safety for underground traffic junctions
Underground and metro systems are increasingly becoming a most important part in transport infrastructure. Generally speaking, metro systems are the only traffic system that offer sufficient transport capacities and the option to implement or further develop them without significantly impairing other on-surface traffic systems. The large gatherings of passengers in trains and at stations, combined with the specifics of underground traffic systems, result in particular challenges for fire protection. Until now, it has only been possible to meet these challenges by making very high investments. By intelligent integration of fire protection measures in rolling stock and stations, FOGTEC’s Smart Concepts offer metro system operators better transport infrastructure availability while at the same time significantly reducing costs.
Smart Concepts = smart engineering
An optimal overall result for a complex traffic system requires intelligent engineering. Previously, however, the infrastructure of a metro system with its stations and tunnels had been planned virtually entirely independently of the vehicles. As a result, a great amount of potential for optimisation and cost savings had not been made use of, since metro systems in particular have the benefit that vehicles using them are clearly defined.
With its team of specialist designers, FOGTEC combines fire protection measures for both of these subareas – stations and vehicles – together. This means, the balance between rolling stock and stations is not evaluated separately, but rather is designed so that the optimal solution is found for the operator using an iterative approach. As result, for example, requirements for escape routes or the size of the smoke extraction systems in stations can be significantly reduced. By contrast, vehicles can have a more open design and weight can be reduced.
Less smoke, less danger
Due to the intelligent use of water mist in platform and track areas, fires in rolling stock can be fought highly effectively. This results in a significant reduction in the amount of smoke that can be expected. At the same time, the remaining smoke is cooled, which significantly reduces its volume. Consequently, considerably less smoke needs to be extracted from a station. This leads to cost savings not only for the smoke extraction systems, but also for their above-ground openings.
One system for all areas
The specific properties of water mist enable it to be used for many fire protection tasks in stations. Using just one centralized pump system, equipment rooms, monitoring rooms, platforms, cable ducts, shopping areas, escalators and lifts can be protected. The use of different systems, such as gas extinguishing systems for equipment areas and sprinklers for shopping areas, is not necessary. As well as reducing investment costs, maintenance and thus life cycle costs decrease as well. Fire protection measures that are often very complex, and therefore costly, can be reduced or omitted entirely.
Metro trains are not furnaces
Until now, metro vehicles have usually been designed so that, in case of fire in passenger or equipment areas, the fire can be resisted for a sufficient length of time until evacuation is possible. As is the case with most other areas that pose challenges for fire protection, it makes more sense to fight the fire rather than strengthen the surrounding vicinity of a possible fire location, so it can withstand the fire. Hoteliers or automotive manufacturers would never design a hotel or engine assembly line so that it can burn for hours. A fire has always been fought automatically. Smart Concepts now enable FOGTEC to implement this approach in rolling stock. Compact, lightweight firefighting systems fight fires in the same way in technical areas as in passenger areas, simplifying vehicle design considerably and resulting in cost savings – not only in investments, but particularly for the operation of vehicles, since this leads to considerable weight savings.
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