The world’s safest metro

The starting point for planning the West Metro has been to ensure the safety of passengers in all situations. The station platform areas are spacious and coherent, and special attention has been paid to lighting. Long underground passages and fringe areas are avoided in the public spaces of the metro stations. During evacuations, the metro station elevators are also accessible to commuters.

Worksite safety is world class and emphasised in this project. Read more about safety on West Metro worksites.

Emergency preparedness

The West Metro has 52 technical systems, the majority of which relate to managing emergency situations. The safety of the spaces is monitored and controlled using automatic fire alarm and extinguishing systems. The spreading of smoke is limited in the metro stations and the tunnels by means of fire compartmentation and over-pressurisation and smoke management systems. Camera surveillance ensures the safety of the premises. The metro’s control centre monitors the operation of the trains in real time, and in the event of an emergency, the surveillance cameras will help to handle the situation efficiently and safely.

If there is an emergency in the tunnel, the basic principle is that the train will be driven to the nearest station. If that is not possible, passengers will be guided to safety by following the instructions announced over the PA system. The most important place for announcements is in the metro train, where the instructions can best reach the passengers.

The tunnel is safe

The tunnels that have been excavated in the bedrock are both economical and safe. The underground network of the West Metro’s tunnels consists of two separate tunnels with fire compartments. The width of a tunnel is six metres. The metro tunnels are excavated at a depth and location that are favourable from a geotechnical perspective. The distance between the tunnels varies between 13–17 metres. At turnaround tracks, the distance may be a maximum of 50 metres.

In exceptional situations, commuters can exit the tunnel along the emergency exit platform to the neighbouring tunnel via the connecting tunnel’s fire compartments or directly outside via the vertical shafts. The distance between the connecting tunnels is approximately 150–170 metres. Exit shafts are located roughly every 600 metres. There is an emergency exit platform in the tunnel, as well as exit signs every 25 metres in the tunnels. The tunnel is equipped with lighting for emergency situations.

Read more about commuter safety in exceptional situations in Länsimetro magazine (in Finnish)