Gandy Dancer

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Gandy dancer dictionary definition | gandy dancer defined

Naming The Trail. Gandy Dancer State Trail Site. North Trail.

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Gandy Dancer Trail. And you even gandy danced behind a maul. Even spiking, you make the spike maul talk; you sing to it. Big cat! And so, with two of us spiking, you make that maul talk! As the s rolled over into the 20th century railroads were finally able to employ actual mechanized equipment such as early track laying machines and steam shovels.

One of the first, true maintenance contraptions was the Jordan Spreader developed by Oswald F. Jordan that was first tested in and then made available for sale in This machine provided railroads the ability to accomplish a wide range of tasks once done by gandy dancers including ballasting and grading, ditching digging, and even shoveling snow.

Additionally, it could perform these assignments much faster than by manual labor alone. However, this integration was slow both due to the years it took in actually designing the equipment and putting it into service as well as railroads' generally slow adaptation of anything new.


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As such, the classic gandy dancer could still be found out along road beds, albeit in far less numbers, well into the s and s. Today, one can still see track work done manually on an as-needed basis, particularly on small short lines or tourist railroads, which do not have the necessary equipment as the major Class I and larger Class II's employ. However, such work has almost entirely been taken over by the MOW machines mentioned above on larger regionals and Class Is.

Interestingly, while the gandy dancer is a thing of the past it continues to hold on in mainstream folklore such as the song " The Gandy Dancers' Ball " written by Frank Laine in and "Moose Turd Pie" by Bruce Phillips.

gandy dancer

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Gandy Dancer Work Song Tradition

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