CFD simulation and assessment of life safety in a subway train fire

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, Volume 24, Issue 4 (2009)



Platform screen door (PSD); Ventilation; Subway train fire; Life safety


Fire is a major risk in the event of subway train fire due to coincidence with direction of smoke flow and evacuation. As a part of an effort to improve the life safety in a train fire, the platform screen door (PSD) is more and more installed on the ground that PSD provides a lot of benefits to passenger’s safety. Therefore, the investigation of effect of PSD on life safety is needed. In this study, fire simulation and evacuation simulation are performed to estimate the effect of PSD and ventilation on passenger’s life safety in a subway train fire. The Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS V406) code is used to predict smoke spread and the available safe egress time during the fire. The evacuation of a subway station due to a train fire is simulated to predict the time required for evacuation, obtaining travel speed as a function of density. The passengers in platform with PSD and ventilation system have much more available time of about 350 s than passengers in case without PSD and ventilation system in modeled subway station. The subway turnstiles (ticket gate) dramatically increase the time required for evacuation without moving toward exits and bring passenger’s life safety danger in a subway train fire.