Jining–Tongliao Railway

Jining–Tongliao Railway

Jining–Tongliao Railway

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Jitong railway () is a railway in Inner Mongolia, China opened in 1995. Its start point is at Jining and ends at Tongliao.

World's last mainline steam train service

Due to China's low labor cost, ease to manufacture steam engines and cheap coal price, China was one of the last country to retire steam locomotives on mainline services. Due to its closeness to coal mines, the Jitong railway was the last mainline railway in world to use steam locomotives. Many of these locomotives were the large 2-10-2 QJ type engines and often trains had 2 locomotives on their head end. On December 8, 2005, the worlds last regular mainline steam train finished its journey, marking the end of steam era. The steam locomotives were replaced by the DF4 diesel locomotives.

Two QJ steam locomotives, 6988 and 7081, were delivered to USA for use on the Iowa Interstate Railroad. They have run many excursions including one with ex Milwaukee Road 261, a 4-8-4 northern. This was the first triple headed main line steam train in many years in the USA.

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