Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

Travel

St. Cloud Train Station, photo by Bob Anderson

When to Arrive

The FGC Gathering begins on Sunday, July 3.  All Friends are welcome to arrive July 2 if they wish (additional charges will apply). Some Friends will arrive Friday July 1 to participate in pre-Gathering events.  All Junior Gathering volunteers have to attend a mandatory training which begins at 8:30 a.m. for light breakfast on Sunday July 3. The Gathering will pay Saturday housing fees for Junior Gathering volunteers and Workshop Leaders, but not for their family members or others arriving with them.

On this page :

Airplane

We will be using the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport (MSP). Book shuttle service by June 17. See our transportation services webpage for more information.

Buy your airline tickets early!  We expect prices to increase as we near the Gathering.

Amtrak Train (with discount)

The closest Amtrak station is in St. Cloud. We have arranged taxi service from the St. Cloud station to campus. Click here for more information.

There is no checked baggage service to St. Cloud. If you need to check your baggage, you would need to take the train to St. Paul and arrange a ride from there. (See airport shuttle details.)

To book your reservation call Amtrak at 1 (800) 872-7245 or contact your local travel agent. FGC discount tickets cannot be booked via the Internet. You need to purchase your ticket by phone or in person to receive the Gathering discount. Click here for a flyer you can hand to a ticket agent.  Please be sure to refer to Convention Fare Code X60A-945 when making your reservation.  This offer is not valid on the Auto Train and Acela Service.  Fare is valid on Amtrak Regional for all departures seven days a week, including the 4th of July.  Offer valid with Sleepers, Business Class or First Class seats with payment of the full applicable accommodation charges.

Amtrak offers a 10% discount off the best available rail fare to St. Cloud, MN between June 28, 2016 and July 12, 2016. Please note that no additional discount applies. People over 61 or with AARP memberships should ask whether the senior discount is a better price.

The sooner you buy your ticket, the cheaper it is likely to be.

Travel for Less between Chicago, IL and Seattle, WA
Purchase by January 31, 2016
Purchase by February 15, 2016
See Where the Train Can Take You
Purchase by February 29, 2016

Luggage limitations.  Only select train stations and routes permit checked luggage.  Each passenger is limited to two pieces of carry on luggage (up to 50 lbs each) plus personal items.  Amtrak may consider strollers, diaper bags, and car seats as "personal items" permitted in addition to your luggage allowance, but it is not clear if they do.  We recommend reading Amtrak Carry-on Baggage and Amtrak Special Items (scroll down to Baby Items) or contacting Amtrak if you have questions. 

Times: There is one train per day from each direction (west and east).  They are both scheduled to arrive in the middle of the night, although word from a local resident says that the train coming from the west sometimes arrives as late as 9:00 a.m. The train coming from Chicago is scheduled to arrive in St. Cloud at 12:30 a.m. and is more likely to be on time. The taxi service we arranged is expecting to meet these trains, but you do need advance reservations. If you included Saturday housing on your registration, in late June we will be sending information on how to access your room after check-in closes.

Public Transportation

We are not aware of any public transportation from larger cities to St. Joseph, but if you know someone who can pick you up, you can get within about 15 miles of campus using St. Cloud's Metro Bus. See our airport and Amtrak transportation details for ways to get from St. Cloud or Minneapolis to campus. Go to www.metrotransit.org for travel within Minneapolis and St. Paul. 

Bus

Megabus stops in both Minneapolis and St. Paul, and Greyhound also stops in St. Cloud. See our airport and Amtrak transportation details for ways to get from St. Cloud or Minneapolis to campus.

Car

The College of Saint Benedict is approximately

  • 20 miles west of St. Cloud, MN
  • 87 miles northwest from Minneapolis, MN
  • 165 miles southeast of Fargo, ND
  • 214 miles northeast from Sioux Falls, SD

Sunday check-in will be in the Gorecki Center. Click here for driving directions.

Carpools

Be green and arrive at the Gathering with a full car! Indicate your interest in carpooling when you register, and FGC will send you information about contacting other carpoolers.

After you have registered, to view the carpool list, you must have the registration confirmation number listed in the e-mail instructions. Once you get to your Registration Summary page, click on upper INFORMATION tab at the top (just under the Gathering logo) and then click on CARPOOL LIST tab on the next line down.

There will be a section of the Carpool form for Amtrak and bus travelers, to help arrange for group taxi rates to campus.

Travel Grant Opportunities

Are you 35 or younger and need help getting to the Gathering? See our financial aid pages for information on western travel grants and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting travel grants.