ALL ABOARD for a fun-filled weekend!

Railroad DaysCelebrate our region’s rich railroad heritage and all things train and track at Railroad Days 2018. On Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Lauritzen Gardens, The Durham Museum, Union Pacific Railroad Museum, RailsWest Railroad Museum and the Historic General Dodge House are teaming up for this favorite annual event. Passes for Railroad Days can be purchased on July 14 or 15 at any of the participating venues. There are no presales. Each family pass (two adults and all dependent children) is $15 and allows admission to and transportation between all five locations. A $5 pass is available for one additional adult with the purchase of a family pass. The event gives families the opportunity to explore the exhibits and collections at five of the area’s railroad-themed attractions, all at one low price. Parking is available at all five venues.
Railroad Days is made possible thanks to the generous support of Union Pacific Railroad and a grant provided by the Iowa West Foundation. Media support is provided by KETV. Printing support is provided by Elman & Co.

During Railroad Days, botanical meets mechanical at Lauritzen Gardens. Get up close and personal with two of the greatest locomotives to ever power Union Pacific Railroad at Kenefick Park. Stand in awe at Centennial No. 6900, one of the most powerful diesel-electric locomotives ever built, and Big Boy No. 4023, one of the world’s largest steam locomotives. Visit the model railroad garden to discover seven bridge-chugging, tunnel-zooming G-scale train lines winding through replicas of Omaha’s favorite landmarks.
Small children can enjoy complimentary rides on a classic 1949 King Amusement Company On-Track Train Ride. With model train exhibits, a working rail yard made entirely from LEGO® bricks, railroad ditties from entertainer Paul Siebert, as well as children’s activities and 100 acres of display gardens, there is plenty to capture the visitors’ imagination and celebrate all things train and track.

For this year’s Railroad Days, The Durham Museum will showcase Union Pacific’s Chicago North Western Heritage locomotive. The Chicago & North Western locomotive is the fifth unit in the heritage fleet and was unveiled at the Ogilvie Transportation Center in Chicago on July 15, 2006. The locomotive incorporates C&NW’s historic colors and graphic elements to honor the men and women of the Chicago & North Western. The locomotive will be located trackside for guests to see up close and take photographs. “Freight Train” Frank will be back at The Durham playing railroad songs, so sit back and enjoy the music or grab an instrument and get in on the fun! Visit House of Trains on Track Level to view model trains and have the chance to speak one-on-one with model railroad experts. New this year…The Swanson Gallery will be transformed to one of the largest model railroad displays we have ever had! Missouri Valley Free-Mo will be here with Model Railroaders from Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Minnesota to setup scenes depicting actual locations in the Midwest. You won’t want to miss it! Guests will be able to take advantage of the museum’s current travelling exhibitions, American Adventure and Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in WWII.
The Durham Museum in Omaha’s beautiful art deco Union Station, is home to permanent exhibits that preserve Omaha’s vibrant history, traveling exhibits covering subjects ranging from history and culture, to science and industry, and many entertaining, educational, family-oriented activities. The Durham Museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and has strong ties with the Library of Congress, National Archives, and The Field Museum. For information about The Durham Museum please visit the museum’s website at

Come and explore more than 150 years of America’s largest railroad at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum! The Union Pacific Railroad Museum’s mission is to promote a sense of connectedness that’s shared by generations of people whose personal and family histories have been touched by the railroad.
This year the Union Pacific Railroad Museum is featuring the rich history between the military and the railroads in every American conflict since the U.S. Civil War in the “Wheels of War” exhibit. Learn about the advantage given to the North by its railroad network, discover that more than 6,000,000 soldiers passed through the special Canteen in North Platte, Nebraska, and see how Union Pacific is still employing and recognizing veterans today! Visitors can also view the “Working on the Railroad” exhibit; an up close and personal experience with modern Union Pacific operations!

The RailsWest Railroad Museum, located in the historic Rock Island Depot, features displays and artifacts from the numerous rail lines that passed through Council Bluffs. The museum is home to an extensive H.O. scale model train layout operated by the Carter Lake Model Railroad Youth Club that is a must see for rail fans of all ages. Outside in the train yard, visitors are invited to climb aboard the old steam engines and take a ride down memory lane or just sit back and relax in the Omaha Club car that ran between Chicago, IL and Lincoln, NE with a stop in Council Bluffs. Visitors can imagine themselves riding along behind the train in the 1918 cupola style caboose or in the 1967 bay window style caboose. There is always plenty to see and do while visiting the RailsWest Railroad Museum.

One of Council Bluffs’ most famous residents, General Grenville M. Dodge has been called “the greatest railroad builder of all time,“ having surveyed over 100,000 miles of line. A Civil War General, Dodge’s involvement in political, financial, and military affairs made him an associate of many of the most influential Americans of his time and counsel to presidents, with five presidents spending time in his home.
In 1869, Dodge built his handsome Victorian home at the cost of $35,000, a lavish sum for the day. The home was designated as a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service in 1961 and opened as a museum in 1964. Our new exhibit will allow visitors a glimpse of how people in Dodge’s day spent their leisure time.