Wednesday, 12 March 2014

China Winter Steam- Pingzhuang

 Our day at Pingzhuang began with a visit to the stabling point where the three engines which work this line gather together for a crew change and for the locos to be serviced. Each arrives in turn and is processed before being dispatched on to a train back out to the system.

A variety of interesting pictures can be taken with the coal loader and the buildings of the mine workings.

We spend some time here while our buses head back in to town to pick up breakfast- the dumplings which we are becoming well accustomed to!
Before we leave the stabling point there is just time to catch SY 1441 hauling a long and heavy train away from the yard (3640 metric tons we are told!). 

We follow the line down to its end at Pingzhuang Nan where the system meets with China Rail. We see a couple of mainline trains in the distance before SY 1441 leads some empty wagons back from the China Rail yard over the bridge in front of us.

At this point we receive bad news. The train we have just watched is was the last to run before Chinese new year in a weeks time. The mine manager has decided that all trains should return to base for cleaning. Tomorrow he will inspect them and then the workers will most likely be sent home early for new year.
It is a disappointing end to what had been a very brief visit to Pingzhuang. With the line set to dieselise from May this would almost certainly have the last chance for our party to see steam here.
If our tour is to continue its hunt for steam there is no option but to re-board the bus and drive all the way back to Fuxin!

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