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Tunnel Emergency Egress and the Mid-Train Fire

ABSTRACT This paper provides both a means for tailoring the current rail transportation tunnel emergency egress guidelines to the specifics of the individual system applications, and a strategy for improving the overall fire-life safety of passengers/crew during a mid-train fire event. These dual objectives are accomplished via the development of an equation based upon the time required to complete the various activities associated with a train evacuation, and subsequently re-arranged to solve for the required distance intervals between successive tunnel egress elements. The paper then provides examples of how this equation may be put to use for three hypothetical rail systems, as well as a correction for one of the examples as a result of a discussion on controlled evacuations. Finally, a parametric study is provided in order to evaluate the relative impact of changing certain variables within the equation. INTRODUCTION The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 130 entitled, Fixed Guideway Transit and Passenger Rail Systems includes guidelines for tunnel emergency egress provisions. The 2003 edition of the standard denotes in paragraph 6.2.4.1 that, emergency exits shall be provided from tunnels to a point of safety, and in paragraph 6.2.4.2 that, within underground or enclosed trainways, the maximum distance between exits shall not exceed 2500 ft (762 m). The latter of these two guidelines is explained further in paragraph A.6.2.4.2, which draws a parallel to the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code and its consideration of an affected, or unavailable, exit in specifying 2500 ft (762 m) as the maximum permissible travel distance between tunnel exits. However, via paragraph 6.2.4.3.1, NFPA 130s 2003 edition also states that, cross passageways shall be permitted to be used in lieu of emergency exit stairways to the surface where trainways in tunnels are divided by a minimum of 2 hour-rated fire walls or where trainways are in twin bores. Paragraph 6.2.4.3.2 of the standard goes on to provide seven conditions under which cross passageways may be utilized in lieu of emergency exit stairways; these conditions are noted below: (1) Cross passageways shall not be farther than 800 ft (244 m) apart; (2) Openings in open passageways shall be protected with fire door assemblies having a fire protection rating of 1-1/2 hours with a self-closing fire door; (3) A noncontaminated environment shall be provided in that portion of the trainway that is not involved in an emergency and that is being used for evacuation; (4) A ventilation system for the contaminated tunnel shall be designed to control smoke in the vicinity of the passengers; (5) An approved method shall be provided for evacuating passengers in the uncontaminated trainway; (6) An approved method for protecting passengers from oncoming traffic shall be provided; and, (7) An approved method for evacuating the passengers to a nearby station or other emergency exit shall be provided. Figuring prominently among these conditions is the subject of the recommended distance between successive cross passageways. The 2003 edition of NFPA 130 does not distinguish between the various types of fixed guideway rail systems - i.e. subway, commuter rail or light rail, their associated train lengths, the number of persons onboard the trains, or the size/growth rate of the design fire in recommending the 800 ft (244 m) interval. The 800 ft (244 m) guideline also pre-dates the expanded application of the NFPA 130 Standard from transit systems only - reference paragraph 3-2.4.3.a of the 1997 edition - to both transit and passenger rail systems - reference paragraph 3-2.4.3.1 of the 2000 edition.

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However, the stated purpose of the NFPA 130 Standard, as indicated in paragraph 1.2 of the 2003 edition, as well as in previous editions, is to establish minimum requirements for fire-life safety within fixed guideway tunnel environments; therefore, the 800 ft (244 m) cross passageway spacing noted in paragraph 6.2.4.3.2 (1) should be interpreted as written - as a not-to-exceed value for fixed guideway applications, and not as a constant design parameter to be uniformly applied to every conceivable rail tunnel application. For specific rail tunnel systems, the individual parameters affecting emergency egress should be evaluated to determine whether they merit NFPA 130s minimum fire-life safety provisions, or whether more extensive considerations are needed. THE MID-TRAIN FIRE The prospect of a mid-train fire is one of the more troubling fire-life safety scenarios from the standpoints of both tunnel emergency egress and tunnel emergency ventilation. From the standpoint of egress, a mid-train fire can generally be classified as any event that tends to divide the incident passenger/crew population into two distinct evacuation groups. If the incident area is presumed to coincide with the length of the affected train car, then any fire onboard all but the two end-cars would constitute a mid-train event. For an eight-car consist, a fire occurring onboard any of the middle six cars - or, 75% of the train - would constitute a mid-train event; for a twelve-car consist, a fire occurring onboard any of the middle ten cars, see Figure 1 - or, approximately 83% of the train - would be considered a mid-train event. If the incident area is presumed to be only a portion of the affected train car, then these percentages would increase for each example given.

End-Car

Mid-train

End-Car

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Figure 1 - Mid-Train Cars for 12-Car Consist Rail tunnel emergency ventilation systems are typically designed based upon push-pull fan response modes for end-car events. The typical emergency ventilation system is capable of developing the longitudinal tunnel air velocity required to direct smoke flow away from the selected evacuation path, and preventing smoke from backlayering into that same path. These capabilities are consistent with the emergency ventilation system design characteristics recommended in the 2003 edition of NFPA 130 for fixed guideway transit and passenger rail systems - reference paragraphs 7.2.1 (1) and 7.2.1 (2). However, in the case of the mid-train fire, two paths of passenger/crew evacuation are conceivable. And, while the typical emergency ventilation system would be capable of meeting the NFPA 130 design standard for passenger/crew safety in either direction, it is usually not capable of simultaneously meeting the NFPA 130 design standard for passenger/crew safety in both directions - unless it is designed as a point-extract system, which it traditionally is not, due to space and cost considerations. {A point-extract system would be theoretically capable of confining smoke flow to the incident car area, and thus, would permit immediate and simultaneous evacuations of both passenger/crew groups - in opposite directions, see Figure 2.} Therefore, detailed consideration of the various mid-train fire scenarios is warranted.

Open Damper Direction of evacuation


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Continuous Duct Direction of evacuation

Figure 2 - Point-Extract System for Mid-train Fire Scenario Simultaneous evacuation of both passenger/crew groups.

