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Arts & Culture

Chasing China's Chariots of Steam

Photo of people in China standing in front of train tracks with a train in the background.
Top Shelf Productions
Photo of people in China standing in front of train tracks with a train in the background.

Airs Thursday, August 20 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

CHASING CHINA'S CHARIOTS OF STEAM is the true story of one man's obsession to track down and record the last steam trains in the world. When train fanatic and intrepid traveler John Agnew heard the Chinese were still using 10, 000 steam engines, he set off on a journey to track them down. Once in China, however, government officials began telling him there was no such thing as a steam train in modern China. His curiosity piqued by the denials, Agnew set out to prove the authorities wrong. CHASING CHINA'S CHARIOTS OF STEAM is a unique record of life in China during the dying age of the steam locomotive - from the fussy, little narrow gauge forestry lines to the spectacular 1000 kilometer Jitong line in Mongolia. The documentary provides a unique visual record of the last great steam engines in the world, and their key role in Chinese society.

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