The HO model railroad layout simulates the Rock Island Railroad operations in Council Bluffs in the latter years of its existance, including its interchanges with the various roads that operated in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area. There were nine of these: Chicago Burlington & Quincy, Chicago Great Western, Chicago Northwestern, Chicago Rock Island & Pacific, Illinois Central, Milwaukee Road, Missouri Pacific, Union Pacific, and Wabash.
The model railroad was built and is maintained by the Greater Omaha Society of Model Engineers (GOSOME). The group's original layout was in the cafe on the main floor or Omaha's Union Station, now the Durham Museum in the mid 1970s. After two years they moved their operation to the former Railway Express area of that building at track level. The club's oepration was relocated to the Rock Island Depot in Council Bluffs in 1985. Today GOSOME rents space at the depot from the Historical Society of Pottawattamie County and provides an vital part of the railroad experience for visitors to the RailsWest Museum.
HO Model Railroad
Housed in the RailsWest Railroad Museum
16th Avenue and South Main Street, Council Bluffs, Iowa
The museum is currently closed for the season and will reopen May 6. Hours will be 1-4 on Thursdays and Fridays. To arrange group tours please phone or e-mail.
Historical Society of Pottawattamie County members: Free
Seniors (60 & over) and AAA Members: $6.00
Ages 6 - 12: $5.00
Ages 5 and under free