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The emergency ventilation system response to a mid-train fire must be coordinated with the evacuation plans of the passengers/crew; the operation of the tunnel fans to preserve tenable - as defined by NFPA 130 Annex B - conditions in one evacuation path must not further endanger the group of passengers/crew on the opposite side of the fire. Assuming that the mid-train fire renders the incident train car un-passable, one of three emergency evacuation/ventilation scenarios is likely - each has its own specific benefits and drawbacks, and other scenarios are possible. {The purpose of discussing these scenarios is to provide insights into the dynamics of mid-train fire evacuations and the related, ventilation system operations.} 1. If the fire is in its early stages of development and the tunnel conditions on both sides of the incident train are considered by the crew to be tenable, each of the two passenger/crew groups may be directed to evacuate in opposite directions. See Figure 3. In this scenario, the tunnel fans would not be activated during the simultaneous evacuations; only after one passenger group - most likely the group with the shorter travel time - had reached a point of safety would fan operations be possible in support of the other passenger/crew groups evacuation. Tunnel ingress by emergency service personnel should also be considered as part of the fan activation plan; ideally, emergency responders should enter the tunnel on the upstream side - i.e. where the fans are in supply mode - of the fire.

Direction of evacuation

Direction of evacuation

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Figure 3 - Mid-train Fire Scenario #1 Simultaneous evacuation of both passenger/crew groups. 2. If the fire grows quickly and the tunnel conditions on one side of the incident train are considered to be untenable - due, for example, to a significant tunnel grade and buoyancy-driven smoke flow, then the passenger/crew group on the opposite end of the incident train would be directed to evacuate first. In this scenario, the tunnel fans would not be activated during the initial evacuation - the operation of the fans would pressurize the tunnel and may cause smoke flow into the occupied cars on the opposite end of the train. After the first passenger/crew group had reached a point of safety, the fans could be operated in support of the second groups evacuation - in the opposite direction. See Figure 4. Again, the ingress of emergency service personnel should be coordinated with the selected fan mode.
Direction of evacuation Direction of airflow Direction of evacuation

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Initial evacuation, Tunnel fans not activated.

Latter evacuation, Tunnel fans activated.

Figure 4 - Mid-train Fire Scenario #2 3. If the fire grows quickly and the tunnel conditions on both sides of the incident train are considered by the crew to be untenable, then the evacuation of the two passenger/crew groups could be conducted in sequence. In this scenario, the tunnel fans would be operated in support of both the initial evacuation most likely by the group with the shorter travel time, and the latter evacuation. See Figure 5. Despite any residual air pressure within the cars, the operation of the fans - in support of the initial evacuation may cause smoke flow into the opposite end of the train, which, at this time, would still be occupied. Then, when the evacuation of the second passenger/crew group is beginning in the opposite direction, a timely flow reversal by the tunnel fan system would be required.

Direction of evacuation

Direction of airflow

Direction of airflow

Direction of evacuation

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Initial evacuation, Tunnel fans activated.

Latter evacuation, Tunnel fans activated.

Figure 5 - Mid-train Fire Scenario #3 The two most important aspects in each of these three mid-train fire scenarios are: the manner in which the evacuations are organized/authorized, and the speed at which they occur. The first aspect is dependent upon the preparedness of the operating authority - the train crew, in particular - for such events, and places added importance upon: the development of emergency procedures, personnel training, and incident communications. The second aspect is directly related to the number and proximity of emergency exits, cross passageways or other points of tunnel egress, i.e. station platforms or portals. These two aspects are also inter-connected because any delay in organizing the evacuations will tend to increase the overall time needed to complete the evacuations, and therefore, expose a greater number of evacuees to smoke flow. If the incident train happened to stop at a location where it straddled a means of tunnel egress, then a timely evacuation of one passenger group via that emergency exit/cross passageway would tend to minimize human exposure to smoke during the mid-train fire event. However, if the incident fire is sufficiently large, or its location happened to directly coincide with that of an emergency exit or cross passageway, then the fire may prevent use of that nearest means of egress. See Figure 6. In this case, the distance to the next available emergency exit or cross passageway would be an important consideration for both passenger/crew evacuation groups. In the context of this worse-case positioning of train/fire/exit, an equation was developed for the dual purpose of tailoring the NFPA 130 tunnel egress guidelines to the individual rail system application, and improving fire-life safety - the emergency egress provisions, in particular - during the mid-train fire event. The level of conservatism associated with this worse-case event is appropriate for such static fire-life safety provisions as emergency exits and/or cross passageways, since the number/location of each cannot be altered for specific events.

Direction of evacuation

Direction of evacuation

24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 EQUATIONS

Figure 6 - Mid-train Fire Aligned with Exit, Fire location prevents use of nearest egress path.

The basis for the equation developed was a simple compilation of the time-dependent activities associated with the evacuation of the first passenger/crew group from a worse-case, mid-train fire event. In equation format, the summation of these activities was then set against the time associated with the initiation of the second passenger/crew groups evacuation in a sequenced emergency egress operation for a true - i.e. at the exact mid-point of the consist - mid-train event. See Equation 1.0. The evacuation of the second passenger/crew group, which was presumed to start before the design fire reaches a flashover state, would be supported by the operation of the tunnel emergency ventilation system. tdiscovery + tcomms + tinitial evac + tfans active = tlatter evac tfull mode
tflashover

(1.0)

where: tdiscovery = the time associated with the discovery of the mid-train fire, in minutes tcomms = the time needed to communicate the details of the mid-train fire between the incident train and the operations control center, and initiate the evacuation of the first passenger/crew group, in minutes

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tinitial evac = the time needed to evacuate the first passenger/crew group from the incident tunnel, in minutes tfans active = the run-up time of the tunnel fans preceding the evacuation of the second group, in minutes tlatter evac = the time at which the second passenger/crew groups evacuation is commenced, in minutes tfull mode = the time at which the tunnel fans reach full operational mode, in minutes tflashover = the time at which the mid-train fire reaches flashover, in minutes The first two terms in Equation 1.0, tdiscovery and tcomms, are elapsed-time entries that may be determined either via training exercises or, estimated for the individual rail system application based upon such factors as: train length, crew size, vehicle fire alarm/extinguishing provisions, personnel emergency procedures, etc. {The identification of the incident train car location is essential to the recognition of a mid-train fire event. For best emergency response planning, the location of the incident train car should also be quickly determinable - either, locally or remotely - versus both the nearby tunnel egress provisions, and the closest mechanical ventilation shafts.} The time required to safely evacuate the first passenger/crew group, tinitial evac, can be estimated through use of three additional terms: i) the time required for the first evacuee in the group to reach the most constricting element in the evacuation path, or tfirst evacuee; ii) the time required for the entire group of evacuees to pass through the most constricting element in the evacuation path, or tconstrict element; and, iii) the time required for the last evacuee in the group to travel from the most constricting element in the evacuation path to a point of safe refuge, or tlast evacuee. Refer to Equation 2.0. tinitial evac = tfirst evacuee + tconstrict element + tlast evacuee (2.0)

