Rail workers of the South Manchuria Railway changing the Russian 5ft.- gauge track to ‘standard gauge’ between Hsinking ( Changchun) and Harbin on 31 st August 1935.
The former southern branch line of the Chinese Eastern Railway had 5ft. ( "Russian") width track between Changchun and Harbin. After the takeover of the line by the South Manchuria Railway the track was lifted and replaced with ‘standard gauge’ ( 4ft 8½in.) in an amazing feat of engineering on 31st August 1935, when the entire 240 kms of track was swapped for the new narrower gauge and the railway up and running again within only three hours. This permitted the running of the SMR’s rolling stock all the way through to Harbin. By this time Changchun had been renamed as Manchoukuo’s capital “Hsinking”.