Explore Railroad
History!

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.

Directions

Museum Information

General Admission is free 

Currently Closed Due to COVID-19 

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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  • Small | Virtual school program transcon photo

    Register for FREE Virtual School Program: Legacy of the Transcontinental Railroad

    Available for grades 3-7 and 8-12.

    Start your history investigation! What does the transcontinental railroad mean in American history? Analyze the clues, consider different perspectives, and draw your own conclusion.

     

    Register 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  

    Tuesday, March 2: Storing and Organizing Your Family Archive
    2 pm Central Time

    Learn the basics of organizing your family archives. Join the Union Pacific Museum to discover the "10 agents of deterioration" that attack our priceless family photos and documents. Topics will also include how to label and handle old photographs, as well as tips on where and how to store your family's archive.

    Register here   

    Saturday, March 6: Repeat - Storing and Organizing Your Family Archive
    2 pm Central Time

    Learn the basics of organizing your family archives. Join the Union Pacific Museum to discover the "10 agents of deterioration" that attack our priceless family photos and documents. Topics will also include how to label and handle old photographs, as well as tips on where and how to store your family's archive.

    Register Here   

    Saturday March 13: Family Vacations Steam into Saturday Virtual Happy Hour
    5:30 pm Central Time
    Did your family ever take a railroad vacation? Share your stories and explore the ways the railroad promoted vacation destinations. Register here   

    Tuesday, March 16: Family Archives: Historic Photography Expert Talk and Q&A
    2 pm Central Time
    We all have photographs – usually stored in shoe boxes or albums, and placed under the bed or in the closet. We see them as lasting forever, but they don’t. Photographs require special care. They react aggressively to the climate, and they frequently have inherent problems as a result of materials from which they are composed. Throughout their history, photographs have been recognized for their fragility.


    Paper and Photograph Conservator Gary Albright will briefly discuss the most common photographic processes found in family collections and offer practical advice on their preservation. How should photographs be stored? Can they be safely exhibited? These issues will be addressed as we answer the questions you have about the care of your family photographs.

    Register here   

    Saturday, March 27: Railroad Music Steam into Saturday Virtual Happy Hour
    5:30pm Central Time
    Almost since railroading began, people have been making music about it. Join us on a musical journey through railroad history that spans genre and culture.
    Register here   

    Tuesday, March 30: Family Archives: Digitization Expert Talk and Q&A
    2 pm Central Time
    Join the UP Museum and Todd Murphy of Universal Information Services as we delve deeper into the topic of digitizing your family photos and films. Todd will discuss best practices for approaching a film or video project, affordable equipment to do it yourself, and options if you want to outsource it. Then we'll invite you to ask your most burning questions about digitization.

    Register here  

  • Museum Reopening Update

    While we are eager to welcome you into the museum again, our primary concern is the health and safety of all visitors, volunteers and staff. We are closely monitoring local COVID-19 reporting and following CDC recommendations.

     

    For the museum to reopen safely the surrounding community needs to have a 14 day decline in new COVID-19 cases and a stable or decreasing positivity rate of 5%. This standard has not yet been met.

     

    Until that benchmark occurs, the museum is closed to protect our guests, volunteers and staff.


    In the meantime, we will continue to host virtual events. Stay tuned to our Facebook page and website for information about virtual events.

  • Public Access Temporarily Suspended

    Due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 virus, in the best interest of our visitors and staff, the Union Pacific Museum will suspend public access starting March 14, 2020. All programs and tours have been cancelled until further notice. We are committed to the health, safety, and well-being of our visitors, volunteers and staff. We look forward to seeing you when the danger has passed.

  • 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.