The time required for the first evacuee in the group to reach the most constricting element in the evacuation path can be computed by dividing the distance traveled, Dfe, by the speed of travel, V, or Dfe/V. If the most constricting element in the evacuation path is either the vehicle door or the bench walkway, then the length of travel for the first evacuee to reach this element, and consequently, the term Dfe/V, will have a relatively minor impact upon the equation. Then, the time required for the entire group of evacuees to pass through the most constricting element in the evacuation path can be computed by dividing the incident trains evacuee population, Pt, by the product of the egress flow capacity through the most constricting element, Q, and the usable width, wc, of the element, or Pt/(Qwc). For the true mid-train event, however, the initial evacuee population would consist of one-half of the trains passenger/crew load, or Pt/2. An additional, non-dimensional parameter, y, can be included in the denominator of this term to reflect the number of active egress elements during the initial evacuation; therefore, the final form of this term in the equation is: Pt/(2Qwcy). Finally, the time required for the last evacuee in the group to travel from the most constricting element in the evacuation path to a point of safe refuge would then be the distance of travel, Dle, divided by the speed of travel, V, or Dle/V. In order to relate this term to the proper spacing of tunnel egress elements, the parameter Dle can be represented by the distance that must be traveled to reach a tunnel egress element, Dl, minus one-half of the train length, Lt/2, divided by the number of active egress elements, y, or: Dle = Dl (Lt/2y). However, in order to accurately reflect the distance to each available egress element during the initial evacuation, the term Dl can be represented by the product of the number of active egress elements during the initial evacuation, y, and the required distance between the successive egress elements, Dx. Therefore, the final form of this term in the equation is: (yDx - (Lt/2y))/V, and the re-written form of Equation 2.0 is then: tinitial evac = Dfe/V + Pt/(2Qwcy) + (yDx
-

(Lt/2y))/V

(2.1)

Inserting the expanded form of tinitial evac back into Equation 1.0 yields: tdiscovery + tcomms + Dfe/V + Pt/(2Qwcy) + (yDx - (Lt/2y))/V + tfans active = tlatter evac tfull mode tflashover (1.1)

As for the remaining term on the left-hand side of Equation 1.1, the elapsed-time entry tfans active was included to reflect the presumption that the latter evacuation - that of the second passenger/crew group would occur under the smoke-flow protection of the emergency ventilation system, and that the tunnel fans would have a run-up time before reaching full mode capability. Per paragraph 7.2.1 (3) of NFPA 130s 2003 edition, the emergency ventilation system shall be designed to be capable of reaching full

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operational mode within 180 seconds. The impact of this term, however, on the overall computation can be minimized if the tunnel fan system is activated in advance of commencing the second passenger/crew groups evacuation. However, activating the tunnel fan system prior to the completion of the first groups evacuation will expose some of those evacuees to smoke flow - which, at this point, may be diluted due to the impact of the tunnel fan operations. It is presumed that the commencement of the second passenger/crew groups evacuation, tlatter evac, does not exceed the time at which the tunnel fans reach full operational mode capability, tfull mode, and that fullmode tunnel fan operations precede the point when the mid-train fire reaches its flashover condition, tflashover - the point at which all combustible materials within the affected train car are presumed to be engaged in the fire. Typical fire size data for selected rail vehicles is provided by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) in Chapter 13 of the HVAC Applications Handbook under the heading Rapid Transit, sub-heading Emergency Ventilation. Fire growth rate data is both incident- and vehicle-specific; consequently, it is not provided in the Handbook. Re-configuring Equation 1.1 once more to solve for the desired variable, Dx, the required distance between successive tunnel egress elements, yields: Dx = [V x (tlatter evac (tdiscovery + tcomms + Dfe/V + Pt/(2Qwcy) + tfans active)) + (Lt/2y)]/y (1.2)

where the definitions provided for Equation 1.0 apply, and: Dx = the required distance between successive tunnel egress elements, in feet (meters), see Figure 7 V = the speed of travel, in feet per minute, fpm (meters per minute, m/min) Dfe = the distance traveled by the first evacuee in the group to reach the most constricting element in the path of evacuation, in feet (meters) Pt = the total number of passengers/crew onboard the incident train, in persons Q = the egress flow capacity through the most constricting element in the path of evacuation, in persons per inch per minute, pim (persons per millimeter per minute, p/mm-min) wc = the usable width of the most constricting element in the path of evacuation, in inches (millimeters) y = the number of active egress elements during the initial evacuation, non-dimensional Lt = the total length of the incident train, in feet (meters)

Lt

Dfe wc Egress #1 Dle


30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 ANALYSES Of all the variables shown in Equation 1.2, only Q, the egress flow capacity, and V, the egress travel speed, are not application-specific and, can thus be standardized. Within Chapter 5, the 2003 edition of the NFPA 130 Standard provides factors for use in computing emergency egress times. Though specifically intended for station egress planning, the NFPA 130 factors may provide insight towards estimating passenger evacuation rates from tunnels. Among these factors are: an egress flow capacity of 2.27 pim (0.0893 p/mm-min) and an egress travel speed of 200 fpm (61 m/min) on platforms, corridors and ramps sloped at less than four percent. These general factors may be considered as reflective of timely/orderly station evacuations, in that, they do not specifically address slower-moving persons, such as children, the elderly, mobility-disadvantaged/handicapped individuals or those injured during the event - each of whom may reduce the overall egress flow capacity or travel speed

Not Available

Dx
Figure 7 - Definition of Terms for Equation 1-2.

