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 

The museum is 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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  • Museum Reopening Update

    Welcome back, we’ve missed you!


    The Union Pacific Museum is now open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. It's still free to visit, but you must register online at least 1 hour before your visit and wear a face mask in the building.


    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, October 9: Working on the Railroad - Steam into Saturday Virtual Happy Hour


    5:30pm Central Time


     What does it mean to work on the railroad and who has done it through time. Join us as we explore some of the intriguing portraits of railroad workers in the UP collection. How did they work, play, and live through history?


    Register here


    Saturday, October 23: Riding the Rails Yesterday and Today - Steam into Saturday Virtual Happy Hour


    5:30pm Central Time


    Have you ever taken the train? We invite you to share your memories, photos, and souvenirs with us as we compare and contrast the travel experiences of today and long ago.


    Register here


    Tuesday, October 26: Stationary Streamliners: Modernist Railroad Passenger Stations in North America, 1929 to 1965 - Virtual Presentation


    6:00pm Central Time


    Join architectural historian Adam Alsobrook for an in-depth look at the Streamline Moderne style of railroad passenger stations. This program will consist of two sections: the first section will provide historical context and a broad overview of Modernist railroad passenger stations built in the United States and Canada between 1929 and 1965. The second section will include a closer look at several selected Modernist railroad passenger stations, especially those constructed by the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific.


    Register here


    Saturday, November 6: A Mustache History of the Railroad - Steam into Saturday Virtual Happy Hour


    5:30pm Central Time


    Do people still do No-Shave November? Either way, let's take a look at the shaving (or not shaving) habits of the past. We'll look at facial hair trends over the years and how they show up among workers on the Railroad.


    Register here 


    Wednesday, November 17: Ghosts of Gold Mountain: Chinese Building the Transcontinental Railroad - Virtual Presentation


    6:00pm Central Time


    In conjunction with our new temporary exhibit at the museum exploring the history of organized labor on the railroad the Union Pacific Museum is pleased to host historian Gordon H. Chang for the virtual presentation: Ghosts of Gold Mountain: Chinese Building the Transcontinental Railroad.

    Though constituting 90% of the labor force on the western portion of the line and credited with carrying the burden of its construction, Chinese workers faded into the shadows of history over time. This talk will speak to the historical neglect and share insights into their experience gained from a decade of research and the publication of his book, Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad.


    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.