Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Night Steam

Off to the State of Iowa to see a monster of a steam engine!

Chinese steam locomotives begin testing in Iowa:

August 28, 2006

IOWA CITY, Iowa - The two Chinese class QJ 2-10-2 steam locomotives brought to the U.S. this summer have begun test runs in Iowa on the Iowa Interstate Railroad. On August 26, No. 7081 ran back and forth on several hundred feet of an industrial siding on the east side of Iowa City. The 7081 and sister locomotive 6988 are expected to pull a freight train on the IAIS, at an undetermined time, to ensure they are compliant with Federal Railroad Administration regulations for operation in the U.S. and are mechanically sound.

The pair will pull a series of excursions out of the Quad Cities on September 14-17. The trips are being operated in conjunction with "RiverWay 2006," the celebration marking the 150th anniversary of the country's first railroad bridge across the Mississippi River, constructed by the Rock Island Railroad between Rock Island, Ill., and Davenport, Iowa. Sponsoring groups for the trains are The Friends of the 261, the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, and City of Rock Island, in cooperation with the Iowa Interstate Railroad and the Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad.

The locomotives were purchased by Railroad Development Corporation, owner of the Iowa Interstate and several other railroads around the world. RDC is offering the two locomotives for sale to tourist or regional railroads, and has an option to purchase three more 2-10-2s still in China.

The QJ (前进 Qian Jin, meaning "advance") was a type of heavy freight steam locomotive used by China Railways. The majority were made by Datong locomotive factory. The prototypes and early production of the class were designated HP (和平 Heiping, meaning 'peace'), being redesignated as FD class during the cultural revolution before becoming the QJ class in 1971.
The class became the primary mainline freight locomotive on the Chinese rail network by the 1980s, and were then displaced by diesel locomotives during the 1990s. After the end of steam on the national Chinese railway network many QJ locomotives were used on industrial lines, as well as on the Jitong railway. Several of the class have been preserved.

Triple headed mainline steam in Illinois.jpg
Preserved locomotives 6988 and 7081 operating with Milwaukee Road 261 on the Iowa Interstate (Sept. 2006)
Power type Steam
Builder Prototypes[1]
Dalian : HP 0001-0005
Tangshan : HP 1001-1008
Shenyang : HP 1501-1506
Mudanjiang : HP 2001-2003
Changchun : HP 3001-3002
Datong : HP 3501-3508
Main production
Datong QJ 101 - 3602¶ and QJ 6001-7207[1][2]
Build date 1956–1988†
Total produced >4700[n 1]
Configuration 2-10-2
UIC classification 1′E1′
Gauge mostly 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in),
some 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in)[1]
Driver diameter 1,500 mm (59.06 in)*
Length including tender
26.0 m (85 ft 4 in) (with 8 wheel tender)‡
29.2 m (95 ft 10 in) (with 12 wheel tender)†‡
Locomotive weight 133.3 tonnes (131.2 long tons; 146.9 short tons)*
Boiler pressure 1,471 kPa (213 lbf/in2)*
Cylinder size 650 mm × 800 mm (25.59 in × 31.50 in)*
bore x stroke
Top speed 80 km/h (50 mph)*
Power output 2,222 kW (2,980 hp) (official),
2,670 kW (3,580 hp) (measured at 66 km/h or 41 mph)*

Two units withdrawn from use in China are owned by the Iowa Interstate Railroad in the USA, numbers 6988 and 7081 (both former Jitong Railway). A third, number 7040 (re-numbered to 2008), runs on the R.J. Corman Railroad Group.
Iowa Interstate 7081 retains its original Chinese appearance with the exception of the Jitong lettering and logo being replaced with the Iowa Interstate's, and the mandatory changes required by U.S. law such as hand rails and a bell. IAIS 6988 was "Americanized" in time for operation at Train Festival 2011 in Rock Island, Ill. The diesel-style bell originally installed when it arrived in Iowa was replaced with a steam engine type bell, the Chinese headlights were replaced with an American style light with a cast number plate under it, and an American steam whistle was installed. The steel sheet on the front was removed and all red paint was painted over in black, with white trim on the running boards, wheel rims, etc. The R.J. Corman locomotive has been heavily modified. Most notably the smoke deflectors have been removed along with new paint and skirts along the running boards.


  1. Shame they had to go to Chinese engines!

    1. It's heartbreaking to see what was done to a lot of our magnificent engines, Gorges. They are gone, but at least these giants are saved.

  2. I hope they hold together better than the other junk we import from the failed socialist country.

    1. I think they will be around for all to enjoy - they were 'done over' the American way. :0)