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Beijing - Changchun & Jiutai - Hengdaohezi - Harbin - Tumen - Fushun - Fuxin - Luopoling - Dahuichang

This is part two of my summer 2015 trip to China, covering Harbin, Tumen & Fushun.

To return to part one, covering Beijing, Changchun & Jiutai, Hengdaohezi and between, please click here

To continue forward to part three, covering Fuxin, Luopoling, Dahuichang and between click here

10 September 2015

I forfeited my hard seat train tickets to Xinglongzhen due to severe exhaustion from lack of sleep, multiple blisters and severe sunburn and decided to save my energy for Tumen where I may need to run, rather than walk! After a reasonably late checkout I wandered off towards Harbin depot which lies adjacent to the main railway station. My destination was the western most point of the large turning triangle which lies across a level crossing.

Prior to reaching this location, I had to cross a large road bridge and could see in the depot a number of DF11's and a very old tank car in the fuelling line. I'm unsure of the class, however it doesn't look Chinese to me, possibly Russian? No markings could be made out on it. As I made it to the turning triangle, the only locomotive was DF11 0071 which had just completed its move. The crossing keeper told me it was a quiet time and to try back in the afternoon and after waiting around for another 1/2 an hour with little else going on, decided to make my way to the Songhua river to see the large railway viaduct that crosses it. As expected, I was not permitted into the depot, otherwise I may have some news of the existance of a stored QJ here. This was a bit of an impromptu visit, so I did very little research on the city, however I did have the foresight to print out a decent street map on the chance I would have missed my train to my train to Xinglongzhen.

From here I walked towards Stalin park. I couldn't find an entrance inside along the very long street, but rather than walk the entire circumference of the park decided to press on towards the viaduct instead. Just prior to reaching the river, I discovered a railway themed beer garden near the Sidalin Park which runs aloong the banks of the Songhua river. The large canopy is shaped like a train station with a few dummy tracks in place. There is a caboose balancing on one bogie with supports at each end, however I don't believe it to be an old piece of rolling stock but rather, a reproduction. It has only one side glass panel in the way window and looks to be too short for standard gauge and too wide/tall to be a narrow gauge car. Then there's a lack of any form of chassis. Nice try. At first I thought a patron of the beer garden had launched a box of fruit under the roof canopy, but on closer inspection noted it to be very poorly applied gap filler. The other "rolling stock" is a pair of old style passenger cars, although they look like reproductions also. These are painted in maroon and cream and the owner seems to be a little confused about the difference between a YW sleeper car and a YZ22 hard seat car as they have both markings. One of these cars is used solely as a large toilet block, I imagine something that would be quite handy in a beer garden. Asides from these bits of rolling stock, there is only some signalling equipment, wheel sets, signs, track and the odd modern art sculptures made up of old bits of machinery.

The walk along the river towards the viaduct was extremely busy. The large truss viaduct actually closed a couple of months ago and a much larger and modern loooking concrete arch type with four tracks has been built directly behind it. The line is now dedicated to CRH5 service to Qiqihaer (rated up to 250kph) and this line had only been opened a month or so prior to my visit and was the source of all the trouble I had booking tickets. Initially the government had decided to demolish the old viaduct, but it apparently created such an uproar, they decided to shelve those plans and keep it as a tourist attraction. Already the track off the viaduct is growing over with weeds and gates cross the railway line on the land side of it. I am wondering how long it will remain in its current state, which is more or less just left to rot since its decommisioning. The doesn't appear to be in the greatest condition with many of the telegraph wire supports damaged. The older bridge gave 113 years of service before being retired last year, and the new one apparently has a life expectancy of twice that. Time will tell.

