There is another thread that talks about picking up models and some bad things that can happen. I think I have done just about everything bad that can be done and here are my observations and how I plan to keep things safe(r). Locomotives Picking up a locomotive by the long hood or cab can result in disaster as outlined by Terry in the thread under HO Scale. Unfortunately picking up a locomotive by the fuel tank can also cause damage when the well-meaning operator pinches the delicate (Atlas SLSF) handrails (or fuel gauge, fuel filler, etc.) and breaks them off at the walkway. Both of my Atlas GP7s have suffered this damage. Picking units up by the cab, no matter how delicate will crush or break off the cab shades. AND the more you run, the more this happens. Locomotives - The Answer My new operating briefing to all crews (veterans and new guys) includes my request and demonstration on how to pick up a locomotive properly. My preferred method is to use both thumbs and index fingers at the center of the front and rear truck side frame to pick up the locomotive to either rerail the engine or remove the engine from the track. Just about every other approach will end in agony. Rolling Stock Most operators take the easy route and pick a car up from the center of the car body or from the extreme lower corners by the trucks. Let's take those one at a time. Generally picking up a car from the center of the car body is not a problem UNLESS it is a detailed car with a plug door (Genesis) with those nice door latch bars on them. These beautifully detailed cars can be turned into ugly, non-detailed cars easily by the clumsy, apathetic operator. Lifting a car by the extreme lower corners by the trucks causes even more damage. Stirrup steps, coupler lift bars, ladders, grab irons, etc can be snapped off in a heartbeat. Repair and replacement of these delicate parts is difficult (as Ken noted) if not impossible. Rolling Stock - The Answer Just like a locomotive, the very best approach I have found to rerail or remove a car from the rails is to use the "thumb-index finger" on the truck sideframes. That way the delicate parts are out of harms way and you can still accomplish your objective. As previously mentioned, I now start all my operating sessions with the briefing on my preferred method to rerail or remove equipment from the track. It is my hope that this education process will keep the detailed equipment "detailed." I believe that everyone has a responsibility when operating. The owner must educate his crews and be willing to accept some level of risk when opening up his/her layout to others. Part of this education is (1) how to rerail or remove cars and, even more important, (2) report all damage immediately and get the car in the Rip Shed. The operators have a big responsibility as well. First, comply with the owner's request for care of the equipment. If you are uncomfortable rerailing or removing a car, get the owner to do it. Observe how he/she removes or rerails the car and use that approach in the future. Second, report all damaged equipment to the owner immediately. Most of the time this is a coupler issue but it is also important to report damaged parts as well. That allows the owner to educate as well as to take the car out of service and schedule the car for repair. I wish I could say that I have not damaged equipment on other layouts but that would not be the truth. The best policy I have found is to report it immediately and describe how it happened as a learning experience. I have not found one layout owner who was angered by the damage or who did not invite me back. Please be careful with the owner's equipment. But above all, honesty really is the best policy. All this is being said to protect the equipment and the operators. This is a fun hobby but we do need to exercise care and respect for the owner's equipment and preserve everyone's self-esteem.