The leaders of FMW offer more than fifty years' experience in the Class I, short line, tourist, and preservation industries. The firm was organized in 2016 by Wolf Fengler, Shane Meador, and Davidson Ward, each of whom share a passion for the future of the railroad industry. Learn more about the background of each of our co-founders below.
Davidson A. Ward | President
Mr. Ward graduated from the University of Minnesota summa cum laude with a BS in Architecture, and offers more than a decade of experience in the rail industry. With a strong background in project management, railroad strategic planning, railroad preservation, rail equipment and infrastructure appraisal, grant writing, and design, Ward serves as President of FMW.
Prior to co-founding FMW, Ward served as a Principal Consultant with R.L. Banks & Associates, Inc., where he managed all manner of projects ranging from multi-year rail litigation support projects to mechanical inspections and cost estimates to return equipment to states of good repair. Furthermore, Ward serves as Chairman of the National Academies of Science Transportation Research Board Committee on Rail Rolling Stock and Motive Power.
Within the past three years, Ward has successfully managed projects including: a $1.3 million mechanical inspection, and repair program, concerning two special duty, 800,000 pound 16 axle flatcars owned by General Electric - Schenectady; a $400,000 complete overhaul of GE 85 ton center cab switching locomotive trucks; wrote, won, and is managing a $1.9 million research grant to design, and build, a steam electric generator (ongoing); and multiple high profile litigation support projects. Furthermore, Ward led a handful of market research and market penetration studies on behalf of clients seeking to enter the rail industry with non-traditional technologies.
D. Shane Meador | VP - Mechanical
Mr. Meador offers clients more than two decades experience in the Class I, short line, and tourist rail industries. Meador began his railroad carrier as a summer steam locomotive fireman at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM) in 1994. Meador graduated as a member of the National Honor Society, has completed the University of Tennessee Railroad Track Inspector course, and was machine tool technology certified before enlisting in the United States Navy.
After being honorably discharged from the Navy in 2004 as a supervisor of a Quality Control shop, Meador began working for Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) as a Machinist at its Chattanooga diesel facility while continuing part time duties at TVRM. Starting in 2010, Meador was given the opportunity to take a three year leave of absence from NS by its then-CEO Wick Moorman to manage the restoration projects at TVRM of 2 steam locomotives for use on NS’s sponsored Steam excursion program. These efforts were completed at a combined cost of $2.5 million. At the completion of this rewarding assignment, Mr. Meador continued his services to NS prior to co-founding FMW.
Ensuring all federal and customer requirements are met, Meador's experience includes maintenance, troubleshooting, repair, overhaul, and inspections of vintage to modern equipment including steam and diesel locomotives. In addition to being a certified locomotive engineer, he is also an experienced welder, (GMAW, SMAW, GTAW), and an accomplished machinist, pipe fitter, and fabricator. Meador’s background, leadership, and experience in locomotive management, personnel management, restoration project management, maintenance, and safely operating railroad equipment is a valuable asset to FMW and its clients.
WOLFGANG A. FENGLER, MSME | VP - Engineering
A mechanical engineer with nearly two decades' of professional experience at companies including Honeywell and GE, Mr. Fengler has enjoyed a diverse background of technical and leadership experiences throughout his career and personal life. In addition to serving as VP - Engineering of FMW, Mr. Fengler is a Senior Program Manager at Hexagon RailGas where he is working to develop compressed natural gas (CNG) alternative energy applications for railroads. He has served as a member of the Natural Gas Tender Technical Advisory Group of the Association of American Railroads since 2012, where he is working with industry leaders to refine and develop standards associated with natural gas tender car design for use with locomotives.
Mr. Fengler graduated cum laude from the University of California - Los Angeles, with a design and control specialization and continued there to earn a master’s degree with a focus on heat and mass transfer. Fengler’s fascination with railroad history began at age 12 when he began volunteering at a local railroad museum and, under the tutelage of his father, built a working scale model live steam locomotive. In 2000, he joined the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society where he was involved with the ongoing restoration and operation of Santa Fe Railway steam locomotive No. 3751. Starting as a steam mechanic, he became a fireman, performed FRA-mandated boiler recertification calculations, and served on the board of directors. Mr. Fengler has also advised several other organizations considering or undertaking steam locomotive restorations, and he serves on several boards.
W. Hugh Odom, P.E. | Senior Mechanical Engineer
Hugh Odom, P.E. is a registered Mechanical Engineer with more than 37 years of experience providing support to a variety of industries, including the Class I railroads and the United States Navy. Mr. Odom joined FMW solutions in 2019 in the capacity of Senior Mechanical Engineer.
Hugh Odom is a 1978 graduate of Clemson University with a BS in mechanical engineering, and he has worked as a project manager, mechanical engineer, environmental engineer, and nuclear engineer at various times in his career. In addition to working for the Navy and the US Army Corps of Engineers, Hugh spent 2 years with Norfolk Southern as a gang foreman in the motive power department. Odom was briefly involved with excursions with NKP 765 and N&W 611 during this time.