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Handcar = "Gandy dancer"?[edit]

I seem to recall these handcars also being known as "gandy-dancers". Does anyone else remember this? Or is my memory making things up again? --Badger151 04:46, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

I do not think that handcars or the people who operate them were ever called "gandy dancers" in the US. I grew up near a railroad track and knew a lot of people who worked on it. The only way that I ever heard "gandy dancer" used was to refer to the men who laid the tracks and specifically those who hammered the stakes into the ties. In the handcar article itself under Modern Usage, I consider the parenthetic reference to gandy dancers to be incorrect, or at best misleading. RoseHawk (talk) 22:02, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

Take a look at this article. oTHErONE (Contribs) 11:08, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
This may well be another UK/US terminology thing. I was aware of the phrase being used to describe what is here called a handcar in the UK railway modelling press. I was not aware that the term was used to describe a ganger (worker in a track gang), as in gandy dancer.
A major manufacturer (can't remember which, sorry) started producing a motorised ready-to-run HO model of a pump trolley, complete with two gangers. This was a few years ago, but my mind is convincing me that it was known as a gandy dancer at the time.
EdJogg (talk) 01:32, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
This is explained at [1]. The 2 or 4 men pumping the handles look like they are geese (ganders) doing a square dance. Edison (talk) 00:53, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

How do they work?[edit]

The article doesn't explain how push trolleys work. Someone should add that. (talk) 20:46, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Speed and ease of use?[edit]

How fast were they if there was a slight slope - let's say 1% - upwards? — On flat ground, one could keep a relatively high "cruising speed"? 10 kmh? 30 kmh? 60 kmh? — Was it common with more than one gear ratio to make it easier/possible to climb slopes without getting off and push? — It is easy to get anything on steel wheels rolling on flat rails, but I guess handcars were much heavier than normal bicycles, and since I have no idea about the gear ratio(s) I don't know if the people had to get off and push it if the rails went more or less uphill.

This article needs much more details because modern people may possibly know more about jet engines than they do about handcars. Of course the answers to the above questions depends on the people powering them so there can not be exact answers, but it should be possible to give some typical figures. I assume that modern handcars are being made, possibly of modern light materials, but I think info on old-fashioned handcars are more important because they were of importance in their time, not just a plaything.
Urbanus Secundus (talk) 14:04, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Speed varied a lot depending on the design of the handcar and the strength of its user so it is difficult to speak accurately without going on a case by case basis. Since trains do not do well on slopes it is a functional requirement that all railways have a relatively gentle grade, so there is usually not much issue with slopes in any case. Mediatech492 (talk) 14:46, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

An off track, on road version[edit]

See Talk:Hobcart#An older version. Peter Horn User talk 01:25, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Getting it on the tracks?[edit]

The article says there was one handcar for every 10 miles of track.

Was there a switch to a length of side track every 10 miles to get the handcar out of the way of a train or were these things light enough for one person to lift on and off the tracks when needed? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:20, 7 February 2016 (UTC)