Guangzhou (Last modified 2004-Dec-26, Rev. 02)

Please click on the images to see a larger image and a brief description.



The CNR (Chinese National Railway) Guangzhou freight yard, the locomotive depot, and the passenger coach yard are located alongside the Jing-Guang (Beijing-Guangzhou) railway main line on the northwest side of Guangzhou.

This area of Guangzhou appears at first to be rather rough, but after three days of walking about, I experienced absolutely no issues regarding personal safety.

I walked up to this area of town from my hotel. The walking time from the Guangzhou Exhibition Hall is at most, 1/2 hour. Therefore, no taxi is required.

It took me a while to initially find an entrance to the railway system, but just west of the Guangzhou passenger station are side roads that allow for access to the railway right-of-way.

I walked through the loco depot and the passenger coach yards without any serious questions being asked. The railway police would approach, see my digital camera, I would show them the image on the LCD, and that was that. They allowed me to walkabout and continue to take snaps.

As these images show, the weather was lousy, and so are thus most of my images. Therefore Dear Reader, please find these images simply nothing more than informative as they lack colour and contrast.

I have presented the images geographically. That is, the images are presented in order of my walkabout from the railway access location, through the shed, into and about the passenger coach yard, and back onto the Jing-Guang mainline.


Access location.

Talk about getting those stares. I found a really good side street, complete with a pedestrian level crossing on the rail line from the Guangzhou station to Guangzhou Xi and an overpass on the Jing-Guang mainline.

My admission cost was being the object of much discussion. It became obvious that westerners are not normally found walking in this section of Guangzhou.

The first image shows a DF4 hauling up from Guangzhou Xi. This area offers many railway access points and a few good photography perches.

The second image shows how densely built up China has become. The flats are built right up against the high tension lines. No space is wasted.

DF4-3183 High tension lines


These two images show the junction of the Jing-Guang and the line toward Guangzhou Xi.

Guangzhou Xi is on the Guang-San mainline. The first image is looking northward, the second image looking southward.

The non-electrified track on the right is a lead into the local industries and a shunting neck for the scale house.

Looking northward Looking southward


In only a few minutes, it begins to rain trains.

First a southbound goods train and then a northbound passenger.

One word of caution, in this area I found that the train sounds were muffled by all the local industry and the constant aircraft noise from Guangzhou airport. Keep open an eye for train movements. And note, many of the goods trains run without the headlamps turned on.

DF4-0052 SS8-0192


This image shows the southern most end of the Jing-Guang mainline. It all starts way up north at Beijing.

View looking northward, toward Beijing.


Again, more trains. The show never ends.

The next four images show goods train movements on the line leading to Guangzhou Xi. Perhaps in the not to far future, this line will also become electrified beyond Guangzhou Xi.

The third image in the row shows the southern most lead to the scale house, while the forth image shows the northern end.

As the scale house tender was busy watering his gardens, and I did not want to cause him any alarm, I did not take any images of the scale house.

DF4-0260 DF4-0015 DF4-0014 DF4-3006


This image of a northbound SS1, THE classic Chinese e-lok, was taken at the junction of the Guangzhou loco sheds and the Jing-Guang mainline.



In order to take advantage of the lighting, I crossed over the mainline and took a few images in the region between the loco shed lead and the southern end of the Guangzhou goods yard.

As the goods yard was busy with wagons being kicked about, I did not walk into the area.

The first two images show the SS8 workhorses on the passenger trains. I found it odd that the railway assigns these four axle e-loks to passenger trains that are often twenty or more coaches in length. But that be the charm with electric traction - the ability to provide large short time overload capacity to get the train accelerated.

The third image shows a DF5 heavy shunter and the fourth image shows a long length goods train being hauled southward by a single DF4.

SS8-0187 SS8-0182 DF5-1384 DF4-0737


These images show the Jing-Guang mainline. The German style Re200C catenary looks very smart indeed.

The first image is looking northward toward Tangxi and the second image is looking southward toward Guangzhou and Guangzhou Xi.

DF5-1384 Track signal


My next great leap in faith was to walk into the loco depot.

This venture began by stopping by the switch tenders cabin and watching the action for a while.

The action of the switch tender is shown in these images. He routes the locos from one shed road to the other. I seemed to have arrived during a time of much action.

The first image shows a northbound passenger train racing northward while a SS8 backs down toward the sheds and a DF4 is working its way out to follow the SS8 into the sheds.

SS8-0225 DF4-2190


These four images show a sample of the shed switching act.

Here we have SS8 0180 and 0212.

0180 comes out, stops, and reverses back into the sheds. 0212 following the same motions.

