This year's Annual Gathering will be running trains at two sites, the first two days at the Pennsylvania Live Steamer's campus in Rahns, Pa, and the second two days at the home railway of Rob Kuhlman in Stowe, Pa. These sites are about a 20 minute drive from one-another. A third location, Phoenixville, serves as an ideal 'base station'; it's at the third corner of the triangle, about 20 minutes from PLS and also 20 minutes from Stowe. Phoenixville is a classic 'rust belt' town whose primary industry, Phoenix Iron and Steel (of railway bridge fame) is long gone; gentrification has resulted in the revitalization of the downtown area with lots of coffee bars, pubs, microbreweries, restaurants, and a classic theater all within walking distance.
I've made arrangements with the Mainstay Inn in downtown Phoenixville. The Mainstay Inn is a very plain and simple hotel, with small but clean rooms. It's quite inexpensive so it's often utilized by out-of-town live steamers for the PLS major holiday run weekends, as will be the case during our event. The primary attribute, in addition to its inexpensive rates, is its immediate proximity to downtown Phoenixville's amenities.
As alternatives, there are numerous chain motels all up and down US 422 (about half way between Phoenixville and PLS), and many PLS visitors will stay in the more upscale motels in the King of Prussia area -- again about 20 minutes from PLS. If you're inclined to participate for only the Sunday and Monday of our scheduled four days, you might wish to look into a motel in the Pottstown area. Contact me if this might be your preference and I can suggest a few options.
If you choose to stay with the Mainstay Inn in Phoenixville, here are the details you should know. A block of 10 rooms with two double beds, and 5 rooms with a single queen bed, has been reserved for Thursday May 24th, Friday May 25th, Saturday May 26th, and Sunday May 27th. The name of our group is 'Live Steam Railroad Enthusiasts'. The group rate is $74.99 per night for a room with two double beds and $69.99 per night for a room with one queen bed. These rates will hold through December 31, 2017, after which things get a little tricky. If fewer than 50% of the block of rooms have been reserved by that time, the rate for each room goes up to $79.99 per night. If more than 50% have been reserved by Dec. 31, then the discount rate continues until April 1, 2018. After April 1st all unreserved rooms in the block will be released to the general public.
2/26/18 update: The manager of the Mainstay Inn with whom I arranged the group rate this past fall, Marcus Beto, no longer works for the Mainstay Inn. I have learned, however, that you can still obtain a discounted rate at this late date by contacting the Mainstay Inn directly (link above). I recommend phoning the Mainstay to explain that you're with the Live Steam group.
The GPS search address for the Mainstay Inn is: 184 East Bridge Street Phoenixville, PA 19460
Whether you choose to stay at the Mainstay or to make independent arrangements, I would encourage you to not postpone making your reservations. Our dates coincide with the Memorial Day weekend, so there will be competition from graduations, weddings, and the general holiday weekend traveling public, in addition to the 'regular' visitors to the PLS holiday run days -- all who will be looking for accommodations, so motels in the area will fill up.
As we get closer to the event I will be forwarding to registrants the specific driving directions among Phoenixville, Rahns, and Stowe.