From sea to sea

Over the years, Sidetrack has reported on a wide range of unusual loads being moved by rail. Chinese Railways is set to join the roll of honour next year.

Developers have started work on a 120m yuan luxury swimming centre at the Shijingshan Sports Centre in Beijing, where visitors will be able to enjoy the benefits of swimming in a simulated salt water ocean. This facility will require a daily delivery of salt water.

Although the Bohai Sea coast at Tianjin is only 137 km from Beijing, the promoters have opted for a supply further from the capital, presumably because the water will be cleaner and fresher. Around 30 tonnes of the Pacific Ocean will be shipped by rail each day from Dalian, 1262 km away.

Pensions protest

IT IS 15 years since Guinea’s national railway was liquidated, three years after trains stopped running on the 662 km metre-gauge Conakry - Kankan line.

So residents of the capital might have been justifiably surprised when over 400 ONCFG railwaymen began blocking the main roads with old railway equipment.

After fighting for years for arrears in their redundancy pay and pensions, the railwaymen had been delighted to receive cheques worth up to GFr5m each. They were less pleased when the cheques bounced on being presented at the banks. Although the World Bank had provided money for the government to settle its debts, it seems that there was no money in the account. They are now demanding to be paid in cash.