7
   

Bull Durham Sacks and Railroad Tracks

 
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 03:45 am
@panzade,
I kin play the cordeen.

My dad was the trainmaster for a Railroad. I recall his story of why they call them "gandy dancers'. It ws because they would carry the long rail sections from a track wagon (called a "Speino" for unknown reasons). The track wagon came up the track to an area to be refit or new tracks laid. 6 guys would pull the track sections off with a tool like a big ice tong and a vise grip mix , then they would hoist the ties up onto their shoulders. They would walk with a deliberate gait that in between the ties. This was a "duck walk" so the men were originally called ganders. The term became "Gandy" as a corruption .

I looked at Wikipedia and it said that the name was also attributed to a manufacturing company named "GANDY" (although no record was available of such a company according to Wiki), also a leverage tool like a big crowbar was allegedly called a gandy. So there are several tales of the origin of the name. I will stick with my dads because it makes sense , Ive watched the gandies pull rail off the spino and carry it up a section to be replaced, they had the walk down pat. (I worked a summer on the spino as the guy who was responsible for "refluffing" the ballast with a tool that was on the side of the speino car and looked like a big conveyor belt with brushes attached. This would suck up the ballast and clean it and reset it in the areas where new track was to be laid.

The actual name was SPENO(named after the corp that originally made em) and a car of the whole unit looked something like this one. There were other cars for crew quarters and ballast storage and swing arms for weed spraying. When the whole thing was hooked togethre it looked like nothin youd ever see. Most bigger RRs had several, but my dads company, the REading, was a smaller company with maybe only two of these unit trains with Speno equipment

http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/tr_pj8.jpg
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 03:55 am
@farmerman,
PS, the entire job of that speno car was to act as a "rail grinder" to clean off the welds between track
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 04:31 am
I never even thought about welds on a track.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 04:58 am
Yup, one of the jobs was just to walk the track to see that none of the welds were broken . . .
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 07:31 am
the gandy dancer explanation makes sense
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 09:58 am
I remember when I was a kid in the Kootenays and Lillooet, in British Columbia, seeing these guys all the time:

http://www.flighttech.com/images/Missouri%20Pacific%20MT-14.jpg

I always thought they were neat, and that being on a crew with one of these cars would be a fun job.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 10:06 am
my grandfather wrote a book with photos about his days on the railroad, my father had a copy of that book. He burned it along with all the photos of me and my brothers growing up in Saudi Arabia. Recently my only living brother asked me for photos of our childhood, I had to answer him that no photos exist.(there were 1000's)
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 11:10 am
@Reyn,
Hmm, picture didn't show up before.

This is what I was trying to show:

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h246/Reyn2244/speeder.jpg
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 11:28 am
@Reyn,
Reyn wrote:

Hmm, picture didn't show up before.

This is what I was trying to show:

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h246/Reyn2244/speeder.jpg


Some guys in a car that size were thrown off the track once, when I was visiting a friend. The trains ran right behind his house. Turns out some kids put something that was too big for those things' wheels on a rail.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 11:29 am
@panzade,
Frankie Laine used to sing about the Gandy Dancers' Ball.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 11:33 am
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/412MKQD39KL._SS500_.jpg

Note the album title. I bought this record very near 1970.
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 12:36 pm
@edgarblythe,
Ramblin Jack was an early musical hero of mine...a real friend of the workin man

0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 12:37 pm
@dyslexia,
Quote:
He burned it along with all the photos of me and my brothers


sad
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 12:41 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:
Some guys in a car that size were thrown off the track once, when I was visiting a friend. [...]

Do you (or anyone else) happen to know what they call these little vehicles? I know they had a slang term called "speeders" here.
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 01:01 pm
@Reyn,
The Kettle Valley RR fascinated me. Apparently this bridge burned down shortly after the picture was taken
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f7/Jamie_Edwards_Myra_Canyon_-_August_2003.JPG
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 01:03 pm
@Reyn,
I don't know, reyn.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 01:28 pm
What you showed, Reyn, is what we called a "put-put" car, although none of those that i ever saw had a closed cab.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 01:39 pm
@Setanta,
1Speeders , crew cars, (look for East Broad Top Railroad (EBTRR/)

2Manual op called Hand cars (

3people buy these things as hobby

4write more when home.
panzade
 
  2  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 02:05 pm
@farmerman,
stop
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 04:36 pm
@panzade,
I was texting through a berry.

The term "speeder" is used in almost all railroads. They come in so many body styles and are evn big enough to serve as sleeper cars for several crewmen. I saw one at the Broad Top museum that had a Job Johny on the back.

The hand cars are in use by many tourist railrroads for people to try on short side tracks. The brakes on hand cars and speedesr are mechanical so, can be a real bear on a grade if youve got some steam built up. It takes a couple people to work em.
 

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