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of the evacuation group. Computer modeling may be used to provide more realistic predictions of passenger egress flow capacity and travel speed in tunnels. Since these factors are specifically intended for station planning in the current edition of the NFPA 130 Standard, they should be considered as non-ideal for tunnel evacuation analyses. For example, paragraph 5.5.3.3.1.1 recommends that egress paths should be a minimum of 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) wide, and paragraph 5.5.3.3.1.2 recommends that when computing capacity available, 1 ft (0.3048 m) should be deducted at each side wall and 1 ft 6 in (0.4572 m) from each platform edge. A traditional 30-inch-wide (762millimeter-wide) tunnel bench walkway is significantly less than the minimum egress path width recommended in paragraph 5.5.3.3.1.1, and provides no usable width for egress flow capacity calculations when evaluated against the recommendations of paragraph 5.5.3.3.1.2. It should be recognized that in order to achieve a usable walkway width of 30 inches (762 millimeters), a 60-inch-wide (1524-millimeterwide) tunnel bench would be required. Nevertheless, in the absence of other specific flow capacity or travel speed data for tunnel egress applications, Q will be assumed as 2.27 pim (0.0893 p/mm-min), and V will be taken as 200 fpm (61 m/min) in the following analyses. The balance of the data required by Equation 1.2 was selected for three distinctive rail system classifications: commuter rail, subway and light-rail. The data entries selected were purely hypothetical, and not intentionally representative of any one particular fixed guideway tunnel system. Train Data Inputs The train data entries associated with Equation 1.2 include: the train length, Lt; the passenger/crew load, Pt; the distance to the most constricting element in the evacuation path, Dfe; and, the time for the fire to reach flashover, tflashover. In the analyses that follow, these data entries were arbitrarily-selected for each hypothetical rail system application, and were not intended to represent either any one particular fixed guideway system, or an average of several. The entries were, however, selected in a manner that attempted to address the comparative differences between the three rail system classifications. For example, the variations in the train length and passenger/crew load entries were based on the assumptions that the commuter rail system would have the longest train for the largest passenger/crew load, and that the lightrail system would have the shortest train for the smallest passenger/crew load. The related subway system entries fall in between the commuter and light-rail system entries. It was also assumed that each of the respective commuter rail, subway and light-rail trains had side doors for easy access to the tunnel bench walkway, and that these double-width doors were wider than the tunnel bench walkway - which made the walkway the more constricting element in the path of evacuation. The tunnel bench walkway was, in fact, assumed to be the narrowest, most constricting passage within the entire evacuation path. Therefore, the distance traveled by the first evacuee in the group to reach the most constricting element was approximated as the distance from the centerline of the train car to the centerline of the bench walkway. These entries were varied for the individual rail system applications based upon hypothetical train widths - where the commuter rail system was presumed to have the widest train, the light-rail system the narrowest, and the subway system train width was midway between the other two. For the fire flashover time, a distinction was made in terms of the actual location of the fire. An assumption was made that the commuter rail train experienced a coach fire, whose close proximity to the majority of combustible components onboard the train resulted in a relatively short time to reach flashover. Conversely, both the subway and light-rail system trains were presumed to have undercarriage fires, where the growth/spread of the fire to the combustible components within the coach area - which enable it to reach its flashover state - was delayed by fire-rated vehicle flooring. In all three cases, it was assumed that the mid-train fire, either directly or indirectly, caused the incident train to stop within the tunnel, and was serious enough to necessitate an evacuation. It is important to note that the time required for the fire to reach flashover is not an active variable within Equation 1.2; tflashover serves only as a limiting factor on the time available to both complete the evacuation of the initial passenger/crew group, and, at least, commence the evacuation of the second passenger/crew group. The evacuation of the second group is also presumed to occur under the protection of an active tunnel emergency ventilation system. Elapsed-Time Entries The elapsed-time data entries in Equation 1.2 include: the time related to the fire discovery, tdiscovery; the time needed for pre-evacuation communications, tcomms; and, the time associated with the activation of the tunnel fan system, tfans active. With the exception of the fan activation time - which has the aforementioned

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limiting factor of 180 seconds via NFPA 130 paragraph 7.2.1 (3), these entries are entirely specific to the individual rail system application. For the sake of variation in the analyses, these hypothetical data entries were varied in accordance with the assumptions described below: It was assumed that the commuter rail system conductors greater mobility - i.e. for ticket-checking activities, etc - would lend itself towards a more timely fire discovery than in a subway system. Furthermore, a light-rail system may be automated - which may lend itself to the least timely fire discovery. It was also presumed that subway systems, due to their longer association with the guidelines of the NFPA 130 Standard, would have more efficient emergency communications than either the commuter rail or lightrail systems. Finally, in recognition of its greater passenger/crew load, it was assumed that the commuter rail system would activate the tunnel fan system earlier than either the subway or the light-rail systems. However, as previously noted, activating the tunnel fan system prior to the completion of the first passenger/crew groups evacuation may expose some of those evacuees to hazardous smoke flow. The time selected for the commencement of the second passenger/crew groups evacuation in each individual rail system application was based upon the limitations identified in Equation 1.1, where tlatter evac was to precede both the time at which the tunnel fans reached full mode operation, tfull mode, and the time at which the fire reached its flashover state, tflashover. Beyond that, it should also be recognized that the midtrain fire is burning from time = 0 seconds in these scenarios/analyses, and that tflashover should not be considered as a grace period for completing all decision-making, communications, emergency systems response planning and personnel evacuations. From the moment the mid-train fire begins, the incident passengers/crew are in danger; therefore, the variable tlatter evac should be set as low as deemed practical. Results The results of six particular calculations are presented in Table A. Unless otherwise indicated, Equation 1.2 was solved for the required distance between successive tunnel egress elements, Dx. Commuter Calc #1 presents the results of an analysis for a hypothetical commuter rail system application; Commuter Calc #2 demonstrates the impact of adding a second active egress element during the initial passenger/crew evacuation. Subway Calc #1 presents the results of an analysis for a hypothetical subway system application; Subway Calc #2 provides the result of back-calculating tlatter evac using the NFPA 130recommended guideline for cross passageway spacing, 800 ft (244 m), as an input for Dx. Light-Rail Calc #1 presents the results of an analysis for a hypothetical light-rail system application; Light-Rail Calc #2 provides the result of back-calculating tlatter evac using the NFPA 130-recommended guideline for cross passageway spacing, 800 ft (244 m), as an input for Dx. Table A - Results of Analyses for Equation 1.2 Commuter Commuter Subway Subway Calc #1 Calc #2 Calc #1 Calc #2 10 10 30 30 10.0 10.0 12.5 13.43292 0.5 0.5 0.75 0.75 1.0 1.0 0.5 0.5 0 0 1.5 1.5 200 200 200 200 (61) (61) (61) (61) 6 (1.83) 6 (1.83) 5 (1.52) 5 (1.52) 1500 1500 1000 1000 2.27 2.27 2.27 2.27 (0.0893) (0.0893) (0.0893) (0.0893) 30 (762) 30 (762) 27 (686) 27 (686) 900 900 600 600 (274.3) (274.3) (182.9) (182.9) 1 2 1 1 -58.64 408.84 613.41 800 (-17.9) (124.6) (187.0) (244) Calculated values are shown in shaded cells. Light-Rail Calc #1 30 15.0 1.0 1.5 3.0 200 (61) 4 (1.22) 500 2.27 (0.0893) 24 (610) 300 (91.5) 1 1128.23 (343.9) Light-Rail Calc #2 30 13.35885 1.0 1.5 3.0 200 (61) 4 (1.22) 500 2.27 (0.0893) 24 (610) 300 (91.5) 1 800 (244)

