Press Release
August 2, 2016
Contact: Liz Swaine, Executive Director
Downtown Development Authority

Downtown Museums Awarded Union Pacific Foundation Grants 

The Shreveport Water Works and Shreveport Railroad Museums are $20,000 richer today thanks to generous grants from the Union Pacific Foundation. $10,000 was given to each of the museums, which are co-located in downtown Shreveport at 142 North Common Street.

“These museums are hidden treasures worthy of funding,” said Union Pacific Railroad Director of Public Affairs Drew Tessler at the check presentation ceremonies. “I heard from several trusted sources that these museums add so much to the community and our goal is to improve the communities our railroad serves.”

Dale E. Ward, the Executive Director of the McNeill Street Pumping Station Preservation Society, wrote the water works museum grant application. It will pay for repairs to the hundred-year-old brick wall in the filter wing of the building, one of several maintenance needs at the aging facility. The Victorian-era McNeill Street Pumping Station was opened as the city’s first water plant in 1887 and portions of it operated continuously until 1980. In 2006, it was christened the Shreveport Water Works Museum and opened to the public. The remarkable facility is both a National Historical and National Engineering Landmark.

Russell Pedro, President of the Red River Valley Railroad Historical Society, the group that manages the Shreveport Railroad Museum, plans to use the grant dollars to pay for track panels that train cars will sit on at the museum site. Plans for the Railroad Museum include moving in museum-owned train cars including a caboose and motor car already donated by Union Pacific.

“We consider this a good investment of UP money,” said Tessler. “Union Pacific has a large footprint in the Shreveport area and a number of employees here. We plan to stay active in the community for a long, long time.”

Both museums are open to the public free of charge. For more information or to become a friend of the Shreveport Water Works Museum or the Shreveport Railroad Museum, you can go to: or to

Pictured in SRRM Photo from left- Jeff Cornelius, Gary Fox, Russell Pedro, Drew Tessler, Bill Hasheider, Conway Link.

Pictured in the SWWM Photo from left- Conway Link, Jeff Little, Jim Van Hook, James Mohr, Drew Tessler, Paul Williams, Dale Ward, Russell Pedro, Gary Fox