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Steam Lines in China 2018

The run down in working steam in China continues and as of October 2018 only two lines are known for certain to still use steam on a daily basis, the coal mine complex at Sandaoling and the tourist line at Shibanxi. One other line may also use steam daily but no reports have been received for over 18 months. Two sites continue to use steam but not on a daily or even regular basis. A further site holds an annual 'steam festival,' usually in January, while a number of narrow gauge tourist railways also use steam but only for specially chartered trains. Operations at Sandaoling are expected to continue until 2020 but apart from Shibanxi, continued steam operations elsewhere could end without notice. Up to date information, including confirmation of lines where working steam no longer exists, is always welcome, please send to the webmaster.

For information including maps, loco lists and links to trip reports on these and other lines prior to October 2014, please see the original Steam Lines page. For convenience, clicking the line's title will take you to the description and a list of the most recent relevant reports.

Latest updates:

Sandaoling news (October 2018)

Remaining Steam Lines


This is by far the most active remaining steam location with 7 locos in daily use, four on coal trains from the open cast pit and another three around Nanzhan for shunting duties and coal traffic plus shunting between Nanzhan and Erjing/Yijing. The last heavy overhaul in the workshops is reported to have taken place in September 2018 although steam operations are likely to continue until the projected closure of the open cast mine in September 2020, now pushed back into 2021.

For the most recent reports see News for 2 October and John Raby's and Trevor Maxted's reports of visits in January 2018.


On a visit in June 2018, Raicho Yang found 5 C2s available for use but only two round trips behind steam each day (News, 8th June 2018). For a full report, see John Raby's account of a visit in April 2018.


There are two SYs based here with one in use at any one time, steamed on a daily basis to take wagons to and from the exchange sidings with CNR. A December 2016 visitor recorded the loco in use as SY1007 with the second one apparently dumped. Unconfirmed reports from early 2018 suggested steam here has now ended.


SY1407 is normally in steam daily at JianJing colliery near Jiutai in Jilin province, approximately 40km NE of Changchun but sees use no more than 2-3 times weekly to take wagons to and from the CNR exchange sidings at Yingcheng, 4km away. The time of operation varies, presumably in accordance with CNR requirements. Another SY appears to being used as a source of spare parts. See the news report of 1st November and Michael Reilly's report of February 2016.

Wujiu Coal Mine

Wujiu has one diesel (DF4DD) and 3 useable SYs: 1134, 1225 and 1546, only one of which is in use at any one time. Operation appears irregular, with visitors reporting days with little or no activity. See John Raby's report of a visit in April 2018 and Martn Bochnig's report from December 2017.

Other possibilities and/or lines which may have recently ended steam working.

(Diaobingshan) Tiefa

The system here organises a steam festival over an extended weekend every January. That for 2018 was held from 19th - 21st January with 2 SYs and the systems' KD6 in use. At least one SY also remains available for charter at modest rates but there is no "regular" traffic.

Yujian (ChaoQi)

Although trains on this newly opened tourist line in Henan province started in 2017 confirmation that they are running regularly rather than only for pre-arranged groups, as in 2017, is awaited. See News for 18 June 2017.


A December 2017 report stated all steam here finished earlier in the year


Steam working at the Xiyang Phosphate factory at Xifeng, north of Guiyang in Guizhou province, ended in early 2017. See Martn B0chnig's report from December 2017.

If you have information about these or any other surviving steam operations, please let the SY-Country webmaster know:


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2005, F.Menius, 2007 Dave Fielding, 2014, Trustees of SY-Country.