Gandy dancer is a slang term used for early railroad workers in the United States, more formally referred to as "section hands", who laid and maintained railroad tracks in the years before the work was done by machines.
Gandy Dancer The gandy dancer term has blossomed into folklore over the years, celebrated in several songs, books, and other mainstream mediums. Despite its near mythical status it described a once very common job on the railroad, hard labor.
A gandy dancer is someone who works on the maintenance crew of a railroad. Track crews are critical for a working railroad, as these men and women ensure that the tracks are in good working order, and they address situations on the tracks before they turn into problems.
Jul 13, 2007 · Gandy Dancers "Gandy dancers" was a nickname for railroad section gangs in the days before modern mechanized track upkeep. The men were called dancers for their synchronized movements when repairing track under the direction of a lead workman known as the "caller" or "call man."
When the Union Pacific reached Utah, management put out a million-dollar call for Mormons to work on the railroad, and these hard-working and habitually sober people comprised a sizable contingent of gandy dancers—free of the vices subsequent chroniclers have assumed went with the territory when working on the railroad.
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gandy dancer Gandy dancer is a slang term for workers who maintained railroads in North America.
Musical traditions and recollections of eight retired African-American railroad track laborers whose occupational folk songs were once heard on railroads tha...
- 2 min
Oct 22, 2019 · Today, the gandy dancers of yesterday are known as “section workers,” and like their historic counterparts, they keep the railroad rights-of-way in tact by repairing tracks such as laying,...
- Reno Gazette-Journal
The term "Gandy Dancer" is a reference term to railway line workers. Before electronics and advanced machinery was created, railroad lines were constructed entirely by hand and steam machines. The term "Gandy Dancer" was a slang term by origin, but the original etymology of the term is unknown.