Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice


Photographer Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News

When to Arrive

The first Gathering event is dinner on Sunday, July 2. Most dorms will open on Sunday. Before you finalize your travel plans consider reasons to arrive Saturday.

  • See the great Niagara Falls.
  • Attend a pre-Gathering event.
  • Attend the mandatory training for Junior Gathering staff (starts Sunday 8:30 AM) OR the mandatory training for High School staff (starts Saturday 8AM).

Not all clusters or housing choices will be available when you select early housing. Friday night housing is available only for pre-Gathering attenders and invited volunteers. Arriving early might limit your Gathering housing choices.

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We will be using the Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF). 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)

We have arranged an Amtrak discount to the Niagara Falls (NFL) train station. The new station includes a customs office if you are traveling from Canada. However, the station is unstaffed and there is no baggage service there, meaning you can only bring carry-ons to Niagara Falls. (Neither the Buffalo-Depew, Niagara Falls, nor St. Catharines train stations offer baggage service.) Amtrak said that luggage can be checked to New York or Toronto, and you would then need to carry it with you on the train. See the public transportation section below for details on how to from the train station to campus (or learn more about Amtrak Transportation if you're arriving outside of the hours the Discover Niagara Shuttle is running.) Please read the luggage limitations below.

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 X51D-962 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 Buffalo, NY between June 29, 2017 – July 11, 2017.  To book your reservation call Amtrak at 1 (800) 872-7245 or contact your local travel agent. 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.

Luggage limitations.  Only select train stations and routes permit checked luggage. You might be able to check your luggage part-way, but would need to have it with you on the train for the final portion of your trip to Niagara Falls. Each passenger is limited to two pieces of carry on luggage (up to 50 lbs each) plus personal items.  Amtrak might 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: Click to see timetables for the Maple Leaf and Empire Service Amtrak trains.

Public Transportation

The Discover Niagara shuttle is a free shuttle that runs between the Niagara Falls train station, Niagara University Campus (Castellani Art Museum stop), Niagara Falls and a number of other points of interest. The Greyhound bus stops within a few blocks of the shuttle. The shuttle is scheduled to operate from 9 am to 6 pm Sunday through Thursday, and 9 am till 12 am on Fridays and Saturdays. (Some trains arrive and leave between these times.) You can download a shuttle map here.

If you are arrving at the Niagara Falls Amtrak Station after the Discover Niagara Shuttle stops running, see alternative options for travel from the train stations to campus.

There are a number of public bus routes in the area for $2 per trip (standard fare with some discounts available). See the Niagara Falls Transportation Authority's schedules and fares.


Megabus is available from St. Catharines to Niagara Falls, Ontario, where you can get a bus across the bridge to the Amtrak station. Greyhound runs between Buffalo and Toronto with a stop in Niagara Falls, New York. Take the Discover Niagara shuttle from the Amtrak station to campus. If you stop at the Buffalo airport, see our airport transportation details for a shuttle to campus.


Niagara University is about thirty miles northwest of Buffalo, New York and about twenty-five miles east of St. Catharines, Ontario. Click here for directions to the campus.


Be green and arrive at the Gathering with a full car! Indicate your interest in carpooling when you register, and FGC will tell you how to contact 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 travel 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.