+49 (0)151 27 588 064

Wed. & Fr. 15-19

Photo Tours &
Railfan Tours

China Dampflok JS Sandaoling Tanago Eisenbahnreisen Erlebnisreisen

The Long Farewell
at Sandaoling

19. - 26. Januar 2019


China: The Long Farewell at Sandaoling

The expected end of the steam traction in Sandaoling was postponed again with two main inspections of the steam locomotives of the JS series in march 2018. Experience real, unadulterated steam again (or perhaps for the very first time?) at the world's largest steam engine show in Sandaoling! Hard working steam locomotives in industrial use, sky-high steam mushrooms, flying sparks, fantastic sunrises and sunsets, heavy trains 7 days a week, around the clock. Steam locomotives as far as the eye can see (almost...).

Railfan Tours Icon
No. of participants min. 10 - max. 24
Duration 8/11 days
Meals half board
Price from 1.990 €
Open for bookings Open for bookings
Book this tour now


Your itinerary:

19 January 2019, Saturday
Meeting of all participants at the airport of Hami at 12:00. Hami is connected with a daily direct flight to Beijing, which leaves the Chinese capital at 07:55 in the morning. Depending on the selected long-haul flight and its arrival time in Beijing, a direct transition or an overnight stay in Beijing is possible/necessary. Talk to us, we will help you to book an optimal journey!

From Hami we drive with our group bus about 2 hours to Sandaoling and start with the first pictures of the JS steam locomotives.
Overnight stay in Sandaoling.
Meals: Dinner.

20 January 2019, Sunday - 25 January 2019, Friday
The opencast coal mine in Sandaoling offers us the largest steam locomotive show in the world every day and for 24 hours: about 7 steam locomotives of the JS series (4 in opencast mining and 3 for shunting and for traffic to the mines in Erjing) move heavy coal trains day and night. Pure action! Also the workshop of the Minenbahn is absolutely worth seeing!

Thanks to a new operational management, even more pictures of heavily loaded coal trains can now be taken from the opencast mine. This is a unique spectacle, when the JS storm from the lowlands of the opencast mine to the surface under full steam - on the last meters wird´s then with the force occasionally very close, also step speed with the usual hard exhaust blows of the JS is not unusual.

Experience this raw, unadulterated elemental force while it lasts!

Sandaoling offers something for everyone: the newcomer to China steam as well as the old hand who wants to enjoy the fantastic pictures of the steam trains fighting their way out of the open-cast mine.

We want to give each of our fellow travellers enough time for this truly unique steam locomotive paradise in 2019 and will stay a full 6 days in the mining area of Sandaoling. We visit the loading at the "Blue Tower", the entire line from loading to coal washing, the unloading points themselves, the line to the Erjing underground mine, the workshop and the depots of the railway - and all this by day & night!

Of course, the unique flying sparks of the JS storming out of the opencast mine are also on the program. Every night, if you wish.

We have the permits to photograph the loading facilities, where powerful shovel excavators load the black raw material into the freight wagons. The workshop also offers beautiful motifs - whether steam locomotives will continue to be used for major repairs in 2019, however, remains to be seen.

What else? Yes, sunrises and sunsets, of course. Fantastic. We know when we need to be where for the best shots... come with us, there won't be many opportunities to visit full steam ahead in winter!

Hotel in Sandaoling.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

26 January 2019, Saturday
You may say, 6 days in Sandaoling are more than enough, but honestly, like many other photographers, we have to realize that there should have been a few more days. There are always new motives, and even after the xten visit the "old places" still remain great.

Nevertheless we have to say goodbye to the biggest steam show in the world and take our bus to the airport in Hami. There the journey ends in the early afternoon: You have connection to the plane to Beijing, and from there home. Arrival in Europe would then be the next morning (27 January 2019).
Meals: Breakfast.

Please note that our program corresponds to the state of steam traction in March 2018. Changes can occur up to the start of the trip and will be taken into account by us accordingly in the final itinerary.

Please also note the important information about steam traction and flights to and within China(s) for this trip, which you will find in the section "Notes".


