Eaglewings Line of Bridges – How it all began

 

 

BRIDGES

Bridges were the first product that Dan created when he began this hobby and joined a garden railroading club. He visited a few layouts and attended meetings to get ideas for his layout which is now the Wild Eagle Railroad. After seeing several layouts and reading tons of garden railroad magazines, he noticed that there weren’t any steel bridges, and since bridges are made out of steel, and he had a welding shop, it didn’t take long for him to start designing G scale bridges.

 At this point, they weren’t created for any business purpose; it was mainly to trade with other people in the club to get some help with things he didn’t know about. He started taking them to club meetings, and he designed them to see peoples’ reactions and hear their opinions. He got some good feedback, and was surprised when people asked to buy them right then and there. Dan didn’t even have an idea of what to charge for them at that point!

 

 

 During that time, someone mentioned that he needed to get a hold of Barry from Barry’s Trains in Las Vegas. Dan called him up and told him what he had, and he asked Dan to send some pictures. When he saw the pictures he called and told Dan, “I think you got something here; I didn’t know what to expect, but these are really nice!”. Barry told Dan to contact Mark Horvitz in the Garden Railroad Magazine and put the Bridges on the new product review section.

 

Dan took some pictures of the bridges sitting on some bricks in the back yard, and sent them in. Calls came in from all over the United States, and orders were taken, with Dan still not sure about what to charge. In the meantime, Barry said to contact Mark from Lone Star Bridge and Abutments. When he contacted Mark he was really nice, helpful and encouraging and directed Dan in the right way for marketing.

 

Dan started with 5 original designs which were:

 The curved cord truss which is the # 111 now.

 

 
 

 

Curved cord truss # 111     

  The flat top thru truss currently the #109.

Flat top thru truss #109

The reversible 3’ deck or thru girder # 113. 

Reversible deck or thru girder #113

 The reversible 3‘ deck or thru truss #106.

 Reversible deck or thru truss #106

The curved open thru truss # 107.

Curved open thru truss # 107

The #106 and #113 were made reversible so that if people weren’t sure what to use in the area that they wanted to have the bridge in, they would have the option to use it as a deck or thru bridge. It also helped expand the bridge line by having two bridges in one.  

Soon after that, but before he made a brochure and to give customers a better variety, Dan also created the 4’6 and 8’ arched deck truss which are now the #101 and #102;  the straight or curved deck girder along with the deck truss which are the #103 and the # 104 (which made it necessary to create 4 legged and 2 legged steel piers); and finally the 5’ trestle with 18” deck girder, which is great for rivers or washes that are more shallow..

             Arched Deck Truss #101

Arched deck truss # 101                   

             Arched Deck Truss #102 

Arched deck truss #102

    90 Degree Curved Girder # 103

90 Degree Curved Girder with piers

                   Deck Truss # 104 

Deck Truss #104                  

After the first designs, and as more people learned about Dan’s bridges, customers would make suggestions and would also request different bridges to be built. One of those were the #109 which several persons wanted to have it more sturdy so it was built with I – beams;  and upgraded the steel which created the #110 Flat top thru truss with  I- beam construction.  Both of these designs are still available. The same I – beam concept was used for the #111, which became the standard way to build it. This bridge has also been built up to 16’ long and 4 tracks wide.

 Flat top thru truss #109 – Light construction

Flat Top Thru # 109 - Lite construction         

Flat top thru truss #110 – I – Beam Construction

Flat top Thru - I Beam construction

Dan was out at a customer’s railroad talking about bridge for his layout; the customer was getting a few custom-made ones. He had one spot that would take a 2’ bridge. He asked if Dan could take the #113 thru girder and round the ends then as they talked, he thought it would be good to put ribs on the inside and outside of the bridge to give it more detail thus became the # 114 rounded end thru girder.

                  Deck Girder # 113

 Deck Girder # 113

                Round End Girder # 114

Rond End girder # 114
One year at the Big Train Show, a woman, while looking at the bridges, saw the 8’ arched deck truss and mentioned that if we flipped it upside down and the train ran thru it, that it would look really neat. Dan remembers thinking to himself, “what are you talking about?” After talking back and forth for a while, Dan asked if she wanted something like a suspension bridge; she responded yes, and asked whether Dan could build it. Dan, of course, assured her that he could. When he got back to the shop, the #100 suspension bridge was created. Since then, this bridge has been made in different sizes anywhere from 8’ up to 18’ double track with custom piers.

              Arched Deck Trus #102 

 Arched Deck Truss #102                
           
               Suspension Bridge #100
The #112 was created to give people the option to span a 7’6” distance and to give them some variety since the 2’6” bridges can be configured in 3 different ways: all sides up, all sides down or down–up-down. Another option is to use the bridges separately around your layout.
 Suspension Bridge #100
                  Deck or Thru Truss #112

    Deck or Thru Truss #112

The steel trestle # 105 was designed and built for grades up or down, or for curves, with the idea to replace wooden trestle making it sturdier and more durable. We made some, but it wasn’t very popular. Around that time, a gentleman called Dan and told him that he drives thru the Hell Gate bridge in New York about every day to go to work, and was looking at it while he was calling, and wanted to know if Dan could build a Hell Gate bridge.  Again, Dan did exactly that; this bridge has become very popular, and replaced the old #105. This is one of Dan’s favorite bridges; the longest this bridge has been built is 15’ and up to a double track wide so far.
Hell Gate Bridge #105
 Hell Gate Bridge #105

                                                          

Eaglewings started building bridges since 1996, and all the while, listening to our customers, which has been one of the most important parts in developing Eaglewings Iron Craft’s line of bridges. We would like you to keep in mind that if you have an idea for your railroad, we would love to help bring them to life. Thank you for keeping us in mind for your next railroad project.

If you would like to see pictures of our bridges installed in different layouts; you can visit our website: http://www.eaglewingsironcraft.com/bridge_gallery.php.

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One Response to “Eaglewings Line of Bridges – How it all began”

  1. Gary Lane Says:

    I love the string of custom bridges Eagle Wings made for my railroad. Considering learning to weld to make the large trestle in steel. Cedar is weakening after 12 years.

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