This system is no longer in existence as a steam location but with the gradual demise of all working steam in China there is a
increasing need to record what was once there for posterity.  

The name Gongchangling seems to have been applied to the area as a whole but the China Rail station for this area is called
Anping.  Anping is about 60km south of Shenyang in Liaoning province and the network of industrial lines extended to about
15km from the large CNR interchange yards.  The system was operated by a mixture of steam and electric locomotives and
in its latter days this meant a small fleet of JS class locomotives - an increasing rarity as most surviving systems were being
worked by SY's by the time I visited in 2003.  The fact that this system was only reported for the first time in May 2002 by
Louis Cerny and that only a limited number of visits seem to have been made to this area by visiting enthusiasts means that
photographic coverage has been extremely limited.  It was also a location that seems to have been somewhat sensitive, with
at least one report of a group of visiting  photographers being arrested and asked to leave the area.  For this reason I asked
Mike Ma, a well-known and much respected Chinese guide,  to accompany me and together we explored here for two days in
December 2003.   I met up with Mike at Liaoyang from where we caught a minibus from Anping and booked into the very
pleasant Jin Ou Hotel about 200 yards beyond the station.  This is what we found ..............
JS8245 stands outside of the
steam depot in Anping only a few
hundred yards from where we
were staying.  However our
presence was not welcomed by
the shed staff and while Mike
attempted to argue the case it
was just possible to grab a quick
shot of the locomotive before
beating a retreat.
Most of the steam action at
Gongchangling was concentrated
in the main exchange sidings but
there were occassional forays up
the valley to the mines using
steam traction.  JS8068 pulls  
away from Anping and prepares
to deliver a long train of empty
JS8245 shunting empty wagons in
the main yard at Anping.  The
CNR main lines are to the left of
the picture and an extensive 12
road yard is to the right
A large iron ore grading plant
dominates the yard area at Anping.  
The ore is crushed and then ground
into small round pellets which are
then loaded into wagons. Rather like
a coal washery this takes
considerable time with the engine
slowly creeping forward as each
wagon is loaded
JS8252 at the yard at the top end
of the line.  A large number of
electric locomotives work this area
as can be seen from the overhead
wires.  Wagons loaded with spoil in
the background also seemed to be
worked by the electic locomotives.
If I had to chose one picture that
summed up the Chinese steam
experience this might well be it.  
Early morning at Anping coaling
plant with JS8245 in the
foreground with JS8068 and
JS8159 in the background.  In
front of JS8245 are a number of
'coal pickers' - elderly and
unemployed - who spend their
days sifting through the ashes
looking for unburned coal to
either take home or sell - a
contrast to the modern image
China seeks to portray.
JS8245 has moved forward and it
is the turn of JS8068 to move
forward and receive attention.  
Meanwhile in the background
JS8159 shunts loaded coal
wagons into the plant.
JS8068 and JS8046 climbing up
the valley away from Anping
station with two loaded coal
wagons.  The second engine was
not really banking the train but
heading for a yard part of the
way up the line.
Having detached JS8046 the
remaining JS8245 continues to
make its way up through the
valley in the early morning mist
JS8068 continues its climb up the
valley with its short train.
JS8252 entering the yard at
Anping with a long train of
loaded iron ore wagons which
will eventually go into the
grading plant
JS8252 shunting iron ore wagons
in the yard at Anping
The clearing sky provided
excellent conditions in which to
photograph JS8245 light engine
with JS8252 setting off with its
train in the background.
JS8252 setting off with a train of
wagons from the yard at Anping.  
This will then be backed into the
iron ore grader a little further up
the yard
JS8245 shunting the iron ore
grading plant having initially
disposed of the train it brought
into the plant a little earlier (see
previous photograph)
With all of the wagons loaded
JS8245 makes a spirited
departure from the iron ore
grading plant.
Our visit to Gongchangling (Anping) was all too brief and by the middle of the second afternoon it was time for Mike Ma
and I to leave and head for Nanpiao.  Almost my final shot was of three JS class locomotives busy shunting in the main
yard at Anping.  It is perhaps a reflection of the changing Chinese steam scene that a mere five years later pictures like
this were no longer possible and the only traces of the steam fleet is a single JS plinthed by the roadside in Anping and
four other locomotives in a nearby dump (reported by John Raby - July 2009)
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