China Railways QJ

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 1435mm, some 1520mm[1]
Driver diameter 1,500 mm (4 ft 11 in)*
Length including tender
26.0 m (85.3 ft) (with 8 wheel tender)‡
29.2 m (96 ft) (with 12 wheel tender)†‡
Locomotive weight 133.3 tonnes*
Boiler pressure 1,471 kPa (213 lbf/in²)*
Cylinder size 650 × 800 mm (25.59 × 31.50 in)*
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/41 mph)*
* source [5]
† source [3]
‡ source [6]
¶ Excluding numbers used for prototypes[1]

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.


History and design

42 prototypes were made by Dalian locomotive works, Tangshan locomotive works, and Shenyang, Mudanjiang, Changchun and Datong locomotive factories between 1956 and 1960. Originally the locomotives were designated as the HP (Heiping meaning 'peace') class.[1] The design is thought to be based in part on the russian LV class.[2][1] (see Паровоз ЛВ russian).

The main tranche of production took place at Datong, beginning in 1964 starting with locomotive HP 101.[2] A number of modifications were made to the locomotive including a new design of boiler, for the production version.[7] The 500th QJ was built in 1968, the 1000th in 1970, the 2000th in 1974 and the 3000th in 1979,[8] with production rates varying from 150 to over 300 per year between 1966 and 1985.[2] Production ended in 1988.[1]

In 1966 during the cultural revolution the locomotives were given the class FD (反帝 Fandi meaning 'anti-imperialism'), after 1971 the class was renamed again becoming the QJ class (Qian Jin, meaning 'march forward' or 'progress').[1][4]

The prototypes used 8 wheel tenders, while later production models used 12 wheel tenders.[1] QJs were equipped with mechanical stokers, feedwater heaters, electric lights, and air horns. Various modifications were used on some machines, including an ejector similar to the giesl type and smoke deflectors. One unit was used as a test bed for a 'Gas Producer Combustion System' (GPCS)[n 3] in the 1980s.[1]

A small number of locomotives were built to broad (Russian) 1520mm gauge.[1][4]

Work history

The class became the primary freight locomotive on both the primary and secondary lines of the Chinese railway network by the 1980s, having displacing both JF and FD classes. From the late 1980s and through the 1990s the class were replaced by diesel locomotives. Steam traction officially ended on the Chinese national rail network in 2002, but a few units remained in use up to 2003 on minor lines.[1]

The locomotives were also used on large passenger trains, when their high tractive power was advantageous.[9]

After withdrawal from the Chinese national network many units were acquired by industrial railways as well as the regional Jitong railway in Inner Mongolia which operated ~100 units.[1] By 2005 the Jitong railway had also replaced the QJ locomotives with diesel engines.[10] Some remained in use on industrial lines in China in 2010.[1]


QJ Class in the United States

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.


Several of the class are on static display around China.[11] The first prototype machine QJ-0001 and the first machine of the main production at Datong QJ-101 are displayed at the China Railway Museum.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Duncan Cotterill. "Railography : Class Profiles : QJ Class 2-10-2". 
  2. ^ a b c d Hans Schaefer. "History and technical data of steam locomotive type QJ". History of construction. 
  3. ^ a b "新中国制造的蒸汽机车" (in chinese). 
  4. ^ a b c "和平型蒸汽机车 [Heiping type steam locomotive]" (in chinese). 
  5. ^ D. Wardale (1998). The Red Devil and other tales from the age of steam. ISBN 0-9529998-0-3. 
  6. ^ Duncan Cotterill. "Railography : Class Profiles : QJ Class 2-10-2". Vital Statistics. 
  7. ^ Hans Schaefer. "History and technical data of steam locomotive type QJ". Technical data and description. 
  8. ^ Hollingsworth, Brian; Cook, Arthur. The Great Book of Trains. ISBN 0-86283-778-2. 
  9. ^ Hans Schaefer. "History and technbical data of steam locomotive type QJ". History of service. 
  10. ^ Hans Schaefer. "Overview of Jitong Railways". 
  11. ^ "Preserved Locomotives". 
  12. ^ "China Railway Museum". 4 April 2009. Image 34,42-6,52. 


  1. ^ Sources give 4708,[3] or 4714[4] locomotives built
  2. ^ "The Gas Producer Combustion System". 
  3. ^ GPCS is a technology which uses the carbon in coal and engine steam as source of synthesis gas for more efficient and cleaner combustion.[n 2]

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