THE WESTERN STAR

Here is an abridged schedule (Chicago to Minot) for the Great Northern Railway's Western Star as
An abridged schedule as of October 1963.
WEST THE WESTERN STAR
CHICAGO, ST. PAUL, MINNEAPOLIS, NEW ROCKFORD, MINOT
EAST
Example No. 27
Daily
  STATIONS No. 28
Daily
No. 24
Daily
Monday
Tuesday
      "
      "
      "
      "
      "
      "
      "
      "
10 30 P M
7 25 A M
9 30 A M
9 55 A M
10 05 A M
11 50 A M
1 50 P M
2 55 P M
5 10 P M
6 45 P M

lve. ...Chicago (C. T.) C. B. & Q.... arr.
arr
. ..........St. Paul C. B. & Q.......... lve.
lve
. ..........St. Paul G. N. Ry ........... arr.
arr
. ..............Minneapolis.............. lve.
lve
. ..............Minneapolis.............. arr.
lve
. ...................Willmar...................lve.
lve
. .............Breckenridge..............lve.
lve
. .....................Fargo....................lve.
lve
. ............New Rockford.............lve.
arr
. .....................Minot.....................lve.
7 55 A M
11 15 P M
3 30 P M
3 00 P M
2 50 P M
................
................
10 12 A M
8 07 A M
6 15 A M
10 40 P M
4 00 P M
3 50 P M
3 30 P M
of October, 1963.  It probably had the same schedule six years before, when Mother and us kids rode it from Chicago to Minot, North Dakota.  Let's examine the schedule to see how long this trip I remember actually took.

Looking down the column for train number 27, I see it left Chicago every day at 10:30 P.M., Central Standard Time (If I recall correctly, through trains did not use Daylight Savings Times in those days!) traveling on the CB&Q tracks, and arrived in St. Paul at 7:24 A.M. the next day.  There was a two hour and five minute stopover at St. Paul (That's probably where they washed the train.) then across the river on Great Northern tracks to Minneapolis. 

After a ten minute pause at Minneapolis, it proceeded across Minnesota and North Dakota to arrive at Minot twenty hours and fifteen minutes after it left Chicago.  By way of comparison, the Great Northern's Empire Builder covered the same distance in just under sixteen hours.

It is possible the Western Star arrived late at Minot the day we rode it, for we called our cousin Bonnie, who lived in Bowbells, N. Dak., to come pick us up, and she probably arrived in under an hour.  I think the sun was going down when she got there.  In June, at that latitude and longitude, the sun sets around 9:30 CST, so the call must have been placed around 8:30.

Train 28 is the eastbound Western Star.  Note the seven hour, forty-five minute layover in St. Paul.  Train #24 is the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy's Twin Zephyr, which figured prominently in our return trip when we learned tickets on the eastbound Western Star were also good on the Twin Zephyr.


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