Railswest Railroad Museum – Council Bluffs, Iowa

Rails WestRailswest Railroad Museum – Council Bluffs, Iowa



In this 1899 Rock Island Railroad depot in Council Bluffs, Iowa, has been established a museum dedicated to railroad history—especially relating to the westward expansion of the United States and to the railroad development during the steam era.

Memorabilia such as historic photographs, examples of passes, dining car artifacts, uniforms, and timetables are on display. Since trains were a major part of the history of the town, the RailsWest Model Railroad tries to recreate that time. It depicts the operations of the railroads in the surrounding area. The exhibit is in a room 22 feet by 34 feet and is operational.

Also displayed on the grounds are two steam engines, 1917 waycar, a club car, a railway post office car, and a caboose. <br>Special “days” have been scheduled such as “Depot Days,” last weekend in September and “Christmas at the Depot”—the weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The Rock Island was the first railroad surveyed to Council Bluffs, and it was also the first to bridge the Missouri River. This line was the first to create and use a sleeping car (1867); it also started the first railroad dining service—in 1877.

Admission – $6.00 for adults, Seniors for $5.00, Age 6 – 16:  $4.00  Age 5 &under and HSPC Members:  FREE Group rates available They also offer a combined pass to the Squirrel Cage Jail. Both museums for $10.

Directions – 1 mile north of U. S. Interstate Highway 80, Exit 3, Council Bluffs, Iowa 51501

Hours – The current hours for RailsWest are Friday and Saturday 10-4 PM and Sunday 1-4 PM.  The last tour begins at 3:30. The depot will be closed 12/21-1/7/2010.  April 1, 2010  the museum will be open Tuesday through Saturday, 10-4, and Sunday from 1-4.

Phone – (712) 323-5182  

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