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 

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

    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 

  • 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.