Haukur Ingason - Articles and news items
Issue 6 2011 • 3 January 2012 • Haukur Ingason, Professor of Fire Protection Engineering at the Department of Fire Technology at SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden and Anders Lönnermark, Senior Research Scientist at the Department of Fire Technology at SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden
In September 2011, the Swedish METRO project finalised a large scale test programme in an abandoned railway tunnel. The objective of the METRO project is to improve safety in underground metro systems and to explore differences in the fire behaviour of the carriage using different types of interior materials. Further, the role of passenger luggage in the fire development was investigated. The test programme included both fire and explosion tests. The results are still undergoing analysis, but the test programme has already generated lots of new interesting information to report on. One thing that has become clear is the importance of the choice of lining material and the effects of passenger luggage on the fire spread.
About the large scale tests
A total of four tests were carried out in the 276m-long Brunsberg tunnel outside Arvika, Sweden. The abandoned tunnel was taken out of service when a new tunnel was constructed to reduce the sharpness of a bend in the route. Three fire tests using liquefied fuel as the ignition source were carried out first. The first test was a small pan with diesel oil mounted under the carriage while tests two and three were simulated arson attacks inside the carriage using petrol poured on a seat. A total of two carriages were used for the three fire tests.
Issue 2 2011 • 6 May 2011 • Professor Haukur Ingason, Senior Research Scientist, SP Technical Research Institute
In the fire safety design process for underground metro systems, the design fire is usually an issue that requires long discussions and consensus among designers. The main reason is the complexity of fires in metro cars and lack of large scale test results which confirm the design assumptions. This article gives an overview of fire development in underground metro cars and gives an insight into a large scale test series that is planned for autumn 2011 in Sweden.
Increased demand for mass transport
Rapid advances in underground construction technology and increased demand for mass transportation of people force us to build more-and-more complex underground mass transport systems. The fire risks and conse – quences of fires usually become key issues in the design process.
Fire incidents in trains can be divided into two main groups: those we can manage and those we cannot. For example, if a burning train comes to a stop inside a tunnel, the situation may become very difficult to manage, both for the tunnel operators and fire services. Such scenarios are fortunately rare. Statistics show that the risk of a large fire incident in a train is low. The risk is even lower of such an incident in a tunnel. This is a fact that many involved in the safety issues of trains and underground subway systems are very well aware of.
Despite the risk of fire incidents in tunnels being very low, there have been occasions when fires have developed into catastrophic events and these few disastrous fires have placed a focus on fire safety in rail and subway tunnels. When such incidents occur, the media focus becomes extremely high and the work of safety authorities and tunnel operators comes under close scrutiny. The agenda is set by these incidents but it does not necessarily mean that the safety standards are ruled by them.