PRR GLa - Model Information
The PRR's Chartiers Branch carried a large volume of coal, so I need to have a proportionately large number of hoppers, in general. Supposedly the Downs Model Railroad Co. produced a PRR GLa in S-scale in 1988, but I have not seen a photo of them. S-Helper Service made a very nice GLd model, but the GLd and GLa are really not related to each other. The later GLd was based on the USRA design, but the GLa wasn't.

So, I decided to scratchbuild this car. From the PRR FM flat car scratchbuilding project I learned that building three cars at the same time is a good idea for me. The first car takes the "hit" of me having to figure out how to make a part or do a step, but the other cars get the benefit of knowing how to do it, and since I just did it for the first one, I don't have to try to remember how I did it "way back when". On the other hand, building more than three cars at the same time will start to feel more like "work", and there is the issue of the amount of space these start to take up on the workbench.

So, I built three of these hoppers at once. I didn't keep track of how many hours it has taken to build them (that would, again, feel more like work), but judging by the dates of when I took photos (of which I have taken about 450 so far), I worked on the core frame in March of 2014, then set the project aside until June of 2015 and then worked on it until June 2016. For about a month I took a break in there. So, I estimate that I spent about 13 months of hobby time on these cars. Of course, I continued to work on my layout, demolished my first S-scale layout, and started a new one, and did lots of other smaller projects. My modeling sessions are usually measured in minutes. I hardly ever spend an hour at the workbench; I just have too much other stuff (work related) going on. So, in calendar time, it took two years and three months to build these three models, but if I were retired and would devote solid blocks of time to them, I would think that I could build these in a couple of months. This is good, because I plan on building many more of these cars down the road.
Model Information