So, yesterday I spend the better part of the afternoon playing with all combination of extruding, copying vertices and edges, and scaling to get the smooth handrails that I so desired. After repeated attempts and near the edge of my patience, I recalled seeing a tutorial on the Web on architectural modeling in Blender that just may solve my problem. A Google search later and a few tweaks of the mesh, the following (and improved) surface emerged:
Saved by a Python Script
While rendering the first test images of Stuttgart Central in Blender a few days ago, I couldn’t help but notice that the handrails on the moving walkway were a bit “chunky,” for lack of a better word. This part of the mesh was actually the most difficult part to create as it required me to extrude faces on a curved surface. Apparently my first attempt at solving this problem had not worked as well as I would have liked, hence the chunky surfaces despite repeated attempts at smoothing them out.