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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  • 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, May 8: MVPs: Sports on the Railroad - Steam into Saturday Virtual Happy Hour


    5:30pm Central Time


    What does a railroad have to do with sports? You might be surprised! Join us as we explore the sportier side of the UP collection, including company teams, special event trains, and the Olympics.


    Register here


    Tuesday, May 11: Who's Been Working on the Railroad?


    2:00pm and 6:00pm Central Time


    The transcontinental railroad was built by mostly immigrant laborers - Union Pacific employed large numbers of Irish immigrants while Central Pacific employed mostly Chinese immigrants. Who were these people? Though there is much we don't know about them, their role in building the transcontinental railroad is an important part of the history of immigration in the United States.


    Register here


    Saturday, May 22: Railroad Station Scrapbook: A Slideshow of Depots Across the West - Steam into Saturday Virtual Happy Hour


    5:30pm Central Time

    By popular request! We'll take a look at photos and plans in the UP collection that feature all things depots.


    Register here 


    Tuesday, May 25: Scams, Scandals, and Railroad Crime


    2:00pm and 6pm Central Time


    Railroads ushered in the era of the con man. At all levels of American society, railroads were rife with opportunities for crime, from large scale financial shenanigans to petty theft. Learn about the seedier side of the 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.