After struggling out of bed in the early morning light I psyched myself up for a full day at Baiyin – not that I needed much encouragement once we got out to the line I realised just how amazing this little stretch of line was. The first passenger and freight services we saw wowed me completely, whilst a perfectly timed delivery of meat filled dumplings revived the other parts of me!

We headed back, catching the SY as it rolled back down through the line at a level crossing (as captured in a short youtube clip at http://www.youtube.com/FolkestoneJack#p/u/24/ILAlp7FHPb0). After the road re-opened we travelled on to the depot and marshalling yards at Baiyin.

In the marshalling yard we found two SYs awaiting action whilst in the depot we found two SYs under cover, another outside and one undergoing an overhaul (not an SY used by the company at Baiyin but from another company which no longer has a workshop). The highlight for me though came a little later, as we walked back across the suspension footbridge to our minibuses, when a SY suddenly appeared hauling bright yellow petro-chemical tankers. A wonderful fusion of worlds – which I was, for once, in time to capture on film.

SY and petro-chemical tankers at Baiyin

SY and petro-chemical tankers at Baiyin

After this sight we headed back out to the line, taking up a hillside viewpoint for one train and then on to the smelting plant at Sanyelian where we watched the afternoon passenger service depart at 4.50pm to take the workers on their commute home.

The commute Baiyin style

The commute Baiyin style

In the evening we headed out to an unlikely restaurant in a backstreet that didn’t seem to promise much but delivered incredibly tasty food. It was a good lesson in the perils of making hasty judgments. At the end of the meal all the staff came out onto the street and waved us a goodbye – a friendlier place I can’t imagine. A long but superbly reward day which I would eagerly repeat anytime, never mind the lack of sleep…

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