Skepticon is happening on 26-28 July!

We should all go! Registration is open, and of course it’s free!

I wonder if Atheists for Liberty will be there?

I’m trying to figure out if I can manage to make it myself — this is a busy working summer. Maybe if I take the train? There must be a train from Minneapolis to St Louis, right?


  1. whywhywhy says

    Maybe a boat? I think there might be a river connecting Minneapolis and St. Louis.

  2. billseymour says

    There must be a train from Minneapolis to St Louis, right?

    You’d change trains in Chicago.

    Between the Twin Cities and Chicago, you’d take the Empire Builder, train 7 westbound, train 8 eastbound.  8 departs St. Paul Union Depot at 08:50, arrives Chicago Union Station at 16:45; 7 departs Chicago at 15:05, arrives St. Paul at 22:56.  Other places you can catch the Builder are St. Cloud, Staples and Detroit Lakes, MN, and Fargo, ND; but they’re all served in the wee hours of the morning; and only Fargo is a staffed station.

    Between Chicago and St. Louis, unless you want to spend the night in a Chicago hotel, you’d take “Lincoln Service” corridor trains.

    Train 305 departs Chicago at 17:20, arrives St. Louis at 22:23.
    Plan B if 8 is running late (which it might well be), train 307 departs Chicago at 19:10, arrives St. Louis at 00:09 (just past midnight the next day).  If it looks like 8 will miss the connection to 305, the conductor can change the reservation for you while you’re still on the train.

    Train 302 departs St. Louis at 06:35, arrives Chicago at 11:40.

    Schedules for the Empire Builder and the Illinois/Missouri services.

    The Builder is an overnight long-distance train with sleepers and coach seating.  If your budget can handle it, likely a few hunderd bucks, you might want to consider getting a “roomette”, a pair of facing seats that convert to upper and lower berths at night.  This is something like the old “open sections”, except with walls and a door instead of just curtains.  If Mary will be going with you, the way it works is that you pay for the room just once, then each person pays the coach fare.  A sleeper ticket gets you meals in the diner included in the price.

    The Illinois/Missouri corridor trains have business class and coach seating.  Biz. class is typically only a few tens of bucks, and is a really good deal IMO.  You’ll get very comfortable seats and a free non-alcholic beverage from the café.

    If you get biz. class going to St. Louis, and a sleeper going home, you’ll be able to wait in a first-class waiting area called the Metropolitan Lounge in Chicago.  There’s also a special lounge in St. Louis for passengers with biz.-class tickets.  I believe that there’s a Met. Lounge in St. Paul if you have a sleeper on 8, but I’ve never been in it.

    Parking might be a problem in St. Paul…I don’t know.

    Was that helpful?

  3. billseymour says

    I’m glad it wasn’t more than you wanted to know. 8-)

    BTW, if you do it and your Builder tickets say trains 27 and/or 28, don’t worry. 7 & 27 run as a single train to Spokane where it splits in two, 7 going to Seattle and 27 to Portland, OR.  8 & 28 recombine in Spokane.

    There’s no WiFi; but if your cell phone can act like a WiFi hotspot, you can still be online and working during the trip.  All the sleeper rooms have a table near the window that you can use to set up a laptop.  Coaches have pull-down tray tables like on airplanes.  You’ll have an electrical outlet near you wherever you are.

    Oh, yes…the Illinois/Missouri trains don’t have checked baggage service.

  4. birgerjohansson says

    Stegosaurus did not exist! I have done my own research on internet.

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