Harold Weisinger joins PDI Rail Solutions as Director – Engineering, Standards, and Equipment Integrity

PDI Rail Solutions is pleased to announce that Harold B. Weisinger has joined the firm as Director –  Engineering, Standards, and Equipment Integrity, effective July 4, 2009.

Mr. Weisinger comes to PDI Rail Solutions from the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) where he most recently served as Northwest Fleet Engineer, Mechanical Department Liaison to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and Private Car Supervisor.  During his 16-year tenure with Amtrak, Mr. Weisinger served as Senior Interior Designer – Viewliner, Senior Engineer – Private Cars, Private Car Supervisor, and Officer – Equipment Standards and Regulatory Compliance.  Additionally, Mr. Weisinger served as Amtrak’s Mechanical Manager for numerous “special train events”, most recently, the 2009 Disney “Christmas Carol” Tour Train and the 2008 Washington Union Station Centennial Celebration.


Mr. Weisinger earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering in 1992 and is a certified Amtrak Qualified Maintenance Person (QMP).  He is a member of the American Association of Railroad Superintendents and a published author.


In his new role with PDI Rail Solutions, Mr. Weisinger will be responsible for directing three major client service areas: Engineering, Standards, and Equipment Integrity.  Within these areas, the following client services will be performed:



  • Specification development and writing
  • Drawing review and approval
  • Bid review and analysis
  • Equipment / systems analysis
  • Documentation / car history books

Standards (including compliance)

  • Federal regulatory compliance reviews including ADA, FRA, and FTA
  • State and local regulatory compliance reviews
  • Fleet system proof and vehicle testing

Equipment Integrity

  • Quality assurance including first article and pre-shipment inspections
  • Resident production engineering and oversight – both domestic and international
  • Prime and subcontractor quality oversight and audits
  • Pre-purchase inspection of existing equipment
  • Comprehensive services to the Railroad Business Car and Private Passenger Car community
  • Qualified Maintenance Person (QMP) training (to meet FRA §238.109)

When asked to comment on Mr. Weisinger’s addition to the PDI Rail Solutions team, PDI Rail Solutions President & CEO Bob Andrews stated “Not only is Harold Weisinger a fine Mechanical Engineer, but the depth and breadth of his knowledge of existing “heritage” and “historical” passenger rail vehicles is simply unsurpassed.  He has gained a well-earned reputation as an expert in this specialized field, and I am proud that he is bringing that expertise to PDI Rail Solutions.  Additionally, Harold’s background in new equipment design and maintenance, as well as his experience working with regulatory agencies and standards-making organizations, makes him well qualified to serve the operators of both heritage and new passenger equipment alike.”


With the retirement of a generation of railroaders from the era of “Heritage” equipment, the knowledge base for older equipment is not easily found. There are over 1,000 historic railcars that survive in private hands, museums and tourist railways in the U.S.


Mr. Weisinger assumed the responsibility for Amtrak’s Mechanical Department oversight of Private Cars operating on Amtrak in 1995; a fleet that included more than 150 private and railroad business cars.  Throughout his tenure, he maintained close contact with railroad business car shops (BNSF, CNIC, CSX, NS, UPRR), as well as numerous private car facilities, museums and historical organizations.  He maintained a relationship as Amtrak’s Mechanical Liaison with the two private car organizations, the American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners (AAPRCO) and Railroad Passenger Car Alliance (RPCA).


Mr. Weisinger also managed the Amtrak Private Car Inspector Group (PCIG).  He assembled the PCIG using individuals from different railroads, private car facilities, consulting firms and historical groups. He maintained constant communication with private car owners, inspectors, railroad structural engineers, private car and railroad business car facilities to ensure that the correct inspectors were assigned. Additionally, Mr. Weisinger initiated PCIG annual meetings and held them in concert with one of the annual private car conventions, facilitating interaction between the PCIG and private car owners.  Every three years, members of the PCIG were certified as Amtrak Qualified Maintenance Persons (QMPs) at Amtrak’s training center in Los Angeles.


Recognizing the concern that could arise from Mr. Weisinger’s move to PDI Rail Solutions, PDI’s Bob Andrews wanted to assure railroad, AAPRCO and RPCA members by stating, “I am very cognizant of the critical role Harold Weisinger has played in helping the Private Car Community in complying with Amtrak’s safety and mechanical standards.  I want to assure the members of the Railroad Business Car and Private Car Community that PDI Rail Solutions intends to continue to allow Harold to work with Amtrak in this very important capacity.  As such, last week, PDI Rail Solutions presented a formal Services Proposal to Amtrak management in order to allow Harold to continue administering the Amtrak Private Car Program beginning on July 4, 2009.  This proposal provided for program continuity, assuring no break in service to the Private Car Community whatsoever, while also accommodating the shift in Harold’s employment status from Amtrak employee to Amtrak consultant through PDI Rail Solutions.  Amtrak is currently reviewing our proposal.”


With regard to Mr. Weisinger’s role as manager of the Amtrak independent Private Car Inspectors, Andrews stated, “I fully support the position that the value and consistency afforded the Private Car Community by the Amtrak Private Car Inspector cadre is owed primarily to Harold Weisinger’s managerial and technical supervision of these dedicated professionals.  As Mr. Weisinger’s new employer, PDI Rail Solutions is currently formulating a plan that could allow Independent Amtrak Private Car Inspectors, should they choose, to perform their work through PDI Rail Solutions.  We will be discussing our plan with the Amtrak Private Car Inspectors in the immediate future to get their input and to determine if inspectors would find it advantageous to perform their work under our corporate umbrella.”


Mr. Weisinger will be based in Midland Park, New Jersey.  He can be reached via e-mail at hbweisinger@PDIRail.com.


About PDI:


Founded in 1985 as a fire protection engineering firm, PDI provides a full spectrum of fire protection engineering services including sprinkler and fire alarm design, smoke modeling, and performance-based designs offering innovative solutions to complex fire and life-safety challenges.  In addition, PDI provides consulting services for fire, building, and life-safety code compliance, including plans review and the issuance of commodity letters.  PDI also provides government third-party plan review services on behalf of local, state, and federal agencies. In addition to its engineering and consulting services, PDI, through its Permitting Section, assists its clients in negotiating the complex permitting process, managing that process from initial application, through all necessary inspections, to final Certificate-of-Occupancy.


In June 2009, PDI expanded its commitment to the rail / transit consulting business by launching a new, dedicated division, aimed specifically at that industry.  The new division is called PDI Rail Solutions (http://www.pdirail.com/).  PDI began working in the rail / transit market in 2006 when it performed a comprehensive fire safety analysis for a new commuter passenger rail service.  PDI, with its existing cadre of Fire Protection Engineers and Code Analysts, provides fire and life-safety consulting for the rail / transit industry, applying their expertise in the areas of:

  • Fire & Safety Risk Analysis
  • Smoke, Flammability, and Toxicity Testing (for vehicular and wayside applications)
  • Emergency Planning

Protection Development, Incorporated (PDI) is a Texas Registered Engineering Firm (Firm Number F-2816), licensed under the authority of the Texas Board of Professional Engineers (TBPE).  PDI is a Bob Andrews Group Company (http://www.bobandrewsgroup.com/).