In Plano in 2009, we repeated the 2007 layout design.
Another somewhat unusual invitation came to us in spring of 2009 from Clark Gardens, a private botanical garden located between Weatherford and Mineral Wells, west of Fort Worth. They have some train setups in an enclosed Gazebo with a large garden railroad layout just outside of it, and had a Garden Railroad Club join their Spring Festival weekend. Intent on expanding this component, they offered us space in their special events tent, set up on a former tennis court. We built a horseshoe with a new twist: The Quarry end loop was at one end, and being a single track turning loop, required coordination between trains running the red and yellow lines respectively, both haring the single loop track. Operating in all-DCC mode, this turned out to be a very enjoyable experience for us. There was one small addition compared to the diagram – we inserted our two 1-foot modules to the left and right of the 3-module Prairie set. Click here to view the 2009 Clark Gardens event gallery.
At Wills Point, we tried for the first time to set up two loops by ourselves, with our second junction set being ready for operation. Our complementary 45 degree corners gently broke the “spine” between the loops, keeping up our philosophy of not setting up in straight rectangular fashion. This is the last time that we used the three Prairie modules, which form the straight section on the left side of the left loop.
In September we met with the SANTRAK club from San Antonio sort of half way in Temple at the annual CentraMod train show. They are rotating clubs in and out every year, and this was our turn. It should have been 2008, but Hurricane Ike literally blew a lot of people out of their homes at the gulf coast, and the Frank Mayborn Convention Center served as one of many storm refugee centers in the state. The San Antonio group has come up with some nifty corner and end modules to allow a layout without any interior space that one would have to crawl into. We contributed a 16-foot block of modules (3 4-ft modules, and the pair of 2-foot modules) to this layout. (Sketch courtesy of Bill Carpenter.)
The LMRA show in October 2009 saw a third variation of our smaller layout setups.
The Holiday Show returned to its traditional date and location, in mid November 2009 in the Will Rogers Memorial Park in Fort Worth. We used again a moderate loop of modules and two arms. Here the new 4-module version of the Prairie Yard was used for the first time, featuring sidings to both the red and alt-blue line that are suitable for setup and offer more room than the old sidings did (taken one at a time).
We skipped Oklahoma City this year.