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As mentioned in another thread a while back, I bought a few Atlas S-2 yard switchers back in the late 1980's and now want to detail one of them for Union Pacific.

I'm trying to figure out which Smokey Valley stanchions I might use for the hand rails. Information on them is hard to come by.

They have a kit #17 for the Cary S-2 and I'm wondering if anyone has experience with making these stanchions fit the Atlas.

I have used the #11 kit on a Front Range GP9 and only had to file off a small square guide pin to get them to work. I'm wondering if the Alco stanchions might be adaptable to Atlas in some manner.

Any experience you might have had would be very helpful.

If anybody has done a similar detail job on the Atlas Alco S2 any choices you made on details would also be helpful.

I don't run them, only make display models. No layout, no space.

Thanks for any help.

EDIT: In examining the hand rails more closely, the stanchions don't look too bad. It's the molded on hand rail that's too thick. It almost appears that I could cut the hand rail from the stanchions and drill them out to take some .015 brass wire. Has anyone ever tried this? Can you glue to that material. It's a slippery plastic of some sort, whatever Atlas uses on engines made in Austria.

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I haven't yet used th Smokey Valley handrails but I am planning to do so for two Athearn RTR SW1500's. I feel the plastic hailrails are too fine these days and won't last. I am thinking of using the SV S2 handrails on an Atlas HH600.

Let me know how it turns out if you go with the Smokey Valley handrails.


I'm beginning to wonder if the Smokey Valley stanchions are even an option. I pried one of the Atlas stanchions loose and it's mounted with a square pin. I think this might be a major issue with Smokey Valley's small round pin, though I haven't seen what they offer in the S2 version for Carey. I'm guessing round, however.

I'm now thinking it might be necessary to drill out the top of the existing Atlas stanchions in order to thread a .015 brass wire through. The stanchions themselves are pretty decent, it's the over sized handrail itself I would like to replace.

Drilling will need to be a cautious affair. Probably do a pilot hole with #80, then drill out to size for the .015 brass wire. If drilling out the holes is successful, then it should be a pretty good installation. With the square pins holding the stanchions in place, it should be pretty solid.

I just did Smokey Valley on a Front Range GP9 and soldering those properly in place is no day at the beach.
Ive drilled out Atlas handrails before on a Genset model. Make sure to cut them flush on each side and use a sharp object, I use dental picks, to mark a dimple for where you are going to drill on each side of the stanchions. Then drill a #78 if you are using .15 wire, halfway on each side until they meet in the middle. This prevents from the drill going in sideways and being crooked. When done, string all the stanchions you need on the wire and make your bends. It actually is much stronger doing it this way as opposed to the smokey valley way.

Heres a picture of the model I did.



Mark, I appreciate the tips on technique. I have dental picks to use.

With accurate drilling, I think the Atlas stanchions might be better than Smoky Valley. Having just finished Smokey Valley on a Front Range GP9, I can confirm it's not easy dealing with them. Accurate placement while soldering is a booger. I was afraid to use glue as it would make correcting inaccurate alignment all but impossible, as the Smokey Vallys flop around in the mount pretty bad. The Atlas mounting technique looks much more stable.

Love the Stop sign in your photo.


I drilled out eight stanchions from one side of the model and it went well, came out according to plan using Mark's suggestions. The end railings are a bit more challenging due to the complexity of their structure. First one is drilled and it came out OK.

I ended up first using a #80 drill, then following up with a #78. Managed to get through the exact center of all the stanchions.

Now that I think I know what I'm doing, I'll probably screw the next set up.

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