Variable tflashover tlatter evac tdiscovery tcomms tfans active V Dfe Pt Q wc Lt y Dx 35

Units min min min min min fpm (m/min) ft (m) persons pim (p/mm-min) in (mm) ft (m) none ft (m)

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DISCUSSION The focal point of the analyses presented in Table A is the computed distance between successive tunnel egress elements, Dx. The value of this term was determined using Equation 1.2 for the analyses entitled: Commuter Calc #1, Commuter Calc #2, Subway Calc #1 and Light-Rail Calc #1. In the remaining two analyses, Subway Calc #2 and Light-Rail Calc #2, Dx was assumed to be 800 ft (244 m) for the sake of comparison with the guidelines in the 2003 edition of the NFPA 130 Standard. Each of the respective rail systems analyses is discussed below: Upon inspection of the results for Commuter Calc #1, it is evident that a negative value was produced for the distance between successive tunnel egress elements, Dx = -58.64 ft (-17.9 m). This result simply means that the combination of train data, elapsed time entries and passenger flow capacity/travel speed inputs to Equation 1.2 exceeded the time limit imposed on the analysis via the data input for tlatter evac and tflashover. Comparing the inputs to Commuter Calc #1 with that of the subway and light-rail calculations, it is also evident that the summation of the elapsed time entries, tdiscovery, tcomms and tfans active, were smallest, and that the usable width of the tunnel bench walkway was greatest for the commuter rail calculation. Therefore, the factors that contributed to this negative result were mainly the number of passengers/crew involved in the initial evacuation, and the growth rate of the mid-train fire. The results of Commuter Calc #1 were included in Table A to make a distinct point: that a single means of tunnel egress may not be sufficient for evacuation of the first passenger/crew group based upon the combination of inputs to Equation 1.2. Hence, the variable y in Equation 1.2 was utilized in Commuter Calc #2 to introduce a second means of tunnel egress during the first passenger/crew groups evacuation. This improvement generated the desired positive result for the distance between successive tunnel egress elements, Dx = 408.84 ft (124.6 m) - but, with the caveat that an equal number of evacuees were presumed to flow through each active exit, see Figure 8. The significance of this result is that the specific combination of train data, elapsed time entries and passenger flow capacity/travel speed inputs to Equation 1.2 for the commuter rail analysis generated an interval between successive egress elements that was roughly one-half the maximum distance recommended by NFPA 130. This is not to say that all commuter rail applications will require twice the number of tunnel egress elements as that recommended in the 2003 edition of the Standard, but it does signify that certain combinations of rail system data may necessitate greater tunnel egress provisions than those cited by NFPA 130 in order to safely evacuate passengers/crew during a mid-train fire event.

Lt = 900 ft (274.3 m)

375 persons Egress #2


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Egress #1 Dx = 408.84 ft (124.6 m)

375 persons

Not Available

Dx = 408.84 ft (124. 6 m)

Figure 8 - Mid-Train Fire Results of Commuter Calc #2 The results of Subway Calc #1 indicate what the distance between successive tunnel egress elements, Dx = 613.41 ft (187.0 m), would be for a different combination of Equation 1.2 inputs, see Figure 9. Despite greater elapsed time for both fire discovery and fan activation, and the selection of a narrower tunnel bench width, the subway analysis generated greater spacing between tunnel egress elements than did the commuter rail analyses. This was largely attributed to the reduced number of passengers/crew, Pt, involved in the subway train evacuation and the greater time input for tlatter evac. In the case of the latter variable, 12.5 minutes was randomly selected as the time to commence the evacuation of the second passenger/crew group - even though the mid-train fire did not reach flashover until 30 minutes of time had

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elapsed. This relatively conservative selection of tlatter evac data reflects the fact that the mid-train fire is growing from time = 0 seconds.

Lt = 600 ft (182.9 m)

Egress #1
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500 persons

Not Available

Dx = 613.41 ft (187.0 m)
Figure 9 - Mid-Train Fire Results of Subway Calc #1 Subway Calc #2 was completed to check the results of Subway Calc #1 against the current NFPA 130 guidelines for tunnel cross passageway spacing. To do this, Equation 1.2 was re-arranged to solve for tlatter evac, while Dx was taken to be 800 ft (244 m). The predictable result was that tlatter evac increased by slightly less than a minute to account for the additional 186.59 ft (57.0 m) of tunnel bench travel at 200 fpm (61 m/min). The decision as to whether faster, 12.5 minutes versus 13.4 minutes via reduced egress element spacing, initial evacuations are warranted would ultimately rest with the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) for the individual subway system. The results of Light-Rail Calc #1 indicate what the distance between successive tunnel egress elements, Dx = 1128.23 ft (343.9 m), would be for another combination of Equation 1.2 inputs, see Figure 10. Despite the largest data inputs for fire discovery, communications and fan activation times, and the selection of the narrowest usable width for tunnel bench travel, the light-rail analysis generated greater spacing between tunnel egress elements than in either of the other analyses. This was largely attributed to the small number of passengers/crew, Pt, involved in the light-rail train evacuation and the 15 minute timeframe input for tlatter evac. Even though the mid-train fire wasnt presumed to reach flashover until 30 minutes of time had elapsed, 15 minutes was randomly selected as the time to commence the evacuation of the second passenger/crew group to reflect the fact that the mid-train fire is growing from time = 0 seconds.

