Safety in railway tunnels and selection of tunnel concept

Mr. Terje Andersen
Det Norske Veritas (DNV)
Veritasv. 1, N-1322 Høvik, Norway

Mr. Børre J. Paaske
Det Norske Veritas (DNV)
Ingvald Ystgaardsvei 15, 7496 Trondheim, Norway

A number of serious tunnel accidents have put tunnel safety on the public agenda. Concerns have been directed towards the safety of both road and rail tunnels. The choice of tunnel concept for double tracked rail lines has been given much attention. Two alternative tunnel concepts are discussed in a safety perspective in this paper: Single bored tunnel, i.e two parallel tracks in the same tube with escape ways to open air through the tunnel portals or through intervening cross cuts. Parallel twin bored tunnels, i.e two parallel tubes with one track in each with intervening connections between the two tubes equipped with fire doors or smoke traps. The risk and safety arguments for various concepts are examined and pros and cons for each of the concepts are discussed. An investigation of known tunnel and metro fires is used to assess how the choice of tunnel concept may have influenced the outcome of the accidents.

Paper, pdf

Table 1: Railroad and Metro Tunnel Accidents



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