THE world’s last bastion for standard gauge steam locomotives continues its 24-hour daily operation in the giant Sandaoling open cast coal mine near Hami in Xinjiang Province, China.
About a year ago, the coal mine’s management unexpectedly decided to retain and overhaul some its extensive steam fleet after assessing the cost and benefit of steam haulage against switching to road transport.
Steam traction has the cost advantage as the large fleet of locos are owned by the mine. This change in stance has resulted in a few ‘JS’ class 2-8-2 locos being pulled out of the storage yard for overhaul to add to a fleet of heavily work-stained engines.
Heavily enforced anti-terrorist security is being imposed increasingly everywhere in Xinjiang Province, and has made visits to the mine area more difficult, but not out of the question.
While it was impossible to visit Nan Zhan (South Station marshalling yard) during a recent visit, it was still possible to visit and photograph in other locations, including the big pit itself.
Read more in the December issue of The RM – on sale now!
Railway ReadsFrom the history of steam through to 21st century rail transport news, we have titles that cater for all rail enthusiasts. Covering diesels, modelling, steam and modern railways, check out our range of magazines and fantastic subscription offers.
Get The Railway Hub Weekly Round-upEnter your e-mail address below and you will receive weekly rail news straight into your inbox...
You can unsubscribe at any time.
About the Author
- Dinmore and more and more! - 20th October 2020
- Centenarian cameraman: Ron Buckley – Britain’s Oldest Railway Photographer:Part Two - 13th October 2020
- Delivering a bigger, better railway for Scotland - 6th October 2020