Nigel's Mystery Tour to the mines in the Huangdan - Mamiao area
Muchuanmayue Mine
Jida Mine
Surviving Coal Mines in the Greater Shibanxi Area

On the Sunday when I had my 100% steam day at Mifeng, Nigel and the rest of the group took a tour round from Sanjin to Huangdan, Mamiao and back over the hills to Sanjin. They were searching for any remaining coal mines in the area and found quite a few closed and 2 open mines. They didn't find the overhead-electric-served mine that had been reported in Bernd's FarRail blog in March 2018 on the way from Sanjin to Shawan nor the mine I had suggested between Huangdan and Mamiao across the river near the dam. Both Rob Dickinson and I have seen locally-built diesels working there but the last visit was in 2011. Nigel has provided details of the group's explorations and this report contains photos by himself and John King of the two working mines. I can also add that locals at Xianrenjiao said that the coal mine on the link road to the Bagou - Mamiao Road was also still working.

Nigel's Coal Mine Mystery Tour

Set out as planned at 08.15 in the Doctor's car and we soon no longer required the jumpers and jackets we started out with!

First stop - Baosheng mine. Closed and gated. Part of the spoil tipping area being used for concrete / cement mixing. Climbing on the steep road above the mine, a couple of tracks were still visible as was the adit (just about in the vegetation).

Then continued driving , passed Gida mine (closed with no sign of rail activity) before arriving at Antai mine. Closed, no sign of rail activity but the gate was open with no sign of security. Apart from an elderly gentleman who appeared to be residing in part of the place with his unfriendly canine companion, we had the place to ourselves. It literally had just been left and we were able to explore the old canteen and the dormitories! Fascinating!

We continued driving and arrived at Muchuanmayue Mine. This was working and with friendly staff we were able to observe this rope worked (600mm we think) mine. It was quite busy with fulls being pulled up by rope and a short bit by a pulley, with two men working the rotary tippler. There were locos here! Two diesel - one looks out of use, the other looked as if it had been used recently but required an engine repair. Plus two? battery locos which looked derelict.

Then drove through Huangdan town on to Yuye Mine (working but no sign of rail activity) near the dam, stopping on a flag bedecked bridge to take photos. Then on to Mamio Suolou Lake for an excellent lunch at a restaurant overlooking the lake.

We then found Jida Mine near Mamiao. Rail activity has ceased here. The coal is now brought out by belt at a lower level. The tracks remain around the adit area plus some wagons. Locos - 2 diesel & 3 battery - plus other wagons dumped together.

There were one or two other mines seen on the way but we didn't stop.

Then completed the circuit back to Sanjin in time to observe some late afternoon C2 activity!

It was a great day out, with wonderful scenery and views, switchback roads with gradients that proved a challenge to do a standing start from and wonderful food plus a bit of railway activity thrown in!

Nigel checked by John K.