Metal vs. Plastic Handrailings....

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NBEC_railfan_Luc

Your local NBEC Railfan!
Goday everyone!
What do you guys (and gals) think would be better? Metal or Plastic Handrailings on locos? I personally prefer the metal ones, since they are easier to handle. What's your opinion?
 

CP9302

Member
I like a nice brass set of hand rails. (smokey valley)
Plastic ones look nice but break easily and delrin ones are hard to paint.
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Metal stanchions and wire rails for me reasoning is the same as CP9302's

Willis
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
I vote for Athearn and Atlas' plastic rails, except the older U33C and C30-7 handrails (too heavy).
 

NBEC_railfan_Luc

Your local NBEC Railfan!
Ya, I have plastic railings on my CN Dash-944CW, and I almost broke the end railings off of it today! Most of my engines have Metal railings, but are painted to spec with the unit (except my SW1500, which are only gray).
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
I prefer Delrin if the handrails are black, else go with metal ones. I'm planning for folks that are 'ham-handed' (like me), who does handle locos and the like. Plastic will break off, so I'm not even going there.

Kennedy
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Derlin is nice because its less "complex, but as for metal I've fallen in love with the Smokey Valley ones, and when I need handrails I'm now going to go with those!
 

Brakie

Member
Well I loath today's spaghetti thin scale hand rails.These things are way to fragile if you transport your engines to and from a club.:(
It is my opinion they should find a tougher plastic or better still make scale size metal handrails.
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Another related point to consider, is it to be (1) A Show case Model, or (2) a working on the layout model?
Durability comes into play here, if it's a display model well get it as accurate as you can and put it in a display case, and let everyone look through the glass. Now if it's going to be handled and worked on a layout, even a fine wire handrail would be bent out of shape in short tine making the unit look like a basket case the kids got at without supervision. Don't know for sure but I've observed even some stout wire handrails bent badly out of shape. Just another opinion :D
Willis
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
CBCNSfan said:
Another related point to consider, is it to be (1) A Show case Model, or (2) a working on the layout model?
Durability comes into play here, if it's a display model well get it as accurate as you can and put it in a display case, and let everyone look through the glass. Now if it's going to be handled and worked on a layout, even a fine wire handrail would be bent out of shape in short tine making the unit look like a basket case the kids got at without supervision. Don't know for sure but I've observed even some stout wire handrails bent badly out of shape. Just another opinion :D
Willis
I think you hit the nail on the head there, Willis. My models tend more toward the "glass case" variety than daily drivers at the club. I've become extremely careful with them, since I've broken them more times than I'd like to admit, so regular handling by me generally doesn't result in problems. Moreover, I find the acetal plastic handrails to be quite resilient to being bumped. I've never soldered Smokey Valley handrails (only used CA), so little bumps were always catastrophic when I used them. Now handrails just aren't a problem. And in the event that I do damage handrails beyond repair, they're readily available for several types of locomotives, so I have replacement sets on hand should I need them.
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
so I have replacement sets on hand should I need them.
Reminds me one of the newer Athearns I got on eBay had a set of metal rails to go along with the Delrin, and another one had two sets of Delrin. Maybe the previous owners knew something I didn't. :D

Willis
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
Hehe, you figure out pretty quick it costs 7 bucks every time you breathe on the handrails wrong!
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
This is also why I cannot wait to have a semi-perment layout so that the units can stay on the track more... And also why I like HO, becuase its not to small that I have no where to handle it, and not to big as to where I need to use two hands...
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
so that the units can stay on the track more...
Well true to some extent, but what I find is damage is more likely to occur when cleaning wheels and other maintenance tasks where handling time is at maximum. This is especially true after one has dropped a couple to the floor :eek: :( then one tends to take a firmer grip which results in repair to the hand rails. Taking them off the layout for storage, most people are careful and time in hand is short and most likely damage would be a rare occasion.

Willis
 

Brakie

Member
Willis,I agree with the handrails breaking during routine maintenance even while carefully handling the engies.BTW..This will also apply to the newer Athearn RTR cars with the metal stirrups and the Genesis's cars as well.

My locomotives are "working" models and not "gawking"models therefore I wish the handrails was tougher.:D
 

Brakie

Member
jbaakko said:
This is also why I cannot wait to have a semi-perment layout so that the units can stay on the track more... And also why I like HO, becuase its not to small that I have no where to handle it, and not to big as to where I need to use two hands...
Josh,I find that my N Scale engines have TOUGHER handrails then my HO engines except my old Athearn engines that has metal handrails.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
CBCNSfan said:
Well true to some extent, but what I find is damage is more likely to occur when cleaning wheels and other maintenance tasks where handling time is at maximum. This is especially true after one has dropped a couple to the floor :eek: :( then one tends to take a firmer grip which results in repair to the hand rails. Taking them off the layout for storage, most people are careful and time in hand is short and most likely damage would be a rare occasion.

Willis
True, true, but there ARE ways I can clean without removing. My father came up with a simple idea for me. Just a permanent wheel cleaning track in my staging/maintance room.
Brakie said:
Josh,I find that my N Scale engines have TOUGHER handrails then my HO engines except my old Athearn engines that has metal handrails.
Also very very true, but I have FFS (Fat Finger Syndrome), and I need the extra room to grab the units...
 

Zephyr

Rocket Red
I tend to favor the metal handrails. I definitely like to have strong handrails that will actually stay on the locomotive and not break off as opposed to accurately scaled ones. But I am getting used to the plastic ones and figuring out the appropriate amount of Plastruct cement I need to have them stay on!
 




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