There is a pedestrian walkway on either side of the bridge where one can walk the entire 1km span if they were so inclined. From the northern side, it is possible to view the new railway bridge and CRH5's on two of the closer lines, however the newer bridge is taller and with the amount of wires on the new bridge and old telegraph wires of the old, there are certainly much better railway photography sites to be found elsewhere. Some younger Harbinites have decided to follow other cities around the world by copying Paris and attaching padlocks with engravings or messages to the mesh fence between the railway line and pedestrian walkway and then throwing the key in the water, apparently declaring their eternal love or some such nonsense, while others have turned to graffiting it instead.

For lunch I indulged myself at Pizza Hut with the new limited edition "Abundant Meat" pizza. Then slowly walked back to Harbin railway station to get some photos of this busy section of the line before my next overnight train. My vantage point was from the Jihong Street overpass on the northern side of the station which gave a reasonable view of the track intersection from Qiqihaer and Jiamusi, although again very challenging from the jungle of catenary masts, wires and cables etc. Traffic levels were high and for further interest, it appears all four tracks are used for locomotive movements out of the depot. I was able to get a number of trains/locomotive movements chiefly DF4D, DF4DK, DF11, DF11G, HXD3D and CRH5. Also sited was an SS9 and a DF4C. Lighting was ideal in the afternoon and I was able to spend about an hour before returning to the hotel to pick up my main pack and then to Harbin station for train 2036 for Tumen.

A list of the locomotives seen and photographed in Harbin on this day are as follows :

DF4C 4300
DF4D 0535
DF4DK 3060, 3218
DF11 0071, 0165, 0247, 0258, 0429
DF11G 0213/14

HXD3D 0225, 0227

(electric multiple unit)
CRH5A 5040, 5064, 5067

11 September 2015

Tumen is the northern most Chinese city on the North Korean border. It is a place seldom visited by foreigners, as compared to other North Korean border cities, although a number of steam train hunters in the 1990's and early 2000's came to photograph the cross border freights, usually in the hands of a USA built 2-10-0. The latest information I had was that the Nork's were operating a 300 class diesel, a Chinese built DF5. North Korea has always fascinated me as a place to visit and seemed like the best place to go to fit in with my tour due to its reasonably close proximity to other locations I was visiting. I was also drawn by the isolation of it as opposed to the larger Chinese city of Dandong where photos from the North Korean side appear to be more of a facade than a true representation, where as Tumen/Namyang looked more raw. Asides from the railway border crossing over the Tumen river, Tumen has mainlines to Mudanjiang, Changchun and Huchun. There is now also a high speed line, which opened a couple of weeks or so after my visit, from Jilin to Huchun (stopping at Tumen North). It is apparently rated for 250kph and will most likely use the CRH5 like many of the other newly built CRH lines in the North East. The first challenge I had in planning was there were no hotels that would accept foreigners, so I had to either stay in the larger city of Yanji to the east, or arrive early morning by train and depart late afternoon the same day. The latter seemed like the best choice and I arrived in Tumen behind a DF11 on train 2063 from Harbin.

The sunrise viewed from the train was spectacular, but short lived and about an hour later we arrived in Tumen. I checked my bag in at the station for safe keeping and then walked south to a pedestrian bridge that spans the south end of the China Rail yard. Most of the tracks were filled with freight cars, predominantly C type gondolas, P type box cars and silver/red tank cars. DF5 2000, with the more modern blue livery and lowered short hood was the yard pilot. At the northern end of the yard, was an unidentifiable DF4B (I presume #1529 which I saw later in the afternoon) and a light blue/cream DF4C. I was too far away to get the number (even with a handy 400mm zoom at my disposal), but could make it out as being a rarer dark green/light green variety rather than the typical dark green/light blue.

