FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Farewell to Sandaoling

Posted in China, Sandaoling by folkestonejack on November 16, 2012

Our farewell to Sandaoling was destined to be a short-lived affair as we needed to start our 380km drive to Dunhuang at 10.30am if we were to be sure to make the 6.58pm departure to Lanzhou. It also meant that our breakfast of noodle soup had to be capable of sustaining us for the entire day, with no guarantee that we would get to eat again today if the sleeper train did not have a restaurant car!

We took the familiar road to Dongbolizhan and arrived in good time to watch the tender-first departure of the passenger train with JS 8089. The plan was to stick around until the return of the passenger train and then head to a spot in old Sandaoling but this soon unravelled as the passenger train was delayed at Xibolizhan, awaiting the final trains for the tender show. We couldn’t abandon the plan as some of the group had taken the opportunity to experience the commute Sandaoling style! The passenger train eventually returned around 30 minutes late.

Farewell at Nanzhan

Farewell at Nanzhan

After an obligatory group shot at a ruined gate in old Sandaoling we headed to a level crossing at Nanzhan where we got our last sighting of a JS class steam locomotive with one of the youngest of the fleet, JS 8314, shunting some wagons. It is incredible to think that a steam locomotive like this only rolled off the production line at Datong in 1988.

Although we had seen plenty of JS action in our week at Sandaoling it was still a pleasure to savour these final moments of working steam before we said farewell.

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