The Hawkeye State. Crossing the Missouri River from Omaha into Council Bluffs, our destination was the Union Pacific Railroad Museum – a special stop for Dad, who was once in-house counsel for Union Pacific. Jackson delved into the history of the rail industry. In 1862, Congress passed the Pacific Railroad Acts, designating the 32nd parallel as the initial transcontinental route and granting vast lands for rights-of-way. The legislation paved the way for two giants – the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific – to construct the lines. From 1863, the Union Pacific, with over 8,000 workers, forged west from Omaha, Nebraska, until it met the Central Pacific at Promontory, Utah. History unfolded along the rails.