Explore Railroad

Located in historic downtown Council Bluffs, Iowa, on the Missouri River, we're a great place for friends and family to come and learn about the Union Pacific Railroad.


Museum Information

General Admission is free 

Starting Friday, July 2, 2021, the
museum will be open:

 Friday and Saturday from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. You must register online before you visit.

Reserve your time

All donations support the Union Pacific Museum Association, a 501(c)3 registered nonprofit.

Visitor Reviews

"Great place to go on a winter's day. Very educational!"

"Keep up the good work. It was fun learning about trains. It's an amazing museum!"

"This museum has fantastic displays! Love the demonstration of what made America great: hard working American spirit!"

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  • Medium | Museum Excursion Big Boy

    2021 Museum Special Excursion in New Orleans

    July 7, 2021

    Share the adventure with us August 22, 2021, as we trace the route of Missouri Pacific's iconic Louisiana Daylight and Louisiana Limited train service, north along the Mississippi River from New Orleans, LA, and over the historic Huey P. Long Bridge on heritage passenger equipment pulled by Union Pacific's steam locomotive "Big Boy," No. 4014. This is a rare opportunity to travel on Union Pacific tracks and relive the heyday of steam powered passenger service. Seats aboard this special excursion train are limited.

    Tickets, ranging in price from $650-$1200, will be available for sale to the general public on July 19. Passengers must be 18 years or older to board. Patrons of the Union Pacific Museum will be offered advance opportunity to purchase tickets.


    Big Boy No. 4014 was delivered to Union Pacific in December 1941. The locomotive was retired in December 1961, having traveled 1,031,205 miles in its 20 years in service. Union Pacific reacquired No. 4014 from the Rail Giants Museum in Pomona, California, in 2013, and relocated it back to Cheyenne to begin restoration.


    This excursion is the annual signature gala event for the nonprofit, Union Pacific Museum, that provides world class exhibits and programming to the public. The Union Pacific Museum was named again in 2019 as the best museum in the state of Iowa by the 24/7 Wall Street Journal, and recently as the 3rd best transportation museum in the U.S. The museum annually hosts visitors from the local community and around the world.


    Additional information about how to become a patron is available here and ticket information for the trip is available at www.uptraintix.com


    The Union Pacific Museum is located at 200 Pearl St. Council Bluffs, Iowa, and is currently open by appointment only on Fridays and Saturdays, 12:00-6:00pm. Admission is always free. 

  • Museum Reopening Update

    Welcome back, we’ve missed you!


    The Union Pacific Museum is reopening to the public on Friday, July 2, 2021. New hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. It's still free to visit, but you must register online at least 2 hours before your visit.


    To visit the Union Pacific Museum, you will need to: 


    - Come in groups of 10 or less
    - Wear a facemask or face covering if you are over 2 years old
    - Come to the north side museum entrance, which is on the lowest level, at your appointed time. If you arrive early, you will have to wait outside. If you arrive late, you will not be able to enter unless there is an empty slot.
    - Follow all posted directional signage and information


    If you are feeling unwell, please wait to visit! We encourage everyone to please get vaccinated before traveling or visiting.


    Make a reservation here 

  • Free Virtual Adult Programs

    Join us on Zoom for a variety of historical presentations. These programs are totally free, you just need to register. Find the full slate of virtual adult programs here


    Saturday, July 3: Pets on the Railroad - Steam into Saturday Virtual Happy Hour


    5:30pm Central Time 


    People have always loved their pets and taken them on trips or even to work. Grab your favorite furry (or scaly, or feathered) friend as we explore pets on the railroad.


    Register here


    Saturday, July 17: Trivia Night - Steam into Saturday Virtual Happy Hour


    5:30pm Central Time


    Join us for another round of train themed trivia! All knowledge levels are welcome, we'll have something for everyone.
    No need to form a team beforehand, we'll sort all participants into teams in zoom. Just have your pen and paper ready for keeping track of your answers


    Register here


    Saturday, July 31: Bridge Bonanza - Steam into Saturday Virtual Happy Hour


    5:30pm Central Time


    Railroads wouldn't get very far without bridges. Join us as we explore these feats of engineering that allowed rail transport to become what it is today. From trusses to beams, we've got it all.


    Register here  

  • Small | Union Pacific Museum at Night

    SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE - FREE First Friday Night at the Museum Every Month

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, First Friday Night at the Museum is suspended until it is once again safe to gather in person.