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‘Greatest show on earth’ to end next year

THE steam locomotives working the big open cast coal mine at Sandaoling, Xinjiang Province, China are known to many railway photographers as the ‘Greatest Show in the World’, but like all great spectaculars it will not last for ever.

Nowhere else in the world offers such scenes – and this one will end in less than 18 months. Running at full chat, ‘JS’ No. 8195 hammers up the start of the long ramp out of the open cast mine at Sandaoling on February 11. ROGER CROSTON

The Chinese government is in the throes of cleaning up its coal industry and much of the Sandaoling mine will close next year; the last day of steam operation is September 25, 2020, on the orders of the local government.

Read more in the April 2019 issue of The RM – on sale now!

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