Dreamlike Photos Show The Journey Of China's Last Steam Trains

05/20/2015 11:54 am ET

In China's Sichuan province, some of the last passenger steam train services in the world still carry out their runs. These holdovers from past decades are obsolete almost everywhere else, but in China's industrial interior, the old locomotives continue to run coal and people between the isolated towns along the railways.

The trains are a tourist attraction as well as transport, with rail enthusiasts traveling from around the world to see the steam trains in action while they can. In a series of photographs taken along the Jiayang Railway and in the small towns of Bagou and Shixi, Getty photographer Kevin Frayer captured incredible shots that look like they belong to another era.

shixi
A coal-powered steam train carrying tourist cars lets off steam on March 28, 2015, near Bagou, Sichuan Province, in Southern China. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

shixi
A railway engineer preps a coal-powered steam train before departing the station on March 27, 2015, in the town of Shixi, Sichuan Province, in Southern China. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

shixi
Local villagers ride a local coal-powered steam train on March 27, 2015, at a station in the town of Shixi, Sichuan Province, in Southern China. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

shixi
A local villager carries her child next to the tracks as a local coal-powered steam train passes on March 27, 2015, at a station near the town of Bagou, Sichuan Province, in Southern China. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

shixi
A Chinese railway worker removes coal from the tracks as a coal-powered steam train dumps coal at a small station on March 29, 2015, near the village of Bagou, Sichuan Province, in Southern China. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

shixi
A railway engineer preps a coal-powered steam train before departing the station on March 27, 2015, in the town of Shixi, Sichuan Province, in Southern China. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

shixi
A local coal-powered steam train lets off steam as it travels on March 28, 2015, near Bagou, Sichuan Province, in Southern China. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

shixi
Local villagers ride on a local coal-powered steam train in the fog on March 28, 2015, near the former mining town of Bagou, Sichuan Province, in Southern China. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

shixi
A young passenger looks out the back window of a rail car pulled by a coal-powered steam engine on March 29, 2015, near the village of Bagou, Sichuan Province, in Southern China. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

shixi
A Chinese villager walks home along the tracks as a coal-powered steam train dumps coal at a small station on March 29, 2015, near the village of Bagou, Sichuan Province, in Southern China. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

shixi
Local villagers ride on a local coal-powered steam train in the fog on March 28, 2015, near the former mining town of Bagou, Sichuan Province, in Southern China. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS