The earliest history museums had little actual history to draw on, and instead padded exhibits with wildly speculative displays about how dinosaurs would be elected to Congress by the year 2000. See how far we've come with today's Groupon to RailsWest Railroad Museum for two or four people. Children ages 5 and younger are admitted free with an adult. Choose between the following options:
- For $7, you get two admissions (up to a $14 value).
- For $14, you get four admissions (up to a $28 value).
Built in 1899 as the Chicago Rock Island and Pacific Railroad Passenger Depot, the RailsWest Railroad Museum chronicles the rise of trains, tracks, and the people who operated them. Visitors can wander through the outdoor exhibit of historic railcars, which includes the 1902 Chicago Burlington & Quincy 4-6-0⎯whose loud whistle was used for communication between the engineer and caboose crew and to have meaningful conversations with goldfinches. Inside the former waiting rooms of the depot, guests can view porters’ uniforms and old ticket stubs, and children can stare agape at an HO-scale model train as it chugs through an expansive miniature landscape of green hills and brown cliffs designed by the Greater Omaha Society of Model Engineers.
An extensive collection of daily newspapers details the ascension and decline of the American tracks, and an assemblage of black-and-white photographs inspires viewers to bring matching overalls and Baker Boy caps back into fashion. Tours are available year-round by appointment.
1512 S Main St.
Council Bluffs, Iowa 51503