After 20 mintes with not much going on, I continued on to a hill on the edge of the Tumen river that offers a stunning view of the North Korean village of Namyang. Due to being side tracked by some vendors, I missed the short route up to the viewing platform and took the longer 3.5km path instead. Once I realised my mistake, I checked my nicely printed satellite images courtesy of Google Earth and saved myself nearly three kilometers by taking a short cut. I spent the next 2 hours up on the deck taking as many photos as possible, at one point resting my camera on a using a sign post to photograph the North Koreans. Ironically the same sign said in English not to photograph the North Koreans. I decided I didn't speak English that day (I mean who would I speak English to here anyway?) and am now possess approximately 2,000 high quality images of a very fascinating country. It was quite clear that life is not enjoyable here, with very run down buildings, no cars and very basic, if any, tools for working the land. The contrast with China on the other hand where there are hundreds of cars, colorful high rise apartments, pop music blaring away on loud speakers, and bus loads of tourists etc was quite incredible. On the North Korean side during my time here, only a single olive green truck was seen filled with people with most of the locals either walking or bicycling. Below is an image of each side. I'll let you guess which picture belongs to which country. What the North Koreans had spared no expense on were the fresh paint around the Kim family portraits mounted on a few buildings.

While I could go on about the things I saw in North Korea for many hours, I'll keep it short as this is a railway report. I may add a photo gallery of non-railway North Korean images to this trip report in the future. In the meantime, here are but a few of the scenes I saw.

The railway station is the largest building in the town and appeared to be totally deserted. A Mangyongdae class electric locomotive was visible in the platform directly behind the station building with a half dozen green and gold passenger cars. The pantographs were lowered and it was quite clear this train wouln't be running anytime soon. Another locomotive to the south of the station was much more easily identifiable, being a 300 series (or Chinese built DF5). It still bears the color scheme from its previous owner, China Rail, with only numbers and CNR logo replaced with North Korean markings. It too appeared to be shut down with nothing to do. As luck would have it a China Rail worker was taking his morning walk and with reasonable English explained that trains across the border were very rare with one train taking place every 2 weeks or so and after calling some co-workers - confirmed that no train was scheduled to make the cross today.

Next stop was to visit the spur line to the north east of Tumen. I had noticed on Google earth there appeared to be a small blue diesel and a handful of passenger cars in a siding. This has remained in Google earth imagery for a number of updates, so I presumed it may have been a local workers train that was stabled. My route took me along the Tumen river to the immigration bridge between the two countries and took about half an hour. I first made it to a large police building with a siding alongside with about 20 freight cars. These were quite easy to identify being Chinese built P62's box cars and C61 & C63 class gondolas amongst others. Builders plates showed dates ranging from 1980 - 1990. Even more interesting was that most bore North Korean markings (or nothing, so presumably all ex-North Korean stock). This siding had a fresh brick wall built over the rails on the other side of the main road (as seen by the black marker in the map above) meaning that all those freight cars are now condemned with no way of reaching the main line.

I walked towards it and found the small diesel behind a very tall fence. Foiled again! However, less than 5 meters away the fence simply ended and I was able to access the large factory ground. I initially thought the diesel to be a DFH2, however after taking a number of photos noticed the markings of DFH21 - identical to the green meter gauge variants that run on the local Kunming railway. As far as I'm aware these locomotives were based on a the DFH2 but used exclusively on the Kunming line. From comparing my archives, it is quite different to the DFH2 and is most certainly a DFH21. This raises a number of interesting questions such as where did it come from and when? Was it a one off unit or a second hand unit from Kunming? Despite the number of 0151 not fitting in with the numbers on the Kunming railway, I'm of the opinion it was moved here sometime in the mid 2000's when the Kunming railway got their newer locomotives. Some of its original green paint can be seen under the now peeling blue paint. I believe it to be more of a feasible idea that the locomotive was bought cheap and regauged, rather than ordering an odd locomotive type brand new. There was no one around to ask of its origins, so if anyone has any further information on this locomotive, I would very much like to hear from you.

More interesting however were the "passenger cars" which turned out to be a pair of DF4B's - in North Korean livery/numbers! Information on North Korean rolling stock is very limited, with few visitors to the country taking an interest in the railways, much less so to anything other than steam traction. A small fleet of DF4's' made it to North Korea as the 200 series. According to the numbers on these two locomotives, The numbers prove that at least 25 made it across the border. Number 225 was simply painted over the old embossed characters of DF4 1349 with no effort in concealing its former identity. The builders plate painted over completely in dark green with Dalian Locomotive works 1987.

