Train K23, Beijing -> Ulaanbaatar, near the China/Mongolia border
They changed the bogies on all the passenger cars a few hours ago. Now we can run on Russian-gauge track, which is different from the standard gauge used in China.
Each car generates its own power via a generator on one of the bogies, rather than power being supplied by the engine. There are batteries (48V) for when the train isn’t moving.
The water boiler runs on coal. I suspect the heating does too, but it’s not in use at this time of year.
On the platform in Erlian: apart from the usual announcements, there was one telling us we were about to leave China and thanking us for travelling with China Railways, and the train pulled out to a Communist-style march.
…and I still have China Mobile cell coverage, so I’m using up as much of my credit as possible by surfing the web :)