Travel prices (p.p.):

1,990 Euro in half a double room for bookings made before 30 June 2018
2.260 Euro in half a double room for bookings from July 1, 2018
   360 Euro single room supplement

The trip takes place with at least 10 participants, please book until 31 October 2018!

Included in the price:
Section shots in the opencast coal mine of Sandaoling;
Dongbolizhan station to change shifts;
Repair works in Sandaoling (if still in operation);
Night shots;
All bus and train transfers according to the program;
Hotel and meals as advertised;
Tanago information material;
Tanago tour guide (German/English speaking), plus local tour guides.
Not included in the price are international flights, travel to and from Hami, all expenses of a personal nature (mini-bar, telephone, cleaning, etc), visa for China, tips.

We are looking forward to another and perhaps still not the very last pilgrimage to the Chinese steam locomotives! We have so often missed the steaming end in China, although we have been travelling the country for 30 years - now no one will elicit a word from us about the date of the really final "end"!

 Information on travel and international and domestic flights: 

As already described, the future of steam traction in Sandaoling is uncertain: in March 2018 it was said that there would certainly be another steam winter in Sandaoling.  But it would not be China if somewhere a party official did not make a different decision and everything comes quite differently.

In other words, there are some special conditions for this trip which you accept with your booking:

we reserve the right to cancel part 1 (sandaoling) even at very short notice and without notice if the steam traction in the open-cast mine has come to a standstill. In this case we will fully refund the payments for the land programme.
All other individual expenses and costs (visas, travel to and from Hami, other individual arrangements) will not be reimbursed by us.
If you instruct us to arrange long-haul flights for you, we will book Air China from DUS,FRA,MUC to Beijing, as only Air China allows a partial refund of already booked and issued tickets, the cost of a cancellation is 290 € per person and ticket.
If you book your own long-haul flights, we assume no liability.

All flights from Europe to China arrive in China the following day, for the return flights of our sandaoling program (part 1) we have oriented ourselves on the "night flights", during which you depart Beijing after midnight and arrive in Europe the same day in the morning. If you have other wishes, please contact us.

Despite many permits and a "red stamp" from the industrial companies visited, a certain "residual risk" remains, which we do not want to conceal. It can happen that permits were obtained with a lot of effort in the run-up to our trip, and were reconfirmed the day before - but on the day of our visit we stand in front of closed doors because local managers, even village policemen, can make decisions that completely contradict our permits. Even if we hold dozens of confirmations in our hands that "guaranteed" everything runs as discussed in advance, this is unfortunately no guarantee at all.

The quality of hotels, roads and other infrastructure cannot be compared with Western Europe. Please do not expect luxury. Our local hotels offer simple rooms with shower/WC, working heating and hot water around the clock, as well as free internet access. Our buses will not meet German standards even in touristically successful cities, the further we get lost in the province, the further the standards of the buses will go. Functioning heaters or tightly closing doors should not be expected in all buses.

In China, the law of the strongest applies, according to which terms such as health and safety at work, accident prevention or even consideration may well be part of the Chinese language, but they are virtually non-existent in the everyday lives of the Chinese. Please be careful and pay attention to your surroundings!

In order to make the best use of our time in China, we start early in the morning, we will usually take breakfast packed with us or make a short stop at a pasta or pasta stand, at noon we usually have a small snack on the way, in the evening there is plenty of food to eat. Original Chinese, of course, which usually looks and tastes different than Chinese at home!

The costs of the land programme represent a kind of "all-inclusive". Your ancillary costs on this trip are therefore limited to excessive beverage consumption outside the "all-inclusive" or potential extra wishes. In addition, there is only a contribution to the tip box. Calculate as a general order of magnitude with about 150 yuan per day... If you want to experience the Sandaolin flying sparks every evening, we would have to collect again.

Please also read our comments on the subject of "travel health insurance abroad". On our trip to China in February 2013, one participant fell ill. Without insurance he would have stayed in the Chinese hospital in Fuxin - and would not have been able to fly home. Four days before the start of our 2016 India tour, one participant had to cancel due to illness - the cancellation fee was 75%! Don't save at the wrong end, that's what travel health insurance is for.

Temperatures & Technology:
It is called kal