Dan Hoag opened his business, Eaglewings Iron Craft, in January 1983. He was recently married, a new father, and had always dreamed of owning his own business.
Gates, fences, and window guards were primarily what kept the business operating. Dan then moved into fabricating weightlifting equipment for a gym equipment company in Phoenix.
During these years, as his children grew, he obtained an old HO train set he and his brother had as kids. He quickly took over the garage of the house with a large HO layout, complete with mountains and bridges.
As his welding business grew, so did his rediscovered love for trains. In 1995, for Christmas, he bought a G-scale train to put around the Christmas tree - and he was hooked! In 1996, he joined a local train club, went to a few train shows, and added a little more to his train collection - but he had nowhere to run the trains!
In 1997, he and his friend Jon Fisher, who created waterfalls and swimming pools, began to plan a modest G-scale layout for the backyard - and the Wild Eagle Railroad was born! Jon created the pond, which had three spill-ways, and Dan designed the track layout, which looped under the waterfall, and around a small farm. During this time, he began creating metal bridges for his new layout, and sold a few to some train club friends. He discovered that there was no other company that designed and fabricated steel bridges for O and G scale trains, so he immediately began sketching and creating bridge designs to sell to railroad hobbyists.
Almost immediately, he determined that the layout was a little too small. So it grew. The next year, in 1999, he and Jon made plans to create a much, much larger waterfall - on a mountain of dirt and rocks in the opposite corner of the yard. This would be the centerpiece of the new section of the layout, and it would be connected to the older section of the layout both in front of, and behind, the shed in the back yard.
During this major railroad expansion, he envisioned a ceiling/wall mounted overhead train system made entirely of steel. He experimented by making the first one for his home, in his bedroom. His long-suffering wife, appropriately named Patience, gave him the green light, and soon drywall dust was flying as holes were cut into the wall between their bedroom and the closet. The overhead went up like a dream, and then he made one for his patio area, and a much larger one for the main part of their home. These were all very well received by the garden railroad community, and he then began marketing them, along with the train bridges, to sell at conventions, and advertising them in magazines.
In late 2000, the new section of the layout was ready to have track laid, and the largest part of the Wild Eagle Railroad began to take shape. Dan began creating other accessories for model railroaders, such as stationary running tracks, signal bridges, and water towers. The demand for his bridges had also grown by that time, and Eaglewings moved into a much larger fabrication shop, with a showroom and office.
Today, you'll see Eaglewings Iron Craft at every major train show and convention, and advertised in many railroad hobby magazines. Eaglewings' latest products are steel buildings, both business and industrial types, which are powdercoated and ready for customers to detail as they like. Eaglewings still fabricates gates, fences, security screen doors, and all types of custom metal products, including metal art.
Eaglewings enthusiastically promotes the hobby of garden railroading, and has produced several DVDs of the annual Eaglewings Open House event. This year, Eaglewings will celebrate the 9th anniversary of this pioneering event, which offers layout tours around the greater Phoenix area, vendor exhibits, and product demonstrations. The event is free, and donations are to benefit Make-A-Wish of Arizona. Additionally, Eaglewings opens the Wild Eagle Railroad for tours during the holidays, and donations are to benefit Phoenix Children's Hospital.
Eaglewings Iron Craft is a company that is truly unique - offering custom-built, quality products that are distinctive for both style and value. We welcome your comments and questions! Please call Dan for more information on any of our products!