The World's Last Steam Trains: China (Key)

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In The World’s Last Steam Trains China author, Chris Davies, looks at standard steam working in China, and accompanies it with an impressive selection of his own photographs. Taken in 2015 and 2017 the images cover steam workings at Sandaoling opencast coal mine in the north west; Fuxin, a coal-mining city north east of Beijing, which until recently operated the largest surviving fleet of SY locomotives; Baiyin, south west of Beijing, which operated some of the last steam-hauled passenger trains in the world; and Wu Jiu, a remote coal-mining outpost in Inner Mongolia.

Includes information on the many types of steam locomotive operated in China, such as the American Mikado 2-8-2s and XK2 Class 0-6-0Ts; the PL2 Class 2-6-2s, SL3 and SL6 4-6-2 Classes originally from Japan and the FD Class 2-10-2s built by the Soviet Union.

China was the last country in the world to manufacture and operate steam locomotives; they once worked across the whole railway system and were still in service on the national railway system until 1996. By the early 1980s, there were an estimated 10,000 operational steam locomotives in the country, but by the 1990s, diesel and electric locomotives started to replace them on the main lines and the number in service reduced substantially as the millennium approached. The last steam locomotives were finally withdrawn from China Rail in 2003. On many industrial railway systems steam locomotives continued to be used into the early 2000s; today Sandaoling is the only known site to still have active steam workings. The steam locomotives featured in the striking photographs are JS Class 2-8-2s and SY Class 2-8-2s.

Over 120 mainly colour photographs. 128 pages.

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