Volcanic Ash forces thousands to the Rails!

Mark Watson Apr 15, 2010

  1. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100415/ap_on_bi_ge/eu_iceland_volcano

    The current volcano eruption in Iceland has caused major air travel disruption on a scale not seen since 9/11! Luckily Europe is well connected by Rail.

    Imagine if St. Helens decided to act up again. I'm not sure US rail could support such an influx of passengers if air travel was grounded for as long as they predict the disruption to last in Europe!
     
  2. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    We have flights booked to Ljubljana, Slovenia from London Stansted Airport in 8 days time - we have our fingers crossed!
     
  3. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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  4. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    I know very little about geology, but if I were forced to guess, with all this major seismic activity in the last several months (Haiti, Chile, Baja, China...) I would say we're in store for a few more major events in the near future. [​IMG]
     
  5. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    Not to derail the topic, as this is related, the 8.8 that hit Chile actaully "titled" the planet and sent a massive shock wave throughout the world. Such massive shock waves have been known to setoff chain reactions that can go for awhile as we are now seeing. Get enough valcanos going at the same time and ... you get the idea!

    Let's just hope things quite down soon and that rail traffic in Europe can handle the needs while air traffic is offline; maybe get more interested in rail travel in the process!

    :tb-nerd: :tb-nerd: :tb-nerd: :tb-nerd:​
     
  6. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Mt. St. Helens is pretty quiet right now. I live so close to it I can see it on my way home.

    That being said, the eruptions of the early 1980s left a lot of ash all over my city. I remember looking out and thinking it looked a bit like snow.
     
  7. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah, the reason I mentioned St. Helens is because I remember seeing diagrams of the ash cloud from past eruptions reaching as far as Nebraska and Oklahoma. That would pretty much wipe out coast to coast air travel. And it takes weeks? Months? for high atmosphere ash to settle? I wonder at what point the density becomes low enough for flight conditions to resume.

    In any case, it would have catastrophic results on travel and the economy. Lets hope by the time such event occurs (because its almost guaranteed.. just a matter of when) that we're prepared.
     
  8. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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  9. fitz

    fitz TrainBoard Member

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    It gave the airlines in SFO an excuse to turn off their customer service phones. My daughter was enroute (south to north, west coast USA) and United cancelled her connecting flight from SFO to Eugene, OR. She finally made it today. Amtrak next time.
    :tb-biggrin:
     
  10. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Jim, I would have hoped that she, being female, might have absorbed and acted upon the sage parental advice you obviously provided. However, being the parent of two stubborn male urchins, ages 48 & 50, I can only relate and sympathize.....:tb-rolleyes:
     
  11. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Darren, that potential eruption concerns me. I have trips planned NOL/LAX on 5/10-12, return 5/16-18, each crossing the San Andreas Fault. I agree with your conjecture concerning increased instability of tectonic plate interfaces over past months. Now, with an 8.8 at the Asian/Indian plate interface, increased stresses and instability at other plate interfaces will cause a higher probability of random releases of energy, but with less predictability. This may be a warm up for Armageddon on 12/2012. :tb-ooh:
     
  12. Seated Viper

    Seated Viper TrainBoard Member

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    I live under the usual approach path for Southampton (Eastleigh) airport. It's normally flights to and from different points of the EU, Channel Islands and within UK. It's ever so quiet . . .

    The television news the other night said the skies haven't been as quiet as this since before the Wright Brothers! The train operators and cross-channel ferry people are getting overwhelmed.

    Regards,

    Pete

    PS added at 1524 British Summer Time:

    The local newspaper says no flights into/out of Southampton (Eastleigh) before Sunday morning at the earliest.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2010
  13. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Thats gotta be incredible to witness. I bet its one of those things no one hardly notices, yet with its absence gives off an eerie silence.

    Now they're talking about temporary layoffs from the airlines. I wonder if these employees could find work in rail service to help with the influx of passengers there?

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100418/ap_on_bi_ge/eu_iceland_volcano
     
  14. BedfordRob

    BedfordRob TrainBoard Supporter

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    just to rub salt into the wounds, French rail workers are on strike in some areas - great timing
     
  15. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    French rail workers are never far from a strike! :(

    Slightly better news this evening is that some flight paths are being opened from the UK from 2200 tonight, so we may get our flight to Ljubljana on saturday - but fingers still firmly crossed!
     
  16. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Every appendage is crossed for you, Alan. Actually, we're even praying for the success of your trip!
     

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