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A Visit to Council Bluffs’ Union Pacific Museum
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A Visit to Council Bluffs’ Union Pacific Museum

If you love museums and history, the Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs is a place you must visit. History lovers will delight in the hundred-year-old building the museum resides in while enjoying the rich railroad history contained within.

Guests are transported back in time as they explore the museum’s different exhibits. For example, The Lincoln Collection consists of artifacts from President Abraham Lincoln’s life such as photographs and busts. A recreation of President Lincoln’s rail car beckons guests from the back of the exhibit room. The replica rail car contains furniture and silver from the President’s original rail car.

The Building America exhibit is one of the most immersive ones at the museum. The exhibit explores the background of the transcontinental railroad teaching visitors about the West, the railroad workers, and more. A walk-through tunnel in the exhibit allows guests to fully imagine what the railroad workers of the past went through to complete the railroad, particularly when building through mountains.

The museum's 360-degree projection room.

Another exhibit, American Travels by Rail, jumps forward in time to the 1930s. The exhibit takes a closer look at passenger train travel through 1971. The exhibit includes replica train cars, a 360-degree projection room, and artifacts from passenger trains.

The 360-degree projection room is one of the museum’s best features, playing retro Union Pacific television ads and historical footage of the railroad’s history.

The museum is particularly great for children thanks to multiple interactive stations—one even using an X-Box Kinect. Monthly Family Nights include more children activities such as games, story time, and educational booths.

Admission to the museum is free so you can enjoy the railroad’s rich history again and again!

The museum is located at 200 Pearl St. in Council Bluffs. Hours of operation are Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, visit



Image credit: Council Bluffs Convention & Visitors Bureau

Leave a Comment

  1. Travel Iowa Team
    Travel Iowa Team
    What a great way to spend time in Council Bluffs! Thanks for the post!
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