The country revolved around railroads.  Council Bluffs had them.

But our tale isn't just about steel rails and flanged wheels: it's about creation of the West.


The RailsWest Museum tells that story.

Hours: Saturdays 11-4, Sundays 1-4.


Historical Society of Pottawattamie County members: Free

Adults: $10.00; Seniors (60 and over) and students: $8.00

Ages 6 - 18: $5.00; Ages 5 and under free.

1512 S. Main Street, Council Bluffs, Iowa


RAILROAD DAYS September 23, 2023!

New Signs Tells Rail Story

RailsWest visitors will soon have an informative and quite eye-catching explanation of the role the rail cars at the museum played in Council Bluffs’ history.  Each sign is cut in a shape specific to the individual car and crafted from materials that will weather well and last for many years.

Support for this project provided by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

RailsWest Museum.

The 1899 depot was built for the Chicago Rock Island and Pacific RailRoad and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Rail Car Display.

Here’s your chance to exerpience real rolling stock up close and personal. Reach out and touch a club car, engines, railway post office, and cabooses.

Model Railroad.

Get a bird’s eye view of Council Bluffs’ bustling rail yards as model trains depict the city’s train system, complete with roundhouses and switching.

Interact with other Rail Fans on the Society’s Facebook Page.

”Like” and “Follow” the Historical Society’s railroad Facebook page for photos and tales from the archives. It’s a great place to share memories and historical tidbits and tales with others and stay up-to-date with happenings at the museum.

Council Bluffs’ Historic Haymarket

Remembering Council Bluffs' Drive-in Theater

Council Bluffs: Where the East Ended

Council Bluffs: Nebraska’s 1st Capitol

Council Bluffs’ First High School

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