19/12 Saturday

Capital Iron & Steel, Beijing

No visit possible as it was Saturday so we tried to phot from the outside. This is hopeless so don't bother.

Green industrial diesels 0197, 0045

2 SY hauled 'sand' out of plant and into the public area. Gave up and headed to:

Dahuichan Limestone Railway

Although this line is only about 1 hr to the west of Beijing it is in the countryside in a hilly location. Limestone is blasted in the hills and brought to a crushing plant by road truck. With pieces still bigger than footballs, the stone is dropped down a hole in the top of a 2-track railway tunnel and reaches the rail hoppers when they are pulled by cable into the tunnel. The railway is about 1.5 km long and double track throughout. Right hand running is the rule although with more than one load of empties at the loading tunnel, a light engine works up the fulls line to clear this. The second loco then works empties up the empties line. This was how the working started at the normal daily time of 2.00.

C2 04 & 'the loco with no number' in use

01 derelict, inside 2 + ?

2 cabs incl 1 tank loco cab near shed

2 locos dep depot at 2 pm 1 light 1 on empties,

locos work tender first downhill on fulls. Hopper wagons are old and battered and on their last legs. Wheels rubs on and through hopper sides and several hoppers with axles broken due to metal fatigue litter the loading point.

Tramway-type sprung catch points (2 sets) on the inside rail only of the uphill empties line protect both the crossing and the terminus from run-away empty wagons..

An overhead trip switch is operated by the engine cab when leaving the loading point with dowhill fulls. Whether this operates a warning for mid-way crossing or at the terminal was not checked. Would the next visitor please check where the wires go? Would they also try to work out how the hoppers are loaded in the tunnel and how the cable operation to haul the hopper train into and out of the tunnel works?

10/1 Sunday

02 out light on fulls road around 2 pm followed by 'loco with no number' on empties. We concentrated on good shots at the bottom (factory) end of the line of empties working up hill. We can confirm the operation works Saturdays and Sundays.

YJ287 in steam for sg shunt. How old is this loco? Pre-1950s? Prichard lists this loco at Capital Iron & Steel which is believe to own the limestone railway.

Best phot spots are for empties working uphill below the midway dirt-track crossing but lineside scrub and clutter makes photography a challenge. This is a nice little operation to entertain anyone with a free afternoon in Beijing. Are there any more lines like this in the area? It fairly unusual because it is 1. for limestone, 2. very short, 3. double track. Maybe there are others.

SY shunting near the new Beijing West Station towards the centre of Beijing.

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