METRO is a Swedish research project about infrastructure protection. The Department of Fire Safety Engineering and Systems Safety is involved in the second work package of the project, which focuses on evacuation of people in these types of facilities. The overall focus of the project is on the protection of underground rail mass transport systems, e.g., tunnels and subway stations, and both fire and explosion hazards are included. The total budget of METRO is 14.2 million SEK (ca € 1.5 million), and the project runs over a period of three years (2009 to 2012).
METRO is a multidisciplinary project where researchers from different disciplines cooperate with practitioners with the common goal to make underground rail mass transport systems safer in the future. The following nine partners participate in METRO: Mälardalen University, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, Lund University, Swedish Defence Agency (FOI), Gävle University, Swedish National Defence College, Swedish Fortifications Agency, Greater Stockholm FIre Brigade and Stockholm Public Transport (SL).
The work in METRO is divided into seven work packages (WPs) which address different aspects of the studied topic. The Department of Fire Safety Engineering and Systems Safety at Lund University is responsible for the second work package about evacuation. The purpose of WP2 is to investigate how train passengers can be safely evacuated in case of an emergency in underground mass transportation systems, e.g., underground railway tunnels, trains, and stations. Particular focus is placed on examining way-finding behaviour, and different way-finding systems will be tested in the study. It will also be investigated how various groups of passengers, such as senior citizens and people with disabilities, physically manage to evacuate. The development of a computer software tool for simulating evacuation from underground facilities will be initiated in the second work package.
More information about the METRO project is available on the official homepage (http://www.metroproject.se/).