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A gladhand connector or gladhand coupler is an interlocking hose coupling fitted to hoses supplying pressurized air from a locomotive to railway air brakes on railroad cars. Mating rubber grommets provide a positive seal. Gladhand couplers are genderless or hermaphroditic, allowing them to be freely connected to each other, for example allowing either end of a railcar to be connected to the end of a train.


From US Patent Application US20100237569 A1:

In a conventional railroad train braking system, each railway vehicle is provided with a brake pipe line which extends along the length of the vehicle. The pipe line is connected to the brake cylinders via reservoirs and valves. Each end of the brake pipe is coupled to a “glad hand” connector by an angle or stop cock and a flexible hose. The glad hand connectors are fastened together to form a continuous pipe line stretching from the head locomotive to the last train car. Each flexible hose has a glad hand, acting as a coupling member, at each end for connecting the hose sections of adjacent cars together when joining additional individual railroad cars.
Glad hands are joined by pulling the hoses from adjacent cars upward, pushing the sealing gaskets on the glad hands at the end of each hose into aligned and abutting relationship, and then rotating the coupling members downward which engages mating flanges and lugs extending from the coupling members. This coupling results in a sealed fluid passage between air hoses on adjacent railroad cars, which maintains the brakes of all of the individual cars in an “off” position. If there is a significant reduction in air pressure within the hose lines, such as in the case of separation of cars, the brakes move into the “on” position.


Chehalem Machine Works

Operating gladhands, 1.5 inch scale, 3/16 inch to 1/4 inch hose barb, John Kelso, Chehalem Machine Works

John's new email address is

John Kelso wrote:

The o-ring is retained with rubberized superglue. About once a year, put a tiny swipe of silicon lube on the o-ring.

Kent Bolerjack

Working Gladhands, 1.5 inch scale, Kent Bolerjack. They are tested to 100 psi on air and 26" vacuum. Dimensions: 3/8 inch in diameter and about 5/8 inch long coupled. Order by emailing

These gladhands were first described by Jack S. Edwards in Live Steam Magazine, November 1981. The article includes photos, drawings and dimensions.


Gladhands for 2.5 inch scale, Superscale Locomotive Company


3D Printed Gladhands, 3-3/4 inch scale, Shapeways


Clippart MQC-3S Quick Connect Assembly (not based on prototype)



1-inch scale Gladhand/Air Line Kit, Despatch Railroad Products LLC


Angle cock casting, 1.5 inch scale, Cannonball

The Train Department

Proto hands, 1:20.3 scale, The Train Department

Old Iron Designs

Old Iron Designs 1:20.3-scale air brake gladhands

Precision Steel Car

Gladhands and Anglecock valves

The Machinery Works

Gladhands and Anglecock valves

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