Railroads are a big deal in Council Bluffs. Railroading holds a special place in the hearts of Council Bluffs’ residents due to our history with the nation’s first transcontinental railroad. That makes 2019 especially exciting as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the railroad’s completion.
As ‘Mile 0’ of the transcontinental railroad—President Abraham Lincoln designated Council Bluffs as the eastern starting point of the railroad in 1864—, Council Bluffs will be celebrating and reflecting on the 150th anniversary all throughout 2019.
Visitors can learn more about railroad history throughout the year at our museums: the Union Pacific Railroad Museum and RailsWest Railroad Museum. Visitors can learn more about the “greatest railroad builder of all time” at the Historic General Dodge House and snap a family photo at the town’s Golden Spike Monument— erected in 1939, in remembrance of the completion of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad and the film “Union Pacific.”
In addition to our museums and monument, visitors will find special 150th-anniversary events and themed railroad tie-ins at annual city events like the Celebrate CB Parade and Railroad Days. Anniversary events include celebrations, lectures, family activities, and more!
150th Anniversary Events in Council Bluffs
May 10 - 150th Kickoff Celebration
July 13 & 14 - Railroad Days
August 17 - Construction as Conquest
More events will be announced throughout the year! You can check our running list at UNleashCB.com/go/rr150. We hope you’ll join us as we reflect on how the transcontinental railroad affected our town and the nation.
Event details are subject to change. Please contact the venues to confirm details as needed.
*Header image of the construction of the Union Pacific Bridge (1887) is courtesy of the Council Bluffs Public Library.
Image credit: Council Bluffs Public Library