Local Locomotives

The Dodge House

Wabash Trace

RailsWest Museum

The tri-county area was established and grew with the railroads. Nearly every community was founded on a railroad and had a station with depot. Although many have been removed, we have ample opportunities to explore and learn about the railroads.

The Dodge House

Wabash Trace

RailsWest Museum

Historic Locomotive Sites

Council Bluffs in particular has several sites to visit: The Lincoln Monument is believed to be the site where President Abraham Lincoln stood and proclaimed his vision for the first transcontinental railroad. That railroad was eventually built as the Union Pacific line connecting Council Bluffs to San Francisco. The rail line was completed with a Golden Spike in Utah, which is commemorated by the Golden Spike Monument in Council Bluffs. The Historic General Dodge House, Union Pacific Railroad Museum, and Railswest Railroad Museum are also great sites in Council Bluffs to visit and learn about the important role of railroads in the region’s history.

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The Watson Stream Train in Missouri Valley is also located on the Union Pacific Railroad: “100-foot long replica of an old-time small town railroad depot. Built in Missouri Valley’s City Park in 2009, the complex includes the depot and a 1700-foot miniature 12-gauge park railroad. Housed in the depot are two trains. The first is a restored steam train, originally owned by the Missouri Valley Fire Department and later by John Watson, for whom the station is named. The second is a 2013 Union Pacific diesel replica. Both trains operate during the station’s season, May through October. The depot features railroad-related artifacts and displays, including a major collection of miniature (to scale) brass locomotives.”

Explore More Train Trails

The Wabash Trace Nature Trail is a biking/hiking trail built on the former Wabash Railroad corridor. Trailheads are located in Council Bluffs, Mineola, Silver City, and Malvern. The trail even extends beyond our region, all the way to the state border with Missouri more than 60 miles from Council Bluffs. The historic railroad depot in Malvern can now be rented for overnight stays on Airbnb.

Though it does not stop in the region, the California Zephyr Amtrak line runs through the area. Its nearest stop is just across the river in downtown Omaha, but you may catch a glimpse of it sometime on the BNSF line through Mills County.

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WanderLoess is coordinated by ​Golden Hills RC&D, a grassroots nonprofit based in Oakland, Iowa, as part of the Loess Hills Missouri River Region Parks to People plan. Funding for coordination is provided by Harrison, Pottawattamie, and Mills counties and Iowa West Foundation. With the help of our many partners making this destination dream a reality.

Our Partners

 
 

WanderLoess is coordinated by ​Golden Hills RC&D, a grassroots nonprofit based in Oakland, Iowa, as part of the Loess Hills Missouri River Region Parks to People plan. Funding for coordination is provided by Harrison, Pottawattamie, and Mills counties and Iowa West Foundation. With the help of our many partners making this destination dream a reality.

Our Partners

 
 

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