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After the success and experience acquired in the development and implementation of an extinguishing system inside the passenger compartment area, Metro de Madrid has decided to develop another fire protection system for the equipment located under the car frame.

This research project, carried out on a coordinated basis by 4 entities, Metro de Madrid S.A., as the project leader, the University of Cantabria GIDAI group, Marioff Hi-Fog and the SME Modelado y Simulación Computacional, has original funding through the 2008 announcement of grants for R+D+i projects under the Transport and Infrastructure Subprogramme of the Ministry of Development and later of the Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness.

It consists of studying the design factors and assessing experimentally the performance of the system against real-life scale fire tests on a passenger train in which these protection systems have been installed.

The activity execution stages consist of:

- different tests for the analysis of ignition conditions by means of infra-red thermography,
- scale tests by means of dimensional similarity in order to analyse determining factors of flame propagation and definition of aerodynamic environmental conditions requirable when in service,
- computer-aided simulation studies of fire scenarios in the train underframe inside a tunnel in order to examine the performance of the system developed
- development of the system on the basis of advanced extinguishing systems using Hi-Fog high-pressure water mist and early aspiration detection
- lastly, real-life scale fire testing to obtain manifestations of underframe fire scenarios in end use conditions and to validate the performance of the system developed.

The increase in induced fire risk factors on Metro trains compared with conventional railway trains requires availability of the best possible safety levels for passengers and the capability of advancing towards Comprehensive Fire Safety Systems suitable for consideration in future courses of action.

This entails the need to investigate the fire risk factors in the underframes of Metro Transport System rolling stock in order to optimize passenger safety conditions, obtain the best results both from the standpoint of efficiency and of safety, environmental impact and cost, and to be able to determine the design recommendations appropriate for their consideration in regulatory documents.

The study makes a practical assessment of the advantages of advanced Fire Safety Systems in underframe fire scenarios, for the first time on an international level.

The results of these investigations will help to reinforce the studies conducted to date by Metro de Madrid, Marioff and the University of Cantabria.

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