The FR's up to its old tricks.
Just when you think you've got everything sorted out, you're ahead of the curve (as those business gurus like to say) the railway goes and throws a double six.
The latest spanner in the works - from a modeller's point of view - is the late change of heart on plans for a second service carriage for the WHR.
This week its been revealed that instead of rebuilding brake carriage 2090 (for a second time) the original 'Winson'-built semi-open carriage 2020 is going to be transformed into a fully-enclosed service carriage with, we presume, a diesel generator, toilet, buffet / catering area and guard compartment.
It will be a very radical makeover but these WHR carriages are something of a blank canvas. Beneath all the fancy wood panelling outside and in is a very simple steel skelton which, once it is stripped down, can be adapted relatively simply.
For the Bron Hebog team this leaves us with a dilemma. To build a second, new look 2020 or not?
2020 was the first WHR /RhE carriage I made and the model is now at least 11 years old. In fact I have a full rake of the first 5 'Winson' carriages in original condition. Each of the enclosed vehicles has undergone a number of changes to livery and moulding details in the past decade leaving our models looking somewhat 'heritage'. I consoled myself with the thought that we could just about get away with running an 'as built' rake on Bron Hebog alongside another set of the second generation carriages.
That was until we found out about the changes to 2020. This isn't just a little cosmetic tinkering - this is nothing short of rolling stock sex change.
If I build a new 2020 I'll have to withdraw the original from service on the layout and will feel compelled to make updated models of all the first generation 'Winson' carriages because they would no longer be all of the same era.
The trouble is I don't think I'll be able to resist the temptation...