The Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand ran a public excursion on 5th February 2000 (8th February 2000) and had planned a further more ambitious tour between December 1st and 4th 2000.
Floods in the country forced its postponement to January 18th to 21st 2001. It had long been known that there were serviceable steam locos in the country - the problem was getting them to work, not least for security reasons.
Looking back further, I also have a number of reports dating from 1996 to 1999 available, although most no longer have their pictures.
Paul Molyneux-Berry was told on arrival at Shibanxi in late August 2012 that the Jiayang Company has bought the small coal mine at Huangcun with a view to turning it into a museum.
Coal production is scheduled to cease on 31st August 2012, presumably there is a possibility that the steam powered coal trains will run for a day or two longer to clear any remaining coal in the bins (23rd August 2012).
I have had some comments on a 1990 trip by Colin Martindale (added 17th December 1999).
Probably the last gricer to see and ride with real steam here was Olaf Gttler in 1991 - contradictions gratefully received.
Some are mainly pictorial, others include background information including the dreaded 'modern traction', not to mention the model railway scene. And if you are travelling independently, then Duncan Peattie's English version of the Chinese Railway Timetable is what you need, check his site for the latest available version.