You need to upgrade your Flash Player
Download the most recent Flash plugin here.

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

Office of Rail Transportation staff directory


Tammy Nicholson - director, Office of Rail Transportation

E-mail: tamara.nicholson@dot.iowa.gov
Phone: 515-239-1052
  • 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: edward.engle@dot.iowa.gov
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@dot.iowa.gov
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@dot.iowa.gov
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@dot.iowa.gov
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@dot.iowa.gov
Phone: 515-239-1066
  • Manages the Rail Revolving Loan and Grant Program, which provides assistance to businesses or railroads building or improving rail facilities.
  • Liaison for GIS applications.


Matthew Law - crossing surface program manager

E-mail: matthew.law@dot.iowa.gov
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@dot.iowa.gov
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@dot.iowa.gov
Phone: 515-239-1670
  • 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@dot.iowa.gov
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@dot.iowa.gov
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@dot.iowa.gov
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@dot.iowa.gov
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@dot.iowa.gov
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.