Design Fires in Transit and Rail Tunnels

Synthesis 415 entitled Design Fires in Road Tunnels published in 2011 was a comprehensive document addressing fires in road tunnels but, it did not address fires in transit systems or rail tunnels including subway, or underground rail stations. There are many differences between fires in road tunnels versus rail or transit tunnels. Such differences require implementation of different measures in order to provide safety and security to the passengers and assure structural integrity of the facilities during and after a fire event. National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) provided standards in its NFPA130 publications. However, research and developments have taken place throughout the world and these recent developments may not have been addressed by NFPA130. Also, there are many older 'grandfathered' transit systems and rail tunnels that do not meet NFPA130 provisions. Owners and operating agencies are in need of guidelines in terms of meeting facility safety provisions. This synthesis will provide state of the practice information in design fires in transit and rail tunnels. It will offer transit agencies information to help assist them in providing safety and security to passengers and assure structural integrity of facilities during and after a fire event. Information gathered will include but not be limited to the following: (1) Proper procedures in characterizing a credible fire scenario; (2) Management of a fire incident; (3) Fire protection systems; (4) Passenger safety; and (5) Impact of active and passive fire protection and security screening systems on the facility and its structural systems. This synthesis will explore these issues and document successful practice. A literature review of US and International sources, survey of selected transit agencies and/or other stakeholders, and detailed case examples/profiles will be accomplished to report on the state-of-practice, including lessons learned, challenges, and gaps in information. A draft further research needs statement might also be prepared.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $45000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project J-07, Topic

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Vlasak, Donna

  • Start Date: 20150609
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 39778

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01566083
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project J-07, Topic
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jun 10 2015 1:01AM