By TYLER MASK
Whether you're a train aficionado, a model collector or just a curious individual, Clark Garden's Spring Festival will have all you need to get your model train fix.
The Model Train Show will take place March 29 and March 30 as one of many Spring Festival activities. The event will be located on the west side of the gardens at Clark Station.
"There will be three visiting train clubs from the Dallas Fort Worth area, so we will have a total of five different scales of model trains,” Clark Garden's Executive Director Carol Clark Montgomery said. “It's cool because we will see everything from the smallest, an HO, to the largest model train, which is a G-scale."
According to Clark Gardens, the Clark Garden's G-scale trains came from the inspiration of Billie Clark, whose ultimate desire was to provide a permanent attraction inside the gardens. Since Clark Station's construction in April 2004, the tracks have grown to 1,200 feet in length.
During the Spring festival, North Texas T-Track Modular Railroad Club, North Texas Garden Club Railroad Club and Tex-N Modular Railroad Club will be making an appearance.
North Texas T-Track Modular Railroad Club is based out of Plano and has a purpose to foster the enjoyment of N-scale model railroading while promoting the T-Track modular system. Lee Monaco-FitzGerald is credited with designing and building the first three T-Track modules.
North Texas Garden Club Railroad Club is a group of driven individuals who meet together for fellowship, garden railroad talk and a chance to operate their trains. NTGCRC operates primarily out of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The Tex-N Modular Railroad Club was formed in 1988 to allow members the opportunity to design, build and operate a modular layout. It was also established as a learning mechanism to promote the hobby and have fun. N-scale is the second most popular scale. Its size allows for correctly proportioned scenery. Furthermore, the quality of the engines and rolling stock meet – and in some instances exceed – larger scales.
“It's a lot of trains,” Montgomery said. “People who enjoy model trains, they get to see a variety, and it's quite exciting. And these visiting train clubs come in with rather elaborate setups. It takes them hours to set up. It's just fun."
Once visitors get their model train fix, they can head over to the Choo Choo Express and ride around the garden on a “trackless” train for both children and adults. It has an old-fashioned steam train look with a ringing bell, blowing horn, gondola freight cars and a little red caboose.
Beyond just trains, Spring Festival has a multitude of activities including:
• Wine tasting.
• Cheese tasting.
• A classic car show.
• A motorcycle show.
• Music entertainment.
• Education stations.
• A children's area.
• Plant sales.
• Vendor shopping.
Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for children 5-12 years old and free for children 4 and under. Clark Garden members have free admission.
For more information, visit www.clarkgardens.org or call Clark Gardens at 940-682-4856.