The other locomotive is 203 and it was almost impossible to see the former Chinese number as it had been completely filed off. One end of the locomotive had received a slightly worse job than the other and I was only just able to make out the number of 1552. Condition of both locomotives appears to be very good and at least one of them looks 100% complete (the other missing very minor components such as a side mirror or a pneumatic tap). Unit 203 has also been modified somewhat with blackout headlight visors (to protect it from American bombers during hours of darkness). Two of the front quarter windows have also been painted over, possibly replaced with sheet metal after being damaged? The paint looks much fresher on 203 and has wheelsets painted black, rather than the grey on #225.

Between the two NK DF4 locomotives is a UZ22 mail car in decrepit condition. This car still has the original Chinese markings and even an old worn sticker-type destination board showing "Nenjiang Harbin-Dong 4076/4075". There's no indication to say it has been associated with Dear Leader.

The discovery of these two locomotives has raised more questions than I have answers to unfortunately. What on earth are they in China for? Were they confiscated? A debt repayment? Sent back for overhaul or scrapping? From the images on google earth, there should have been either another locomotive or passenger car up until recently. In the yard there were also approximately 20 C type hoppers, some stacked on top of each other, as well as 100 odd wheel sets so scrapping or storage seems the most likely of the scenarios. The hoppers were some distance away and I admit I forgot to check if they were ex-North Korean or Chinese after I had finished losing my proverbial poo over the diesel locomotives!

From here I headed for the depot. I was quite adament I would not be allowed inside, which turned out to be the case. There was derelict QJ inside the depot until 2013 about the same time the roundhouse was demolished. According to some of the drivers entering the depot to begin work, QJ1583 was moved to Sujiatun. This is quite a busy section of line for China rail with a train coming into or leaving Tumen every 10 minutes or so. Freight traffic is handled by DF4B, DF4C or HXN5's (the most populous class seen) and passenger trains hauled by DF4D, DF4DK, DF11 & DF11G.

The depot has a very interesting maroon colored DF5 with the crane train and a couple of other older DF5's and DF5B's for local workings and yard shunts.

My time in Tumen seemed to fly by, despite walking a distance of 16 kilometers, but was a real highlight of this adventure. The discoveries of North Korean rolling stock was very special and just to see across the border was an experience I will never forget. Initially I was quite cautious walking around, but that quickly fleeted with the locals being amongst the friendliest people I have encountered in China and were very keen to have a chat and include me in group photos. Quite an odd feeling becoming the toursist attraction at a tourist attraction! I departed on train K7370 to Fushun North in soft sleeper class. My cabin was shared with a pair of Korean missionaries from Australia and were great travel company. I appologise for my snoring, ladies... long day.

A list of the locomotives seen and photographed in Tumen on this day are as follows :

DF4B 1529, 6159, 6***
DF4C 5173, 5452
DF4D 0047
DF5 1255, 1690, 2000
DF11 0094, 0199, 0285
DFH21 0151
HXN5 0478, 0497, 0500, 0505, 0528, 0533, 0544, 0564

(diesel - North Korean)
200 class (DF4B) 203, 225
300 class (DF5), unknown number

(electric - North Korean)
Mangyongdae class, unknown number

12 September 2015

My visit to Fushun was for a long overdue visit to the mining network rather than the steam locomotives at the old Fushun Steelworks at Piaoertun. I visited Piaoertun in my November 2014 trip and with the hostility towards foreigners there recently and limited photographic potential, decided the large mining network of fascinating electric locomotives would be more worthwhile. I was not disappointed!