SS8-0180 SS8-0212 & SS8-0180 SS8-0212 SS8-0212


The show ends when an orange coloured DF4 comes out and the switch tender climbs aboard and rides the unit into the sheds.

I then cautiously walked into the shed complex.

There are two rows of sheds, what I shall call an eastern and western row, and then between the western row and the Jing-Guang mainline are the red bricked repair sheds.

Within the western row of sheds are three sub sheds.

The first shed appears to be a diesel loco fueling shed. The second shed was being used for electric loco inspection and wiping (cleaning) and the third shed appeared to be the ready tracks.

Let us follow DF4-2309 toward the first shed.

DF4-2309 Shed Shed


Located between the first and second shed was this SS1. This was the only SS1 spotted in the shed. This unit showed up later on a northbound goods train photographed in Tangxi.

SS1-0745 SS1-0745


These two images were taken along side and then at the southern end of the second shed.

Shed Shed


These three images were taken along side and then at the southern end of the third shed. Notice the orange coloured DF4 heading off toward the Guangzhou passenger station.

Shed Shed SS8s DF4


These images show the views as taken from standing on the roads for the eastern row of sheds. As I did not see any railway employees walking about the eastern row, I did not enter.

Shed Shed Shed


This image shows the location where the loco depot road enters the large Guangzhou passenger coach storage yard.

As there were few locomotives moving about, I decided to walk northward and capture on digi some of the scenes.

South end of coach storage yard


This image shows a remote controlled electric powered points derail. I have no idea where the signal cabin that controls this area is located.

Notice the use of North American dog spikes and tie plates for securing the rails to the sleepers.

Remote electric powered derail


This image, taken about 1/2 way up the yard, shows the variety of rolling stock that can be seen in the facility.

About 1/2 way up the yard


The yard design calls for a gentle curving to allow the yard to eventually run parallel with the Jing-Guang mainline to the west.

Per my observation, many of the small buildings shown in this image, where abandoned or in a process of being stripped.

As the image shows, the local population uses the railway property like any other collection of roads.

Yard trackage curving to meet mainline


While walking up the yard, I found this Guangshen Railway coach, built by Rotem of Korea, on a stub track. This team of stub end roads are only accessible from the northern end of the yard.

Guangshen Railway coach RZ2(25C)-10676 Guangshen Railway coach RZ2(25C)-10676 Guangshen Railway coach RZ2(25C)-10676 Guangshen Railway coach RZ2(25C)-10676


These two images show the yard layout at the location where the yard is truly running alongside the Jing-Guang mainline. It was here that I found the largest quantity of railway police. Once they figured out what I was doing, they simply looked on with interest.

These images, without pedestrians, were difficult to achieve. This portion of the yard is used as an east-west cut through. Perhaps that explains the police presence.

About 3/4 the way up the yard, looking northward. Alongside the western perimeter wall


This image simply shows the large road overpass that exists up in this region of the yard. This overpass serves as a good land mark for navigating. The noise is another issue.

Behind the green coloured coaches is the eastern perimeter wall, complete with pedestrian passages, and the new Tangxi to Guangzhou passenger station line.

About 3/4 the way up the yard,looking southward.


I found a well used passage in the perimeter wall running alongside the Jing-Guang mainline and my timing was very good. Along came three northbound trains.

The structures that form the western perimeter wall of the passenger coach yard in this area have what appeared to be offices, storage rooms, and a ground level platform. Now all disused, but perhaps not so many years ago, this was a railway passenger stop.

DF4-2590 on northbound passenger train SS8-0154 on northbound passenger train SS1-0712 on northbound goods train


Walking northward now, on a concrete sidewalk that runs along the eastern edge of the Jing-Guang mainline, I capture on digi a DF4 starting off out of the goods yard with a heavy northbound goods train.

DF4-0737 starting off a goods train


This image, lacking quality as the sunlight is very dim, attempts to show the very northern end of the Guangzhou goods yard connection to the Jing-Guang mainline at kilometer post 2262.

The white coloured object located between the roads are the kilometer posts.

Kp 2262


Finally, my northward walk passes by the out-of-service northern entrance of the passenger coach storage yard and a large abandoned office building.

This location is only a few hundred meters south of the junction located in Tangxi (in fact it may be located in Tangxi as my map is not so detailed).

And that Dear Reader, is the end of my walkabout. Perhaps in the not so distant future I will be able to update this page with good sunlit and colourful images.

Northern end of the passenger coach yard


Page Revision History:

2004-Jan-11, Rev.00: Initial release.
2004-Dec-20, Rev.01: Images added.
2004-Dec-26, Rev.02: Images added.