Until 2005, the Ji-Tong Railway run the last steam-operated fast passenger train service in the world.
train was steam hauled for almost all of its 1000kms from
JiningNan to Tongliao, which translated to a trip of almost 24
hours. On the journey, steam engines were exchanged no less than
four times at Chabuga, Daban, Haoluku and Baiqi. The JiTong
Passenger was the last steam train worldwide with dining car and
It goes without saying that traveling
on this train was an great experience not be missed by a real
steam gricer, and I was happy that I took the chance. Imagine the he
sound of a hard working steam engine in your compartment at
On lengthy hardseater journeys, Chinese
fellow travellers usually were curious enough to question
foreign travellers about anything they wanted to know - usully
where we came from, family status, age, occupation - no matter how
difficult conversation could be!
Exact timings were given in the 1998 China timetable,
but it either required to familiarize with the Chinese characters
for places in question, or alternatively, ask Chinese for help -
often equially difficult, given the fact that hardly anybody
spoke English in rural China. The Langenscheit's pocket
dictionary did wonders and was as essential as Passport and money!