Traffic into Fushun was scarce with only two freights seen from my window, a DF4C mixed freight and a military train with a HXN5 locomotive on the front. From Fushun North train station, I took a taxi straight to the hotel, the Realm Wanda on the bank of the Hunhe river. This is supposedly the best Hotel in Fushun and in a very good location being within walking distance to Fushun railway station. It was expensive, however after two overnight trains back to back, it was a very welcome break. I arrived at the hotel just before 7am and they were happy for me to check in early at no extra charge. I could have happily lazed about the hotel all day, however there were many trains to see and half an hour later I was in a taxi heading to Guchengzi. Guchengzi is located on the south west edge of the western pit. Rail operations are heavy here and its also home to the mining museum which contains a number of outdoor railway exhibits as well as other retired mine machinery.

I decided to hit the museum first and bought and was charged a pretty hefty 50 yuan and then handed me two tickets. One I discovered for the Chairman Mao museum. My vocabulary didn't allow me to explain that I didn't want the Mao museum, but they thought I was asking for directions and when it became apparent I wasn't really getting anywhere I moved on. A ticket only for the viewing area and railway museum 'should be' 30Y. From previous reports, it seems nothing has changed here for years. Lined up facing the pit are the following:

Steam locomotives SY #0628 (1969) & #0715 (1973)
Electric locomotives ZG150-1500 #027 (1972), EL-1 #1707 (1961), 37E-1 #1526 (1959) & ED-85 #1137 (1939)
Spreader (1936)
Steam crane D2-15 #153 (1957) - Russian built
Exacvators EKr-4 (1955), E1003 #3 (1953) - both Russian built
Komatsu Scraper WS23S-1 (1983)
Car loader L-800 (1985)
Dump truck SF3102 (1990), Russian-7523 (1979)
Bulldozer 10N (1986), Red Flag 100 (1975)
Digger E0-4224 - Russian built

All the exhibits are kept in pretty good condition and a few minor repairs were underway inside the park. The spreader is amusingly titled "Bulldozes the plow" on the information board and is very different to the ones used up until recently at Sandaoling. It's dated 1936 which sounds about right with the style of rivets used on the chassis. SY 0628 shows the builders date of 1969, however it seems the gap between that and the other locomotive parked next to her #0715 dated 1973 is too great. Indeed, Duncan Cotterill's website shows 1973 for both locomotives. Running gear is painted a garish gold color.

The viewing area into the pit is not too bad, but a large section is blocked from overgrown foliage to get a very good impression of it. The south bank - closest to the observation - is operated by trucks dumping spoil , however on the northern side, I could see four electric trains of with 37E-1 and ZG150-1500 class locomotives emptying spoil trains. It appears that they are gradually filling this pit with spoil in certain areas. Most of the trains are coming from the newer eastern pit.

Asides from a pair of friendly Chinese railway enthusiasts, I had the entire grounds to myself for the duration of my visit and left when a large family of kids ran screaming into the park and started jumping all over the exhibits. The best vantage points I could find were the pedestrian bridge spanning the west end of the washery yard and Guchengzi station itself. All locomotives seen working are the ED-85 class dating back to the early 1940's and five were seen during my time here. These locomotives are now all painted back into their original dark green livery since the last report I read, from the very attractive blue/white style over the past few years. I couldn't see a single builders plate amongst them, however if their numbers are original, these would be part of a batch made by the South Manchurian Railway in China. Identical locomotives also used in Fushun were built in numerous factories in Jpan and the originals, of which none were seen and almost certainly retired, from the USA back in 1915. Either way, these are without the oldest working locomotives in China and a real privilidge to see.

Asides from a solitary ZG150-1500 with a dozen side dump hoppers in tow, trains were exclusively handled by the elderly ED-85's pulling an average of ten loaded C type gondolas to a small platform directly under the pedestrian bridge where a rail mounted digger machine would level out the loads. This gave plenty of time to work out a good spot to get plenty of decent photos without the jungle of catenary masts getting in the way. At lunch time, everything died down and I left for my next location - Donggang.

