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Shibanxi

The Shibanxi railway is one of the true great railways of China. It is completely detached from the China Rail network using a fleet of popular C2 0-8-0 steamers and for part of the line tiny electric locos for coal only service. Mudanjiang diesels made an appearance sometime ago, but have long been abandoned outside the depot. The line connects a series of very small towns, most of which have no road access and some coal mines in the far end.

My visit in September 2006 was one of the last weeks to operate old style before some very tacky 'tourist coaches' were added to the scene. While the line is still operating, it seems unfortunate that this once essential line is being over-commercialised with the Disney trains, snazzy uniforms and new SY style tenders and rumours are floating around as of 2012 that coal operations will cease. On the other hand it is good to see that China isn't completely abandoning their steam trains.

Onboard the passenger train from Shibanxi to Yuejin, 27 September 2006.

Length 1:18 minutes.

The famous 'loading of the pigs' is hereby realised! 28 September 2006.

Length 2:49 minutes.

C2 #10 heads to the depot for coaling (a manual task of course!), 27 September 2006.

Length 1:15 minutes.

Scenes from Shixi - footage includes;
1. The "welcoming" music which comes from loudspeakers attached to the roof of one of the passenger cars.
2. Some 'Sichuan style chicken shake n' bake'
3. View of Shibanxi station, 27 September 2006

Length 1:01 minutes.

Some scenes around Caiziba and a short freight running around the famous Caiziba horseshoe curve, 28 September 2006.

Length 0:29 minutes.

Some scenes around Caiziba and a short freight running around the famous Caiziba horseshoe curve, 28 September 2006.

Length 0:47 minutes.

C2 #10 with the passenger train shoots through the tunnel approaching Caiziba, 28 September 2006.

Length 1:00 minutes.

C2 #07 races down hill with a loaded coal train, all shot from the same vantage point, 28 September 2006.

Length 2:31 minutes.

C2 #07 starts on a steep grade with the mid-afternoon passenger, 28 September 2006.

Length 1:27 minutes.

C2 #07 departs Jaoba station, 28 September 2006.

Length 1:48 minutes.

C2 #14 rounds the Jaoba horseshoe curve, 28 September 2006.

Length 1:06 minutes.

C2 #07 on the same horseshoe curve, tender first with passenger train, 28 September 2006.

Length 1:24 minutes.

The afternoon school train drops off children all along the line to waiting parents, 28 September 2006.

Length 1:44 minutes.

1. C2 #14 rolls through Yuejin with a coal train
2. The last passenger train of the day rumbles through Yuejin, 28 September 2006.

Length 1:02 minutes.

C2 #07 departs Yuejin with the final passenger train after dropping off pigs , 28 September 2006.

Length 1:12 minutes.

C2 #10 brings in the passenger train to Mifengyan tender first, then continues on to Shixi engine first, 28 September 2006.

Length 1:42 minutes.


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