Steam locomotive was central to the Industrial Revolution.
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For the first time in history, goods were transported by something other than the muscle of man or animal.
However, it was replaced by diesel locomotives and electric locomotives in the twentieth century.
Except for a portion of steam trains reserved for tourist purposes, there are few places in the world where steam locomotives still operate commercially.
The Sandaoling open-pit mine (三道嶺露天礦), located in Xinjiang, China, is the largest open pit coal mine in northwestern China. Since 1958, the total mining area has exceeded one thousand square kilometers and the transportation within the mine still relies on steam trains.
There is no doubt that the steam train is a superstar of the railway photography while breathing rhythmically smoke, like a living thing.
Every winter, there will be railroad fans all over the world gathering in Sandaoling.
Sandaoling steam locomotive is expected to be fully suspended in 2018, this railroad reputation as the last steam train shrine is about to disappear!
China continued to build mainline steam locomotives until the late 20th century, even building a few examples for American tourist operations. China was the last main-line user of steam locomotives, with use ending officially on the Ji-Tong line at the end of 2005. Some steam locomotives are as of 2017 still in use in industrial operations in China.
Some coal and other mineral operations maintain an active roster of China Railways JS (建设, "Jiànshè") or China Railways SY (上游, "Shàngyóu") steam locomotives bought secondhand from China Railway. The last steam locomotive built in China was 2-8-2 SY 1772, finished in 1999.
Also published on Medium.