I took a taxi to Donggang (on the eastern side of the western pit) expecting to be taken to the old Donggang station, however the driver had other ideas and instead took me to the eastern side of the west pit instead. I didn't mind though as the view here was simply superb. The sky was once again brilliant blue and the wind was calm. Asides from the dust being kicked up by the mining operations from where I was earlier at Guchengzi, I figured this was the best time to be able to view the pit. It is dubbed China's largest coal pit at over 6 kilometers in length and almost 500 meters in depth, this being nearly twice as long as those at Fuxin and Jalinuer and much, much deeper than Sandaoling's impressive 5 kilometer long pit.

There is a viewing area currently under construction but the workers didn't mind me hanging around with the tripod. It was quite easy to make out at least a dozen trains at any time with mostly spoil trains. All electric locos here are also painted in olive green and appears to be quite fresh. All three working electric locomotives classes were seen working in the pit, being the Chinese articulated ZG150-1500 (similar to the EL-1 class, of which I never saw any working examples in Fushun), the brutish looking Skoda 37E-1 unit electrics and the Japanese built ED85's. Spoil trains were exclusively used on the spoil trains and the ED-85's used on maintenance or machinery transfer trains.

Asides from this, a pair of DF5 diesels were on maintenance trains. One of these maintenance trains was powered by a very old orange DF5 #1052 and was made up of a mishmash of workers passenger cars, flat cars and a Z151 class steam crane on the rear. The other was a blue DF5 #1121 and much same as the other, but was busy relocating a line of track on the northern bank. The most interesting part of this was one of the workers cars which was unmistakenly the lead unit of one of the Japanese 1930's e.m.u. sets which was painted in a rather attractive white/blue/red liveries, similar to the common 25K passenger cars used on China Rail.

Electric locomotives don't use their pantographs inside the pit, but instead must use the electrical side mounted pick up arm to contact the wire. Voltage is 1500 volts. The tunnel area between the two pits which runs underneath Nanchang road is particularly busy with many trains waiting for another to clear a section before being able to continue.

Time had already got away from me and at about 4pm I hailed a taxi to take me to the old China Rail/mining railway station of Daguantun on the northern side of the west pit. Unfortunately the large walk bridge spanning the yard was padlocked shut since the mining railway station was no longer in use. I noted also a number of other passenger stations on the way back to the hotel were similarly shut, including Kuangwuju and Nantai. I made my way back to the hotel for dinner and to get some more mainline trains over the Hunhe river. I made it back to the hotel about an hour before sunset, dumped my camera pack and set off to the bank of the Hunhe river, directly outside the hotel. My room did have a very good view of the bridge in perfect afternoon light and if it wasn't for the neighbours window being left open and obscuring most of it, I would have been quite happy to stay there.

Before the sunset I was able to enjoy five trains passing over the very beautiful concrete rendered bridge. I unfortunately missed a DF11 with green and gold passenger cars just as I arrived, but was able to get a CRH5 passenger train to Shenyang, a HXN5 on a mixed freight and a two DF4C's on separate container trains. The sunset was spectacular on the river and I got some very nice photos from here.

SY 0628, 0715 (both preserved)

DF4C 4357, 5067
DF5 1052 , 1121
HXN5 0484, 0562

EL1 1707 (preserved)
ED-85 1137 (preserved), 1204, 1205, 1206, 1207, 1211, 1221
ZG150-1500 027 (preserved), 105, 112, 148, + four other unidentifiable
37E-1 1505, 1513, 1517, 1529, 1526 (preserved), 1528, 1539, 1541, 1549, 1559, 1702, 1705

(electric multiple unit)
CRH5 5166

13 September 2015

Today was considered a travel day, with train D8138 from Fushun North to Shenyang North departing at 1240. I woke up late due to having the most comfortable bed I've ever been in as well as a controllable thermostat and also catching up from the previous few days sleep deprivation. Nevertheless I still had one major item to tick off from Fushun before I left and I had four hours to complete it - the e.m.u. passenger yards just beneath the old abandoned power station. I particularly wanted to see the last Japanese set after finding some photos on google earth that it was stored here along with a number of other e.m.u. sets. I got a taxi to the power station then hit the road on foot. I started my long walk down a dirt road along the side of the yard with tall brick walls thwarting any chance of seeing what was inside and after a few failed attempts at finding an entrance, eventually I found one right at the back of the yard. The overgrowth here was horrendous, but I eventually made it in via the north wall (or lack of!).

