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Steam engine Qian Jin

A unique part of the railway exhibition of the Technik Museum Speyer is the “Qian Jin“, which means “Progress“, the only Chinese railway engine in Germany. Complete with tender it has an overall length of 26.02 m, a height of 4.80 m and a width of 3.33 m. The unladen weight is 152 tons. The Qian Jin belongs to the largest production series ever launched in China. 5,048 units of this model left the factory in Datong (Northern China) between 1964 and 1988.

The gigantic dimensions as well as the enormous weight required a complicated special transport which started on 12 August 1996 in Lucerne. Up to that time the locomotive had been on exhibit in the local “Verkehrshaus“. Although there is a railway line connecting Lucerne with Speyer and the gauge would also have been compatible, the wheel flanges were not in conformity with European standards, which could have led to damages of the switch points. Thus, the only possibility was road transport. The main problem was the height of the locomotive which, standing upright, would not have been able to clear the bridges spanning the Autobahn. As a consequence, the Qian Jin was brought to Speyer so to say “asleep“ lying on its side.