Lt = 300 ft (91.5 m)

Egress #1
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250 persons Dx = 1128.23 ft (343.9 m)

Not Available

Figure 10 - Mid-train Fire Results of Light-Rail Calc #1 The significance of this result is that this specific combination of train data, elapsed time entries and passenger flow capacity/travel speed inputs to Equation 1.2 for the light-rail analysis generated an interval

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between successive egress elements that was almost fifty-percent greater than the maximum distance for cross passageway spacing recommended by NFPA 130. This is not to say that all light-rail applications will require 50% fewer tunnel egress elements than that recommended in the 2003 edition of the Standard, but it does signify that certain combinations of rail system data may require fewer tunnel egress provisions than those cited by NFPA 130, and still have sufficient means available to safely evacuate passengers/crew during a mid-train fire event. As in the subway analyses, Light-Rail Calc #2 was completed to check the results of Light-Rail Calc #1 against the current NFPA 130 guidelines for tunnel cross passageway spacing by taking Dx as 800 ft (244 m), and solving for tlatter evac. The predictable result was that tlatter evac decreased by about 1.6 minutes to account for the reduction of 328.23 ft (99.9 m) in tunnel bench travel at 200 fpm (61 m/min). The decision as to whether slower, 15.0 minutes versus 13.3 minutes via increased egress element spacing, evacuations are warranted would ultimately rest with the AHJ for the individual light-rail system. Controlled Evacuations Regardless of the manner in which the evacuation occurs during a train fire, emergency egress should be controlled - that is, organized and led by a qualified member of the crew. Upon reporting the details of the event to an operations control center and receiving evacuation orders from same, crew member(s) should be expected to proceed toward the door(s) at which the passengers will exit the train, and assume a leadership position for the group of evacuees. In addition to achieving a sense of order, crew-based leadership of the evacuation would be beneficial in terms of: adhering to the instructions of the operations control center, recognizing tunnel signage (including that for the egress elements), avoiding other sources of harm and continuing the flow of evacuees towards their ultimate destination - be it a station, portal, nonincident tunnel/rescue train or the surface level, via an exit stair. For all of the analyses in Table A except Commuter Calc #2, the manner of the controlled evacuation from the mid-train fire would be similar - i.e. the evacuations of both the first and second passenger groups would be led by a different crew member, in opposite directions, towards a single tunnel egress element. In Commuter Calc #2, however, the presence of the second active egress element during the evacuation of each passenger/crew group would have a tangible effect on the manner in which the evacuation is controlled, and thus upon the desired result, Dx. The form of Equation 1.2 presumes an equal distribution of the first evacuation group between the two active egress elements; when, in fact, the actual distribution would be determined by the manner in which the initial evacuation is controlled - which can be very incident-specific. To show the dependence of tunnel egress element spacing upon the manner by which the evacuation is controlled, the results of Commuter Calc #2 were reconsidered based on the assumption that the evacuees would exit the tunnel via the closest egress element in their forward path. With this assumption, the even distribution of evacuees between the two active egress elements that is inherent to Equation 1.2 was adjusted for the percentage length of train with respect to the location of the egress elements. Since Commuter Calc #2 has a train length, Lt, of 900 ft (274.3 m) and a calculated, tunnel egress element spacing, Dx, of 408.84 ft (124.6 m), the percentage, %, of first evacuees that can be assumed to utilize the nearer egress element in this example would be: % = Dx/(Lt/2) x 100 = 408.84 ft /(900 ft/2) x 100 = 90.85 {or, % = Dx/(Lt/2) x 100 = 124.6 m /(274.3 m/2) x 100 = 90.85} Since there are Pt/2, or 750, evacuees in the first group, then about 0.9085 x 750 = 681 persons would attempt to use the nearer of the two egress elements. A simplified version of Equation 1.1 was created to evaluate the time needed to complete this controlled evacuation: tdiscovery + tcomms + Dfe/V + Pz/(Qwc) + Dz/V + tfans active = tlatter evac tfull mode tflashover (1.1a)

where the variables are similar to Equation 1.1, except: Pz = number of passengers/crew using the nearer tunnel egress element, in persons y = 1, since only one egress element is involved in the calculation Dz = the distance of travel along the tunnel bench walkway to the nearest egress element, in feet (meters) Lt = 0 ft (0 m), since the egress element being evaluated is within the length of the train

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Solving Equation 1.1a for tlatter evac with Pz = 681 persons, Dz = 1.0 ft (0.3048 m) assuming a best-case scenario of a nearly coincident train car door and tunnel exit door, and the other data inputs taken from Commuter Calc #2 yielded 11.54085 minutes - which exceeded the timeframe associated with fire flashover tflashover = 10 minutes, by approximately 1.5 minutes. Therefore, with the controlled evacuation based upon percentage evacuee flow to the nearest forward exit, the distance between successive tunnel egress elements must be reduced further in order to achieve the 10 minute timeframe required for tlatter evac. To determine the maximum number of evacuees, Pz, that can use the nearer of the two active tunnel egress elements within 10 minutes, Equation 1.1a can be re-arranged and simplified once more as: Pz = (Qwc)[tlatter evac (tdiscovery + tcomms + Dfe/V + Dz/V + tfans active)] (1.1b)

With tlatter evac = 10 min, Dz = 1.0 ft (0.3048 m) and the other data inputs taken from Commuter Calc #2, Equation 1.1b yielded Pz= 576 persons. Then, the percentage, %, of first evacuees who could utilize the nearer egress element within a 10-minute timeframe would be: % = Pz/(Pt/2) x 100 = 576/(1500/2) x 100 = 76.80 Finally, solving for the percentage train length-adjusted tunnel egress element spacing, Dx, based upon the maximum number of evacuees that can utilize the nearest active egress element within a 10-minute timeframe yielded: Dx = (Lt/2) x (%/100) = (900 ft/2) x (76.80/100) = 345.60 ft {or, Dx = (Lt/2) x (%/100) = (274.3 m/2) x (76.80/100) = 105.4 m}, see Figure 11

Lt = 900 ft (274.3 m)

