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

Free, Self-Guided General Admission

The museum is open: 

Thursday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Masks are strongly encouraged when the community level is elevated.

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Visitor Reviews

"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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  • Our mission is to share American History through the lens of the railroad, connecting generations who have been impacted by Union Pacific

    The museum is housed in a historic Carnegie Library building in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

    Visitors can explore an extensive compilation of items from 150 years of our nation's western history, including artifacts, photographs, documents and equipment.

    Donate or become a patron

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

  • Join us for our free public events

    We offer many special tours and events throughout the year. 

    History Express FREE Tour: From 1:30-2:30 p.m.

    Available every Saturday, experience a standing tour that explores the overview history of 150 plus years of the railroad. No reservation needed. We will meet in front of the business car on the first floor. 

    Virtual Club Car Conversation: June 20th, 5:30 p.m. CT 

    Join the UP Museum each quarter at 5:30 central for a casual chat about railroads, history, and popular culture. Every month we'll explore a different topic, featuring exclusive peeks into the Union Pacific collection, special guests, and the occasional surprise.

    In 2023 the museum is celebrating 20yrs of operating at historic mile zero in Council Bluffs, IA. The 20th anniversary is often referred to as the 'China Anniversary', so what better way to celebrate than a presentation featuring beautiful, historic railroad china.

    Join us for a virtual presentation with the UP Collection Curator as we explore Dining in Railroad Style. Railroads recognized very early that dining was a key way to distinguish themselves from competitors. Passengers benefited from each railroad’s effort to offer the best food, best service and best dining environment. Even the china became a mark of distinction. Railroads used unique china patterns to brand the railroad and individual routes. Union Pacific featured different china patterns for each of its premier routes and even had special china for children.

    Register here!

    Learn more here