FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Spoilt for choice

Posted in China, Sandaoling by folkestonejack on November 15, 2012

A short distance from the yard at Xibolizhan the tracks diverge, six lines fanning out from west to east and each ending at a different spoil dump. It’s a fabulous spot to visit as you stand around trying to work out which line is going to be next to receive a spoil train.

JS 8078 passes through the level crossing where the lines to the spoil dumps split

JS 8078 passes through the level crossing where the lines to the spoil dumps split

The five lines to the west are crossed by a rather rough level crossing (with a rather cute hand-painted sign warning of steam locomotives) and near to here there are a series of small huts. On the way up trains stop at the huts to pick up a worker with the key used to release the spoil onto the dump. On the way back down they stop to drop him off. It seemed like a classic, if baffling, bit of job creation for its own sake!

JS 8368 pushes a spoil train past the remains of the lifted track

JS 8368 pushes a spoil train past the remains of the lifted track

Originally there were six lines here but one has been lifted since my last visit. The space left by the lifted track is still marked out by telltale pairs of wooden stumps and there are small sections of mangled track lying here and there. A neat pile of track and sleepers could be seen stacked to one side.

JS 8173 with spreader crosses a bridge on the farthest east of the spoil dump lines

JS 8173, with spreader, crosses a bridge on the farthest east of the spoil dump lines

In the hour that we spent here we saw spoil trains pushed/hauled back tender first by JS class locomotives 8076, 8077, 8078, 8167 and 8368. In addition to this, we saw JS 6224 coming back from a spoil dump with a crane and JS 8173 with a spreader on the separate line to the east (though a spoil train would have been a more impressive sight on this distinctive tip!).

Gallery from the spoil dumps

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