174 persons Egress #2 Egress #1 Dx = 345.60 ft (105.4 m) 576 persons Dx = 345.60 ft (105.4 m) Not Available

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Figure 11 - Different Manner of Controlled Evacuation for Commuter Calc #2 Thus, the impact of reconsidering the results for Commuter Calc #2 based upon a different assumption for the controlled evacuation served to further reduce the interval spacing between successive tunnel egress elements from 408.84 ft (124.6 m) to 345.60 ft (105.4 m). This is not to say that the percentage train length method of approximating the controlled evacuation is more accurate than the equal distribution method that is inherent to Equation 1.2. The purpose of this example was to demonstrate that the manner in which the controlled evacuation is carried out may influence computations of tunnel egress element spacing - when determined as a function of mid-train fire evacuation times. It is ultimately up to the individual rail system operator and the authority having jurisdiction to determine the manner in which train evacuations will be remotely-organized from an operations control center, and locally-controlled by the crew member(s). Once determined, the impact of the controlled evacuation upon the results of Equation 1.2-based analyses can be computed. The controlled evacuation method(s) should then become part of the emergency procedures - on which both the system operators and the train crew should be trained and practiced - for tunnel fire events. Emergency responders should also be cognizant of the manner in which the incident train evacuation is to be controlled, so that firefighter ingress and paramedic resources can be directed to the proper location(s).

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PARAMETRIC STUDY The results of the Equation 1.2 analyses depend upon all of the data inputs shown in Table A, though some inputs affect the results more than others. Therefore, a parametric study was completed in order to demonstrate the effects of changing the values of certain variables in the Equation 1.2-based analyses. Two variables were altered for each rail system type - generating a new Calc #3 and a new Calc #4, respectively, for each application. The basis for Commuter Calcs #3 and #4 was the original data from Commuter Calc #2; the basis for Subway Calcs #3 and #4 was the original data from Subway Calc #1; and, the basis for Light-Rail Calcs #3 and #4 was the original data from Light-Rail Calc #1. The results of the parametric study are presented in Table B. In Commuter Calc #3, the time needed to communicate the details of the mid-train fire was increased to 2.0 minutes; no specific reason for the additional time is necessary for the parametric study, but it may be a function of either mis-communication or unpreparedness. In Commuter Calc #4, the egress flow capacity was reduced to 1.82 pim (0.0716 p/mm-min); this parametric analysis relates to the aforementioned uncertainties inherent to using NFPA 130 station egress guidelines for tunnel analyses. In Subway Calc #3, the usable width of the most constricting element in the path of evacuation was increased to 29 inches (737 mm). Though it is not possible to change the width of an egress element in the course of an event, this parametric analysis was completed to highlight the significance of this variable in Equation 1.2. In Subway Calc #4, the egress travel speed was reduced to 160 fpm (48.8 m/min); this parametric analysis relates to the aforementioned uncertainties inherent to using NFPA 130 station egress guidelines for tunnel analyses. In Light-Rail Calc #3, the length of the incident train was increased to 330 feet (100.6 m). This parametric study reflects the consideration that within the same rail transportation system, trains of differing lengths may be operated at different times of the day, or week. In Light-Rail Calc #4, the evacuee population was reduced to 450 persons to address the fact that the number of passengers/crew onboard the incident train will also vary depending upon the time of day, or week. Table B - Results of Parametric Study Commuter Commuter Subway Subway Light-Rail Light-Rail Units Calc #3 Calc #4 Calc #3 Calc #4 Calc #3 Calc #4 min 10 10 30 30 30 30 min 10.0 10.0 12.5 12.5 15.0 15.0 min 0.5 0.5 0.75 0.75 1.0 1.0 min 1.0 0.5 0.5 1.5 1.5 2.0 min 0 0 1.5 1.5 3.0 3.0 fpm 200 200 200 200 200 160 (m/min) (61) (61) (61) (61) (61) (48.8) ft (m) 6 (1.83) 6 (1.83) 5 (1.52) 5 (1.52) 4 (1.22) 4 (1.22) persons 1500 1500 1000 1000 500 450 pim 2.27 2.27 2.27 2.27 2.27 1.82 (p/mm-min) (0.0893) (0.0893) (0.0893) (0.0893) (0.0893) (0.0716) in (mm) 30 (762) 30 (762) 27 (686) 24 (610) 24 (610) 29 (737) ft 900 900 600 600 300 330 (m) (274.3) (274.3) (91.5) (182.9) (182.9) (100.6) none 2 2 1 1 1 1 ft 308.84 228.51 725.94 549.73 1143.23 1220.01 (m) (94.1) (69.7) (221.3) (167.6) (348.5) (371.9) Altered values are shown in bold type. Calculated values are shown in shaded cells.

Variable tflashover tlatter evac tdiscovery tcomms tfans active V Dfe Pt Q wc Lt y Dx 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36

As compared with the results of Commuter Calc #2, increasing the communications time, tcomms, in Commuter Calc #3 from 1.0 to 2.0 minutes served to reduce the distance between successive egress elements, Dx, from 408.84 ft (124.6 m) to 308.84 ft (94.1 m). This is a predictable result since the elapsed time entries, including tdiscovery and tfans active, inversely affect the outcome - either positively or negatively as a function of the travel speed, V, divided by the number of active egress elements, y. In this case, a 1.0 minute increase multiplied by V/y reduced the distance between successive egress elements by 100 ft (30.5

