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March 7, 2018

Education's Top 5 Ways to Experience the Museum

March 7, 2018

5. Enjoy an Architectural Highlights tour and learn more about the building the museum calls home.

4. Visiting with kids under 4? Try out a Train Pack! They have several hands-on activities for kids relating to trains.

3. Experience Lincoln’s 1859 visit, retracing his footsteps in historic downtown Council Bluffs and exploring the Lincoln collection at the museum.

2. Take an audio tour! The recordings share expanded information and stories about our exhibits.

1. Invite us to bring the tour to you! If your group or organization is local ask about our available off-site presentations.

Tours are not limited just to school groups! We enjoy giving tours to all ages, and will work with you to create the best experience.

Ready to book? Click here!


Friday, Mar. 2: Book it UP for March Madness! (5-7 pm)

February 23, 2018

Union Pacific Museum’s monthly family night will celebrate reading and literacy with storytimes hosted by Iowa Western Community College Reivers from the volleyball, women’s soccer and cheer teams. Other train book related activities will be hosted by Raise Me to Read, Council Bluffs Public Library, Operation Lifesaver, and Pottawattamie County Conservation. Enjoy live music with El Patrón and spin the prize wheel.

Admission is free; however, donations are gladly accepted.

Guests will receive a 2018 punch card upon arrival.  Those who have their card stamped at least seven times this year are eligible to win a six-person trip aboard the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad in Boone, Iowa. The drawing will occur at the Dec. 7, 2018, family night. Winners must be present to win.

Family nights are held the first Friday of every month. In addition to providing extended hours for visitors to access the museum’s range of interactive railroading displays and the history of the west, each family night features a unique art or learning opportunity that is fun for the entire family. Next month’s Family Night is Apr. 6, and will feature the theme “Under the Big Top! Circus Night at the Museum” hosted by the Tangier Shrine.

The Curator's Top 5 Things to See at the Union Pacific Museum

February 6, 2018

This list could be much, much longer. You could mention posing on the back of a railroad business car like F.D.R., or peeking into President Lincoln’s private railcar, or you could even tout the free admission that gets you in the door!
But, we had to start somewhere!

Here are the Curator’s Top 5 (for now!) things to see at the Union Pacific Museum:

5. Are you a movie buff? Don’t miss the script for the 1939 movie Union Pacific signed by director Cecile B. DeMille in the America Travels by Rail exhibit. While you’re there you might as well admire all of the railroad china and silver on display from the heyday of railroad passenger travel.

4. Do tech and innovation get your pulse pounding? Check out the remote controlled locomotive (RCL) control on display in Working on the Railroad. That’s right, I said remote controlled locomotive! Not all locomotives on the railroad are operated remotely though, you can sit in the engineer’s seat and take a spin in the locomotive simulator too!

3. Maybe it’s not railroads at all that get you up in the morning, although I can’t imagine it! How about investigating the history of the dinosaur footprint on display in Building America? Yes, a real fossil! You’ll have to come and see it for yourself to see the connection between this dino and the railroad.

2. It really was the wild west when Union Pacific completed the nation’s first transcontinental railroad and a lot of unsavory characters came west to make their fortune. In the Building America exhibit you can explore the exciting history of the railroad police and see Agent Jesse Sitton’s badge. Agent Sitton was killed in the line of duty, but his badge tells an interesting story; why does the bullet seem to come from the back of the badge? You’ll have to visit to find out!

1. But when you visit, you simply cannot miss the small, silver and gold plated, railroad spike that was witness to the events at Promontory Summit, Utah, on May 10, 1869. The “Arizona Spike,” or composite spike, was presented by the territory of Arizona to Union Pacific. This special spike, along with a gold spike from California and a silver spike from Nevada, were gently tapped into a special laurel wood tie to signify the completion of the railroad. The Arizona Spike is on loan to the Museum from the Museum of the City of New York. To see the other two, you’ll have to make the journey to Stanford University’s Cantor Museum! 

Now, go out and bring all of your friends! Create your own Top 5 List of the reasons why YOU like to visit the Union Pacific Museum. We can’t wait to see you!

Recent Headlines

  • Saturday, Feb. 17: Celebrate Black History Month (1-3 p.m.)The Union Pacific Railroad Museum is partnering with Union Pacific's Black Employee Network (BEN) to celebrate Black History Month. On Saturday, Feb. 17, from 1 to 3 p.m. visitors are invited to participate in a first-ever roundtable event with Union Pacific employees, who will discuss the cultural impact of black legends and leaders, the key to their success and icons who have inspired them.
  • Friday, Feb. 2: Nature's Shadows! Celebrate Groundhog Day at Family Night (5-7 pm)Learn about groundhogs, dig through our tunnel, hear a story, and learn how weather can affect the railroad.  We'll also share the official review of how much longer winter will last.
  • New Year Fun and Fitness Jumpstart at the Union Pacific Museum!Welcome to the New Year! Our latest exhibit, Working on the Railroad, opened in December 2017, and all of us at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum are excited to continue learning about our new displays and gadgets. Since our curators carefully designed our exhibit to interact with our guests and because many of us have made resolutions for a healthier New Year, we have devised a little boot camp introduction for our team and guests so that they can learn more and get fit at the same time!
  • Friday, Jan. 5: Pajama Night at the Museum! (5-7 pm)Relax and enjoy after the busy holiday season! Come explore the museum while wearing your pajamas! Learn about traveling in a sleeper car, and enjoy activities from both Pottawattamie County Conservation and the Council Bluffs Library. There will be a pajama parade at 6PM!
  • Top 5 Reasons to Visit!Have you never visited the Union Pacific Museum? Thinking about putting us on your list? Maybe these Top 5 reasons to visit will get you on your way to visit!
  • Friday, Dec. 1: Working on the Railroad Exhibit Grand Opening (5-7 p.m.)Join us for the grand opening of our newest, permanent exhibit!  Try out the new upgraded simulator and show off your build the train skills in an interactive game.
  • Saturday, Nov. 18: Celebrate Native American Heritage Month (1-3 p.m.)Union Pacific Railroad Museum is partnering with Union Pacific's Council of Native American Heritage (CONAH), an employee resource group, to celebrate National Native American Heritage Month on Nov. 18 with a free lecture by University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) professor of history Kent Blansett entitled, "When the Stars Fell from the Sky: the Cherokee Nation and Autonomy in the Civil War."
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