Dan Hoag is the owner and founder of Eaglewings Iron Craft, established in 1983.
Dan’s love for trains began when he was a child growing up in a railroad town – Montpelier, OH. This love of trains was rekindled when he obtained an old HO train set he and his brother had as kids. He quickly took over the garage of his house with a large HO layout, complete with mountains and bridges. It was a fun, but rather impractical hobby for a man in a very small house, so he began to explore the possibility of switching passions to a larger scale model train set.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; in 1997, he built the first branch of the Wild Eagle Railroad in his backyard.
Because he was already creatively minded in his welding business, designing everything from weight equipment to security screen doors, it was a very natural leap to begin creating accessories for his new outdoor layout. He started by creating metal bridges for his own 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. These bridges were unlike any other commercial product available at that time – they were sturdy, authentic looking, weather resistant, and were all custom-built to fit the layout owners’ specifications.
He also designed and created ceiling/wall mounted overhead train systems made entirely of steel, as well as portable layouts for train clubs. 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. (more…)