George F. Payne

Vice President – Rail
Senior Rail Consultant

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Mr. Payne brings over 32 years of rail vehicle specification, design, construction, quality control / quality assurance, mechanical, operational, project engineering and project oversight experience to the clients of PDI Rail Solutions.

For the 13 years prior to joining PDI Rail Solutions, Mr. Payne was a railroad consultant, specifically focusing on rail vehicle procurement. He has developed specifications and overseen procurement of new and re-manufactured commuter rail cars and locomotives. As a Resident Vehicle Engineer, he has provided engineering and management support on light rail procurement projects as well as inspection services on locomotive and railcars. Mr. Payne is a nationally recognized expert in the application of 49CFR238, the design, operation, and testing of air brake systems, and serves on numerous industry standards making committees.

His past career achievements are significant. Early in Mr. Payne’s career, he served as a General Foreman – Running Maintenance for the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) in Detroit, Michigan. His freight experience includes serving as General Manager and Senior Operating Officer for two short-line railroads. From 1983 to 1994, Mr. Payne worked with the Maryland Mass Transportation Administration as the Chief Mechanical Officer for their MARC Train Service. While with MARC, Mr. Payne personally oversaw the completion of a $100 million capital improvement program that included the specification, design, construction, QA / QC, acceptance testing, and commissioning of 100 single-level commuter cars, 25 diesel locomotives, and 4-electric locomotives. He is a certified Amtrak Qualified Maintenance Person (QMP).

Mr. Payne provides consulting services on a broad spectrum of rail and operational issues, sharing his expertise in the areas of rail equipment as well as operational issues related to locomotives and vehicles. In this capacity, Mr. Payne provides equipment assessments and projections for maintenance operations and protocols, component life cycles and operational procedures and standards. Additionally he provides assessment of inspection cycles to meet conformance with FRA standards.

PDI clients benefit from Mr. Payne’s significant experience in quality inspection, engineering, and project management related to rail vehicles. He and his team are available to develop specifications, inspect re-manufactured locomotives, and oversee the procurement of new and re-manufactured commuter rail cars, car conversions, and locomotives. George has a strong hands-on QA / QC background that includes conducting Pre-Shipment Inspections (PSIs), First Article Inspections (FAIs), Source Inspections and Acceptance Inspections on new and rehabilitated rail cars, locomotives, freight cars, and transit equipment.

Mr. Payne continues to actively participate on the following American Public Transit Association (APTA) committees:

  • Commuter Rail Equipment
  • Rewrite of Passenger Car Standards
  • Air Brake, and Railroad Equipment Safety Standards

He is also a partner in The Catalpa Falls Group, LLC, a luxury private railroad passenger car charter and leasing company.

Mr. Payne earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Science from Adrian College in 1966 and has completed graduate coursework in Biology, Education, and Teaching at Western Michigan University and John Carroll University. He has completed continuing education coursework in Rail Management at the University of Tennessee.

As Vice President of PDI Rail Solutions, Mr. Payne is both a technical resource to clients, as well as providing significant managerial direction to this PDI division. He reports directly to PDI President and CEO, Robert C. Andrews, Jr., and is based in Linthicum, Maryland.
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“George Payne is a well-known treasure within the rail and transit industry. In addition to his vast experience in our field, he is an accomplished senior industry resource and mentor who shares knowledge, extends himself to be helpful, and above all, is a true gentleman. His industry reputation is superb and I am exceptionally proud that George has elected to join PDI Rail Solutions”.
PDI President and CEO, Bob Andrews