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m). Changes to the other time-dependent variables in Equation 1.2 will generate similar results, whereby the impact upon the calculation can be determined as the net change in the variable multiplied by V/y. In Commuter Calc #4, a ~20% reduction in the egress flow capacity [1.82 pim (0.0716 p/mm-min) vs 2.27 pim (0.0893 p/mm-min)] through the most constricting element in the evacuation path yielded a ~44% reduction in the egress element spacing [228.51 ft (69.7 m) vs 408.84 ft (124.6 m)] - with all other values in Commuter Calc #2 held constant. This is a logical result because a reduction in the egress flow capacity lengthens the time needed for the evacuees to pass through the most constricting element in their path, and therefore necessitates closer egress element spacing to achieve the same overall evacuation time. This parametric analysis was included to show the impact of the egress flow capacity, Q - which affects Equation 1.2 as a function of the passenger/crew load, Pt, and the usable width, wc, of the most constricting element - on the overall result. As compared with the results of Subway Calc #1, increasing the usable width of the most constricting element in Subway Calc #3 from 27 in (686 mm) to 29 in (737 mm) served to increase the distance between successive egress elements, Dx, from 613.41 ft (187.0 m) to 725.94 ft (221.3 m). This is a logical result because an increase in the usable width reduces the time needed for the evacuees to traverse the most constricting element in their path, and therefore permits wider egress element spacing to achieve the same overall evacuation time. This parametric analysis was included to show the impact of the usable width, wc, - which affects Equation 1.2 as a function of the egress flow capacity, Q, and the passenger/crew load, Pt, on the overall result. In Subway Calc #4, a ~20% reduction in the evacuees travel speed [160 fpm (48.8 m/min) vs 200 fpm (61 m/min)] netted only a ~10% reduction in the egress element spacing [549.73 ft (167.6 m) vs 613.41 ft (187.0 m)] - with all other values in Subway Calc #1 held constant. This is a predictable result because slower walking speeds correspond to longer travel times, and require closer egress element spacing to achieve the same overall evacuation time. The imbalance between the percentage change in the variable, and the percentage change in the result is attributed to the weight of the various terms in Equation 1.2 where the variables that were held constant between Subway Calc #1 and Subway Calc #4 would seem to contribute more to the calculated result. As compared with the results of Light-Rail Calc #1, increasing the length of the train in Light-Rail Calc #3 from 300 ft (91.5 m) to 330 ft (100.6 m) served to increase the distance between successive egress elements, Dx, from 1128.23 ft (343.9 m) to 1143.23 ft (348.5 m). This is a predictable result because the train length affects the outcome - either positively or negatively - as a function of itself over two times the number of active egress elements, Lt/2y. In this case, a 30 ft (9.1 m) increase divided by the product of (2y, with y = 1) increased the distance between successive egress elements by 15 ft (4.6 m). In Light-Rail Calc #4, a 10% reduction in the passenger/crew load [450 persons vs 500 persons] netted an ~8% increase in the egress element spacing [1220.01 ft (371.9 m) vs 1128.23 ft (343.9 m)] - with all other values in Light-Rail Calc #1 held constant. This is a predictable result because fewer evacuees correspond to reduced exiting times, and allow wider egress element spacing to achieve the same overall evacuation time. This parametric analysis was included to show the impact of the passenger/crew load, Pt, - which affects Equation 1.2 as a function of the egress flow capacity, Q, and the usable width, wc, of the most constricting element - on the overall result. RECOMMENDATIONS The following recommendations are hereby made based upon the development/analyses of Equation 1.2: The emergency exit and cross passageway spacing guidelines within the NFPA 130 Standard (2003 edition) should be interpreted as not-to-exceed values for rail system applications, and not as constant design parameters to be uniformly applied to all tunnels regardless of their train length, walkway width, passenger/crew load, fire growth rate, etc. The mid-train fire presents an extremely problematic situation for both tunnel emergency egress and tunnel emergency ventilation - whereas unless emergency ventilation is designed as a point-extract system, the emergency egress provisions can be enhanced above those recommended by the NFPA 130 Standard to improve fire-life safety. The keys to a mid-train fire response are event recognition and speed of response. Rail system authorities should have a visual depiction of the entire tunnel network to quickly determine the

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location of the incident train, the reported position of the fire with respect to the train length, the tunnel egress paths and the mechanical ventilation shafts. Equation 1.2 should be used for computing the distance between successive tunnel egress elements for mid-train fires in rail tunnels. If the result exceeds the NFPA 130 guideline, than NFPA 130s maximum cross passageway spacing distance criteria should be observed; if the result is less than the NFPA 130 guideline, than additional tunnel egress elements should be considered. The values utilized in these analyses to represent the egress flow capacity, Q, and the egress travel speed, V, during tunnel evacuations were taken from the NFPA 130 Standard (2003 edition) guidelines for station egress planning. Better data is needed to simulate the actual egress flow capacities and travel speeds during tunnel evacuations. Subject to approval by the AHJ, passenger evacuations should be controlled by the rail system authority via the train crew. The manner in which the controlled evacuation is planned/executed will have a tangible effect upon the time required to evacuate the train, in general, and on the results of tunnel egress element spacing calculations using Equation 1.2, in particular. The parametric study presented herein showed the results of Equation 1.2-based analyses when six of the data inputs were altered while the other variables were held constant. More parametric study may be completed (as needed) by the designers of underground rail systems in order to select the best possible emergency egress solution for the specific tunnel application. If one or more of the active variables in Equation 1.2 are unknown or undeterminable for a particular rail system application due to information availability, construction sequencing, etc, then the default condition for this particular system application would be to implement the current NFPA 130 design guidelines for tunnel egress element spacing. The determination of whether a particular tunnel egress element is an emergency exit or a cross passageway should depend upon: emergency response/ingress requirements, the tunnel depth below the surface, the number of parallel tunnels, rescue train availability, special considerations for disabled evacuees and the relative safety of any designated refuge areas. Tunnel emergency ventilation systems should be designed in accordance with the NFPA 130 Standard, the ASHRAE HVAC Applications Handbook and the Subway Environmental Design Handbook. Though related to the manner in which a particular rail system authority deals with a tunnel fire event, the actual design and operation of the emergency ventilation system is beyond the scope of this paper.

REFERENCES ASHRAE. 2003. 2003 ASHRAE Handbook - HVAC Applications, Chapter 13. Atlanta: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. ASHRAE. 2005. 2005 ASHRAE Handbook - Fundamentals, Chapter 38. Atlanta: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. NFPA. 2003. NFPA 130 Standard for Fixed Guideway Transit and Passenger Rail Systems, 2003 edition. Quincy, Mass.: National Fire Protection Association. NFPA. 2000. NFPA 130 Standard for Fixed Guideway Transit and Passenger Rail Systems, 2000 edition. Quincy, Mass.: National Fire Protection Association. NFPA. 1997. NFPA 130 Standard for Fixed Guideway Transit and Passenger Rail Systems, 1997 edition. Quincy, Mass.: National Fire Protection Association. UMTA. 1976. Subway Environmental Design Handbook, Volume 1: Principles and Applications, 2nd edition. Washington, D.C.: Urban Mass Transportation Administration.