Imagine thousands of steam locomotives in everyday use, rolling through lands of stunning beauty. That was steam railroading in China in 2001 when this exciting documentary was filmed. Much of it is hauntingly similar to the American railroads of the 1930s-1950s. All of it is fascinating. Join our tour of six unique sites and see why steam in China may be the greatest railroad show on earth! We begin on legendary Jing Peng Pass with its 40 miles of tunnels, 2% ruling grade, horseshoe curves, and spiral bridges entirely serviced by double-headed 2-10-2 QJ class locomotives.
Next we take you to Daban where the entire fleet of 100 QJ’s are serviced. Their resemblance to Union Pacific or NYC locomotives, with smoke box deflectors, Boxpok driving wheels, and large smokebox-mounted headlights, is remarkable. In the coal mining region of Tiefa, a fleet of thirty 2-8-2 SY class locomotives pull fast commuter trains with amazing frequency. Our camera catches the action there near a busy double diamond junction.
The Dahiuchang Limestone Quarry near Beijing is an enchanting narrow gauge steam line where we’ll view endless strings of tiny ore cars pulled by miniature locomotives. At Anshan, we are granted rare access into one of the world’s largest steel mills. It operates its own fleet of forty 2-8-2’s and the activity level is incredible. Finally, we’ll witness the awesome brute strength of three 2-8-2’s straining full throttle up the 3-1/2 percent grade to the Chengde steel mill complex. This line has it all: steep curves, rock cuts, narrow tunnels, and terrific rural scenery. Experience the wonder of it all in China Steam Spectacular!