Only a few passenger cars were in sight including one of the center cars from one of the Japanese sets. I could also see set 808 but decided to make a retreat and find a more official entry point into the yard with the expectation I would be denied access, but satisfied at least I had found some remnants of the old set. Just as I was leaving, a worker called me over and after a hand shake and a brief introduction, he took me over behind set 808 and a complete Japanese set, #101, presented itself looking tired, but still very elegant basking in the sun. He left me soon after and told me to go where I pleased but to stay away from the northern side of the yard where a number of hoppers in brand new condition were being worked on.

The storage yards haven't seen much movement since the trains were all stored here, but I noted four types in all.

Japanese Set

From what I understand there were six sets brought over from Japan in 1935 as articulated diesel sets by the South Manchurian Railway. About ten years later they were converted to electric train sets with 1500v traction motors to serve the Fushun coal mine rail network. They lived on for 25 years in that formation before being modified again as non-articulated three car sets. Two types of bogies were used, and one set of each survived into the early 2000's. The last working set, #101, was finally retired upon the cessation of passenger trains. One source says these were six car sets for a time, with four trailers spliced between the two motor cars. They were said to be underpowered, but still suitable for this railway due to the inability to attain high speed. #101 appears to be in complete condition and I'm aghast as to why this train isn't under cover being babied by the China's finest coach builders or in a museum, being that it's an extremely important piece of railway history.

Rebuilt Japanese class (presumed) E.M.U. 2 car rail set

I have very little information on this set, but it is most likely a heavily rebuilt Japanese set. The length of the cars and placement/type of undercarriage equipment supports this theory. Only one set was found and it was coupled to a Rail crane (diesel). They bear the numbers 1271-1 & 1271-2 respectively, the latter equipped with a pantograph. Both cars have a driving cab at each end with a large headlight on the roof at both ends and # 2 also fitted with a second equally large headlight on the front of the cab.

KY Class e.m.u. set

This three car set (M+T+T configuration) was built to begin replace the aging fleet on the Fushun railway. The streamlined front was obviously made for aesthetic purposes only, as the Fushun railway operated at very low speeds. Apparently this set was rebuilt in 1990 from the 1980's e.m.u. stock built in the early 1980's in Changchun, themselves based on YZ31 commuter cars. It carried no numbers or identifying marks, however it should be numbered 802.

KY Class e.m.u. set #115

#115 is a two car set (M+T configuration) was found the yard painted all light blue in what appeared to be a semi-permanent "China Mobile" advertisement livery. There were also some severly peeling advertisements for the Beijing 2008 Olympic games. This set has been out of service longer than the other members of the KY class. It appears to have been redesigned for the more modern DF4D styled cab front, but escaped the rebranding with inspirational names like much of the rest of the class, instead fitted with the old mining logo.

KY Class (modified) e.m.u. set Class E.M.U.

At least five of the KY class were rebuilt between 2007 & 2008, most likely as part of a China wide program to beautify the country for the impending Olympic games. Each set was given a different color scheme to the next and adourned with brass characters with a specific name. I noted five sets stored as well as one center car from another. These units were 801 "Solidarity" (Tuan Jie Hao), 805 "Peace" (Ping An Hao), 807 "Development" (Fa Zhan Hao), 809 "Harmony" (He Xie Hao), 810 "Endeavour" (Fen Jin Hao). Unit #806, not seen, was called "Revitalization" (Zhen Xing Hao). The driver cabs driver cabs share a striking resemblance to a DF4D locomotive. Sadly, this seems to have been a fruitless exercise with the cessation of passenger trains a little less than two years later.

One curiosity is the design of the side cab window on nearly all of these units. I can't tell if they are shaped on someone's backside or an apple. The paint work is in very poor state with large rust patches over nearly every inch of the body work. I'm surprised they've lasted in storage this long, but it's pretty clear none of these trains will enter service again.

Other notable equipment in the yard was a pair of P13 box cars in excellent condition with reasonably fresh paint, each with a locomotive type headlight on the roof. These were coupled to a yellow YZ31 commuter coach.

A Class N152-15t diesel crane painted yellow was also in the yard, coupled to the 2 car Japanese rebuilt set. It looks like it hasn't been operated for some time with much rust and paint fade showing. The builders plate has a build date of 1975.

A number of locomotives are also stored here, although I suspect most of these are here for repairs or repainting. Two 3 unit Skoda 37E-1's #1523 and #1540 were stored behind the large sheds. ED-85 #1216 is coupled behind one of the E.M.U. sets in the very attractive blue livery with white stripe. It appears not to have run for a long time and is probably in long term storage to feed other locomotives of the same class.

Towards the front of the yards were five other locomotives, two ZG150's #1627 & 1632 and three ED-85's, two in blue #620 & #621 and one green #605.

What an incredible place! I left via the main gate, with the guard keeper looking a bit bewildered how I managed to sneak past him in the first place(!) but still offered a smile and a friendly goodbye. For potential visitors, please note I visited here on a Sunday which usually means managers have the day off and many locations are a little more lax on security. I had an hour left to pick up my bag from the hotel and to the train station which I comfortably achieved using taxis and before long I was on board CRH5G-5167 for the short non-stop service to Shenyang Bei. This line is not the same that runs via Fushun and Piaoertun running north of the Hunhe river for its duration. I was too late with the camera to photograph a freshly overhauled ND5 shunting oil tankers near Jiuzhan station as we flew past, with the only other seen train being an orange DF7C with a small train of brown PB class box cars. Many locomotives were seen in the Shenyang locomotive depot and I managed to reel off some photos here, but more for record purposes.

I had about 4 hours to get to Shenyang train station from Shenyang north for my next train to Fuxin (#2258). The taxi ride took about 20 minutes and I had a long sit down in a restaurant at the station. In fact I was typing this very report at the time and lost the whole lot when my poor old laptop unexpectadly overheated and shut down! Rick had got me a hard sleeper ticket for this service and it was nice to have a lie down after the sun set a couple of hours in. Prior to that, traffic levels were quite high with the large USA built HXN3 diesels and HXD3B electrics on freight services. There is also a new high speed railway currently under construction. I would estimate approximately 100kms of this line between Shenyang and Fuxin is elevated. At Fuxin a train of double decker cars (no locomotive) was on the platform for the next days early morning K7357/8 to Shenyang North

I arrived in Fuxin and checked into the delightful Kevin hotel I stayed at during my last visit 10 months earlier for the next five nights.

A list of the locomotives seen and photographed in Fushun on this day are as follows :

DF4D 0033, 0051, 0096, 0254, 0435, 0438
DF4DK 3251, 3283
DF5 2005
DF7C 5327
DF11 0092
DF11G 0113/14, 0121/22
HXN3 0226
HXN5 0488

37E-1 1523, 1540
ED-85 605, 620, 621, 1216
ZG-150-1500 627, 632
HXD3B 0396
HXD3C 0545, 0759
HXD3D 0007, 0344
SS9G 0083, 0202

(electric multiple unit)
CRH5G 5167
Japanese Set 101
Modified Japanese Set 1271-1 + 1271-2
KY Class e.m.u. Set (2 car) 115
KY Class e.m.u. (Bullet nose) 802 KY Class (Modified) e.m.u. (3 car) 801, 805, 807, 809, 810

Continued in part three - Click here!

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