|The stars of the show- the mighty DF4 diesels are the most prolific across China and quite literally helped to build this country. The sound of these locos pulling their 18 coaches away from the station is something to savour!|
|An SS9 loco with stock to match leaving Beijing Station|
In an unfamiliar country this can often be quite daunting- especially if 'trainspotting' 'railfanning' or whatever it is called is not really the normal. There may not be many sources of information and the railway may not be easily accessible. That is if there is even anything worth seeing!?
CRH5A High speed trains were the only high speed
multiple units seen to be using the station on my visit.
Most high speed services serve Beijing South station.
As well as hauling trains there are a large number of light
engine movements to and from the nearby stabling point.
While they do not have quite the same pedigree as the
DF4's the DF11's are no less smart and impressive when
hauling their heavy trains out of Beijing.
|There are many variations of livery on the huge DF4 fleet- wearing a different shade of blue to the other locos we have seen, DF4 4405 approaches journey's end.|
The oldest looking locos we saw on our visit were the SS8's
though older locos are known to visit the station. Indeed
the author departed behind an SS3 just two years earlier!
The government of Beijing realised in the 1950's that the city walls were a major hindrance to traffic and movement within the city and began demolishing the outer walls. By the 1960's the need for a mass transit system was mounting which would require mass clearance above ground in order to construct the cut-and-cover tunnels. The resultant decision was instead to raise the inner city walls as a route for the first underground line in the city. Only the far south-east corner of the walls were saved where the line deviated from this line to serve Beijing Station.
|Another passenger DF4 heads away from Beijing Station.|
|The newer HXd locos are not quite as inspiring as their |
There are several classes of electric loco as well from the modern HXd locos to the older classes such as the SS8's. Older classes too can appear and it is certainly not impossible to see the original green DF4 diesel locos here- an impressive sight if you are lucky enough to catch one! There are several different liveries of stock to be seen also- including the old green coaches (with coal burning samovars).
All in all this is an excellent location where half a day can easily be wasted away. The line runs almost exactly east-west here so the sun is well positioned for most of the day- assuming you are lucky enough to have picked a clear Beijing day without the cities famous smog!
|SS9 0111 heads into Beijing as it passes a classmate on the station throat. In the distance can be seen the large loco stabling point from where locos regularly shuttle into the station.|