March - April 2019
Malaysia UP Oil Palm Plantations Visit 12-15 March
China Narrow Gauge and Industrial Railway Tour 17 March - 9 April
(20 April 2019- Bad Links fixed with Henan & Heilongjiang and Heilongjiang General Reports)

Below are clickable links to the individual Acrobat PDF documents apart from any marked 'no report'. All reports focus on narrow gauge railways unless noted otherwise.

Malaysia UP Oil Palm Plantations Visit

The Malaysian visit was a special invite to Narrow Gauge Railway Society members to visit the Palm Oil Estates owned by United Plantations Berhad. They have 4 plantations with 700mm gauge railways operating Motor Rail Simplex locos. We visited 3 of the 4 plantations. These are the only known active industrial narrow gauge lines in Malaysia.

China Day 1 - In transit to Guangyuan, Pengzhou plinthed C2 - No report
China Day 2 - Rongshan Coal Railway (closed) - Baishui Coal Mine Railway
China Day 3 - Baishui & Tangjiahe Coal Mine Railways
China Day 4 - Zhaojiaba, Daichiba & Tangjiahe Coal Mine Railways
China Day 5 - Dazhou Shiban Coal Mine Railway
China Day 6 - Dazhou Bailin Coal Mine Railway
China Day 7 - Yongchuan (Honglu) 1
China Day 8 - Yongchuan (Honglu) 2
China Day 9 - Yongchuan (Honglu) 3
China Day 10 - In transit to Chenzhou - No report
China Day 11 - Huangshaping Lead & Zinc Mine, Anling Coal Railway
China Day 12 - Matian Coal Railway - diesel coal line on its last legs

Hunan General - general interest, non-railway photos from Hunan

China Day 13 & 14 - Yujian Tourist Railway - steam & diesel line not yet operating regular trains
China Day 15 & 16 - Hegang Coal Railway - standard gauge electric & diesel
China Day 16 - Hegang Fuli narrow gauge mine railway
China Day 17 - Hegang to Haolianghe
China Day 18 - Huanan Preview (visit en route to Jixi)

Henan & Heilongjiang General - general interest, non-railway photos

China Day 19 - Jixi
China Day 20 - In transit Jixi - Huanan - No report

Heilongjiang General - general interest, non-railway photos

China Day 21 - Huanan - a look at the disused line to Xiahua and Tuoyaozi
China Day 21- 22 - Huanan - the steam passenger train and a railbus charter
China Day 23 - In transit Jiamusi to Beijing - No report
China Day 24 - Return Home - No report

The China tour was the second 'Linesiding with John' tour to see Chinese narrow gauge lines from Sichuan in the west to Heilongjiang in the north east primarily focusing on non-steam lines although visits were paid to 2 steam tourist lines based on former steam narrow gauge lines and two standard gauge electric and diesel systems. At the beginning of the tour (days 1-6), we visited  a number of small coal mine railways which proved challenging as we encountered a number of places where 'no entry' and 'no photography' was the rule. Our most successful visit in that area was to Baishui were we had good access to all areas. From Honglu onwards (day 7) we mainly visited longer lines with the line running through public areas. These visits were generally more successful with fewer restrictions. The security and health and safety restrictions eased considerably after we left Sichuan. Chongqing, Hunan, Henan and Heilongjiang were noticeably more relaxed and much more like the 'old China' we came to find.

There will likely be a China Narrow Gauge 3 Tour which should revisit the best of the lines visited in the first and second tours as well as a few new lines. This may be the last 'Linesiding with John' China Narrow Gauge Tour. Please contact me if you would like to be on the mailing list for that tour. The current idea is for 21-24 days in September-October 2020 possibly including Shibanxi at the end over Double 10 (10 October). At this point everything is up for grabs and I welcome your suggestions on dates, which line to visit and how long to spend at each line.

You can read the China Narrow Gauge 1 Tour Reports here.

I am indebted to Keiichi Kii for his very useful China Narrow Gauge website and to the additional information he supplied by email before and during the tour. Without him, we would never have found the way to the transhipment point at Baishui which gave us access to walk the line back to the mine. Peter Haworth also provided useful information on Hegang and Haolianghe in his most recent trip report  and on two Nanjing cement railways that we didn't manage to fit into the final program.