Hotel Information 2016

Lions Gate Hotel, McClellan, Calif.
(Suburban Sacramento)
July 13-17, 2016

Get the full steamup experience while
taking advantage of a low room rate

If you’ve never attended a small-scale live steamup, a startling aspect is that these things really do run night and day. You can go to the track at 7 a.m. or 7 p.m., noon or midnight, and find engines running.

If you’ve been to a steamup, we don’t have to tell you that the best way to experience it is to stay at the steamup hotel.

Map of greater Sacramento
The Lions Gate Hotel, in McClellan Park (a former U.S. Air Force base adjacent to the Sacramento suburb of North Highlands) is a high-quality hotel that provides luxurious rooms at a low rate. The hotel is in a campus-like setting and we will have the newly refreshed McClellan Conference Center for steaming.

Executives at the Lions Gate have been persuaded to provide attendees of the National Summer Steamup 2016 with a room rate that is low for Sacramento: select rooms as low as $91 (plus tax — new cutoff deadline for reduced rates is June 26), including a complimentary continental breakfast (which can be upgraded for $4.95 to the hot breakfast).

While there may be less expensive rooms in the area, your stay at the Lions Gate shows your support for the National Summer Steamup and that you are concerned that it will continue into the future.

Map of McClellan Business Park
The Lions Gate is located at the junction of Business Interstate 80 and Interstate 80, 10 miles from downtown Sacramento. The hotel is 20 minutes from the Sacramento International Airport and is eight miles from Interstate 5, making driving from the north or south easy.

For those interested in other aspects of the railroad hobby, Northern California provides a variety of unique rail and live steam experiences:

♦The California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, home to live-steam artifacts as well as a provider of live steam rides (weekends only) is a 15-minute drive from the Lions Gate.

♦In Alameda County, the Pacific Locomotive Association operates standard-gauge live steam locomotive rides every Sunday throughout the summer. It’s a 1¾-hour drive from the hotel to the Niles Canyon Railway.

♦For narrow-gauge live steam enthusiasts, the Roaring Camp and Big Trees Railroad operates one of two Shays or a Heisler five times a day on weekends and four times weekdays; Roaring Camp is in Santa Cruz County, a 2¾-hour drive.

♦The Golden Gate Live Steamers, with 2½- to 7½-inch tracks, run every Sunday in Oakland’s Tilden Park. In addition, the 15-inch gauge live steam Redwood Valley Railway is also in Tilden; on Sunday it will operate 11 to 6 and during the week 12 to 5. Tilden Park is a 90-minute drive.

Room reservations can be made by calling the Lions Gate at (916) 643-6222, Ext. 0, or writing 3410 Westover St., McClellan, CA 95652; please mention that you are attending the Steam Events’ National Summer Steamup to get the special group rates.

Highlights from previous years.

    • Rick Parker’s photos of the 2013 event are on his DotPhoto site. Mike Martin has his 2013 photos on this personal site.
    • For 2011, Rick Parker has done another admirable job with a slide show on his DotPhoto web site; check it out. Mike Martin also posted wonderful photos from the event.
    • Rick Parker has provided a slide show of his photos from the 2010 event; here are Mike Martin’s pictures and videos from the event.
    • Here are Dave Cole’s photo pages from the 2009 event, and here are Mike Martin’s pages.
  • Longtime former Summer Steamup organizer Sonny Wizelman is profiled by a Los Angeles blogger.

National Summer Steamup 2016

Lions Gate Hotel, McClellan, Calif.
(Suburban Sacramento)
July 13-17, 2016

For its 20th anniversary, the world’s best summertime small-scale live steam event returns to Sacramento once again in 2016.

Photo by Rick Parker.


The National Summer Steamup 2016 will include clinics on small-scale live steam techniques, a roomful of dealers of small-scale live steam products, as well as a Saturday-night BBQ, door prizes and other entertainment. Live steamers from around the world will enjoy 45mm (Gauge One) and 32mm (0-gauge) live-steam operation of small-scale locomotives for four days in July 2016.

Since 2003 the event has been held at the Lions Gate Hotel in suburban Sacramento and since 2013 it has been in the 23,600-square-foot general session room of the McClellan Conference Center. In recent years, the National Summer Steamup has supported eight different layouts — representing 17 loops of track for a total of more than 2200 linear feet of rail. Following a tradition established in 2015, the event will also be the host to “Stationary Saturday,” the nation’s largest collection of operational steam toys (bring ’em if you’ve got ’em).

Event hours will be Wednesday, July 13, 6 p.m.-1 a.m.; Thursday through Saturday, July 14-16, 7 a.m.-1 a.m., and Sunday, July 17, 7 a.m.-Noon. If you would like to help setting up on July 13, please arrive by 3 p.m. Do not plan on being able to bring your trains or equipment into the hall until after 6 p.m. Those who would like to tear down should expect to be finished around 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 17.

Important dates:

  • June 22, 2016: Deadline for ordering clothing to guarantee on-site delivery.
  • June 22, 2016: Deadline to reserve room at reduced rate at Lions Gate Hotel, (916) 640-0835.
  • July 1, 2016: Deadline for steamup registration to include free Saturday night BBQ.

Feel free to contact if you need more information.