Leslie E. Olson

Associate Research Scientist

Multimodal Freight - Gilchrist, Room 337
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Texas A&M University System
3135 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843
ph. (979) 862-2846 · fax (979) 862-2708

Short Biography

Mr. Olson has worked in the transportation industry for over twenty years and has extensive experience in the operations; marketing and sales; research and development; propulsion and engine systems; and emissions control technologies for pipelines and railroads. Mr. Olson has a Bachelors of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is a member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers.

From 1981 to 1987 he was Director of New Transportation Projects for Northern Natural Gas Company and was responsible for developing and implementing field tests of using natural gas as a railroad locomotive operating fuel. He was also responsible for developing feasible pipeline transportation projects in the southwestern region of Texas to enhance utilization of contract gas supply.

Between 1987 and 1995 he was the Director of Energy Research and Development for Burlington Northern Railroad. He was responsible for the successful development and deployment of the first high horsepower railroad locomotives to operate in revenue service using natural gas as the principal fuel.

From 1996 to 1998 he was the principal of Strategic Development Consulting, offering technical feasibility studies and innovative business strategies for expanding markets in the former Soviet Union and the international railroad community.

He was recruited to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, an internationally recognized transportation research institute, by Dr. Stephen Roop, Director of Rail Research, to develop national and international business in railroad research. Currently he is working on rail and pipeline projects such as, the Federal Freight Pipeline, and FRA Crew Resource Management.


  • B.S., Industrial Engineering, University of Nebraska, 1974.
  • A.S., Engineering, Platte County Community College, 1973.


  • Associate Research Scientist, Multimodal Freight, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, January 2011 - Present.
  • Director, Energy, Corporate Applied Technology, Burlington Northern Corportation, 1987 - 1996.
  • Director, Transportation Fuels Projects - Marketing, Northern Natural Gas Co./Enron, 1981 - 1987.
  • Manager, Industrial Relations, Kansas Light & Power Company, 1979 - 1980.


  • Strategic Development Consulting, 1996 - May 1997.


  • Member, Institute of Industrial Engineers.

Selected Publications

C. Morgan, A.A. Protopapas, J.E. Warner, T.B. Carlson, J. Huang, S. Li, L.E. Olson. Identification of Priority Rail Projects. PSR. 0-6467-S. Texas Transportation Institute, Texas A&M University System, College Station, TX. 2012.

C. Morgan, A.A. Protopapas, J.E. Warner, T.B. Carlson, J. Huang, Y. Li, L.E. Olson. Identification of Priority Rail Projects for Texas-Initial Methodology/User Manual and Guidebook. 0-6467-1. Texas Transportation Institute, College Station, TX. May 2012.

B.R. Sperry, C.A. Morgan, L.E. Olson, K.N. Womack. Customer Service Assessment for the Port Terminal Railroad Association. 600020-1. February 2012.

D.H. Bierling, G.O. Rogers, D.L. Jasek, A.A. Protopapa, J.E. Warner, L.E. Olson. Guidebook for Conducting Local Hazardous Materials Commodity Flow Studies. HMCRP Report. 3. Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, DC. August 2011.

G.O. Rogers, D.H. Bierling, A.A. Protopapa, D.L. Jasek, J.E. Warner, L.E. Olson. Hazardous Materials Commodity Flow Data and Analysis: Final Report. HMCRP Report. Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, DC. May 2011.