FolkestoneJack's Tracks


Posted in China, Fuxin by folkestonejack on December 15, 2009

An early start to the day so that we could make it to the stabling point in Fuxin City in time to see a number of steam locomotives gather for the morning shift change. Not that we have had any late starts anywhere, other than on sleeper trains!

Fuxin is an industrial city in the throes of rapid modernisation. The coal industry is in decline but at the moment the railway at its heart still delivers an incredible concentration of steam motive power in one place – as we soon discovered.

Make no mistake, this is no preserved line… at the stabling point it seemed that an underpass was under construction, necessitating the strengthening of the line. Unlike the UK, everything carried on around this work – on one set of lines six SY class steam locomotives gathered whilst on the other side workers lifted some track into a new alignment using crowbars. It was amazing to be able to stand amongst all of this.

The highlight of the morning was the arrival of a tender first SY with a heavy coal train. Try as it might it was unable to manage the final stretch into the power plant, slipping reapeatedly. Another SY was sent out to assist giving us the sight of a double headed tender first working.

Although steam survives here the historic backdrop of hutongs has been swept away in most places – vast residential complexes now standing in their place. Needless to say, these are not as photogenic!

Over the course of the day I photographed 11 steam locomotives in use, which is quite remarkable in the 21st century. It is hard to gauge what the prospects for steam are here. Diesels have arrived, but at the same time in the workshop they were overhauling two locos (one JS and one SY).

More photos from Fuxin Coal Railway

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: