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SY Class 2-8-2 steam locomotives

The SY (or ShangYou) 2-8-2's were the light sized steam locomotive for China Rail's highly standardized mainline steam fleet. Production started in 1960 and by the time production ended in 1999, 1820 had been produced, almost exclusively at Tangshan Works. The latest build one I saw was in Hegang with 1998 plates, yet dumped with a number of other due to the increasing difficulty in obtaining spare parts. The SY's were very well liked amongst crews due to their simplicity, and were scattered all over China working in coal mines and large industries such as steel mills.

Some of my videos of SY class steam locomtives in action can be found here.

Yima's SY locomotives
Yima (3443'N 11155'E) had a huge coal mine with it's own railway system which employed a large number of JS 2-8-2 locomotives as well as a handful of SY's. Operations were winding up by the turn of the century and coal production ceased a few years after. When we visited the area in September 2006, there were still a few locomotives stored/dumped. The manager of the shed told us of plans to open the line as a tourist railway, however this never eventuated. The shed at Yima suffered a huge blow a few months after our visit when the roof collapsed under heavy snowfall.

Yaojie's SY locomotives
Yaojie was an industrial line on the western border of Gansu province, some 120 kilometers west of Lanzhou (3626'N 10252'E). Traffic was predominantly coal and SY hauled, until diesels arrived in the mid 2000's.


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