Office of Rail Transportation

Staff directory

Vacant - director, Office of Rail Transportation

  • Manages activities of the Rail Office.
  • Liaison to Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).
  • Member American Association of State Highway & Transportation. Official's (AASHTO) Standing Committee on Rail Transportation (SCORT) .

Ed Engle - transportation engineer specialist

Office of System Planning
E-mail: ed.engle@iowadot.us
Phone: 515-239-1058
  • Responsible for technical and engineering aspects of passenger rail development
  • Provides engineering expertise and support for Planning, Programming and Modal offices

James Gibson - crossing safety manager

E-mail: james.gibson@iowadot.us
Phone: 515-239-1549
  • Manages the Federal-Aid Highway/Rail Crossing Safety Program, which funds improvements to install new crossing signal devices, upgrade existing signals, and to provide low-cost improvements; such as increased sight distance, widened crossings, increased signal lens size, or crossing closures.

Maria Hobbs - railroad/highway project coordinator

E-mail: maria.hobbs@iowadot.us
Phone: 515-239-1088
  • Brokers the necessary agreements with railroads when a primary highway construction project involves the rail transportation system.


Lisa Husmann - program assistant

E-mail: lisa.husmann@iowadot.us
Phone: 515-233-7885
  • Assists in administration of the Federal-Aid Highway/Rail Crossing Safety Program.
  • Updates the Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Inventory and serves as liaison to the Iowa DOT's Office of Transportation Data who maintains the Inventory.

Laura Hutzell - rail development manager

E-mail: laura.hutzell@iowadot.us
Phone: 515-239-1066
  • Manages the Rail Revolving Loan and Grant Program, which provides assistance to businesses or railroads building or improving rail facilities.

Kris Klop - crossing surface program manager

E-mail: kristopher.klop@iowadot.us
Phone: 515-239-1108
  • Manages the Iowa Grade Crossing Surface Repair Program that provides financial assistance to railroads, cities and counties to rebuild pavement surfaces at grade crossings on secondary and city road systems.
  • •Manages the primary grade crossing surface repair program to rebuild the pavement surface at highway-rail grade crossings on Iowa's Primary Road System.
  • Manages rail abandonments.

Amanda Martin - freight and passenger policy coordinator

E-mail: amanda.martin@iowadot.us
Phone: 515-239-1653
  • Liaison to the Iowa Passenger Rail Advisory Committee
  • Manages passenger rail projects and activities
  • Coordinates freight rail planning and policy development

Diane McCauley - policy analyst

E-mail: diane.mccauley@iowadot.us
Phone: 515-290-7257
  • Monitors legislation and regulations affecting rail.
  • Recommends policy positions.
  • Maintains web site for Office of Rail transportation.

Phil Meraz - rail regulation and analysis Office of System Planning

E-mail: phillip.meraz@iowadot.us
Phone: 515-239-1420
  • Assist with passenger rail station development and pooled equipment specifications/procurement committee duties. 
  • Coordinating development of the Rail Safety Action Plan.
  • Assist with passenger rail projects and activities.
  • Monitors and handles resolution of rail regulatory issues (blocked crossings, fencing, private/farm crossings, etc.) and investigates citizen complaints concerning rail operations.


Nicole Neuberger - program assistant

E-mail: nicole.neuberger2@iowadot.us
Phone: 515-239-1491
  • Manages payments for the Office of Rail Transportation.
  • Assists the Iowa's grade crossing surface repair program manager.

Tim Sandusky - track inspector

E-mail: tim.sandusky@iowadot.us
Phone: (515) 290-1584
  • Inspects railroad track and infrastructure in the southern portion of Iowa for compliance with the Federal Railroad Administration's Track Safety Standards Compliance Manual.
  • Investigates railroad accidents under Federal Railroad Administration guidance.

Jeffrey Secora - track inspector

E-mail: jeffrey.secora@iowadot.us
Phone: 515-290-7257
  • Inspects railroad track and infrastructure in the northern portion of Iowa for compliance with the Federal Railroad Administration's. Track Safety Standards Compliance Manual.
  • Investigates railroad accidents under Federal Railroad Administration guidance.

Travis Tinken - grade crossing project manager

E-mail: travis.tinken@iowadot.us
Phone: 515- 290-5055
  • Schedules, coordinates and supervises construction of highway-rail crossing pavement surfaces on the state Primary Road System.
  • Inspects highway-rail surface repair projects.
  • Inspects crossing safety improvement projects.

Contact information

Iowa Department of Transportation
Office of Rail Transportation
800 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
Phone: 515-239-1140
Fax: 515-233-7983

Organization chart

Organization Chart