War material to Canton: trucks of barbed wire

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 22:56

Photo taken from Signal Hill.

Date picture taken


I think this photo and also the one in https://new.gwulo.com/media/14954 were taken no earlier than Sep 1937.

The locomotive in these photos should be a very rare record of a Pacific type 4-6-2 locomotive of Canton-Kowloon Railway Chinese Section(CKR). A photo of this type can be found here for comparison: http://www.beitraege.lokomotive.de/dokumente/SKF/china_D33.jpg [a SKF work archive by Bengt Dahlberg]

Three of this type designed for express through services between Hong Kong and Guangzhou were built in 1937 by Skoda Works in Plzeň, Czechoslovakia. They were delivered to Kowloon-Canton Railway British Section(KCR-BS) Kowloon workshop via Taikoo Dockyard for set up and trials before handed over to the Chinese Section. One was ready for service on Sep 27 and the other two on Nov 4.

The Skoda 4-6-2 engines were designated "class D" and numbered 31-33 by CKR and operated between Kowloon and Guangzhou until disruption of the line on Oct 1938 due to the Japanese invasion of South China. Two engines were stranded in Hong Kong at the time and were requisitioned by British war department in 1941 and shipped to India for services before the Fall of Hong Kong. It was believed that all three engines survived WW2, the one stayed in China resumed service on Kowloon-Canton-Hankow line shortly in 1946, but the two went to India were not sent back to Hong Kong until 1948, both were returned to CKR after well repaired by KCR-BS staffs.

Their services in Hong Kong were ended no later than Oct 1949 after the Communist victory on Chinese civil war which bring to the end of through service of CKR and KCR-BS. The engines were re-designated as "class PX18" and later "class SL18" by Ministry of Railways of communist China. The fate of this class in China after 1949 was unknown, the class was listed in the official Chinese locomotive statistics record in 1957 but disappeared in 1975. They maybe retired and replaced by China built steam locomotives in 1960s or diesels in early 1970s.