This is part one of a Lynton and Barnstaple double header for Model Of The Week - buffet car 14.
This carriage, which began life as Brake Third number 15 on the L and B in 1897, opened the way to a revolution in FR carriage design when it was rescued from a field at Snapper Halt and reborn at Boston Lodge as the railway's first genuine corridor buffet vehicle.
With the old route through the restrictive Moelwyn Tunnel abandoned the FR reset its loading gauge and roomy number 14 was the carriage which showed what was now possible.
Its dimensons and design themes were unashamedly copied in the creation of the new 'Barns' which first appeared in 1964 and indeed are still appearing today.
This is our second model of 14. It was scratch built in styrene and portrays the carriage in its present condition following a major rebuild in its centenary year which restored it to something more akin to its original L&B looks with the panelling and guard's duckets, although they are more slimline due to the less generous clearances in North Wales than was the case in Devon.
My first model of 14 was of the carriage as running in the early 90's with its simpler panel layout, louvre windows and fitted out inside with formica and metal framed ex-bus seats.
Today 14 looks and feels very much more elegant with a varnished wood interior and perhaps the most comfortable seats on the railway - and I include the first class carriages in that - I believe they are former tram seats.
With the wonderful local Purple Moose ale on sale from the counter at the Porthmadog end of the saloon it is to my mind the most pleasant and atmospheric way to travel on the FR in a 'modern' corridor train.