Interdependence of flows when merge in rail tunnel evacuations


  • Adriana Balboa University of Cantabria, Los Castros s/n, Santander, Spain
  • Daniel Alvear University of Cantabria, Los Castros s/n, Santander, Spain
  • Orlando Abreu University of Cantabria, Los Castros s/n, Santander, Spain



merging flows, evacuation, experimental data set, rail tunnels


The understanding of merging flows during evacuation can have important implications for rail tunnels safety. This paper explores the interdependence of the merging of flows coming from the walkway with those exiting the train. Eight train exit configurations were tested using a mock-up of a rail car exit and a lateral walkway involving 77 participants (mean age 48; standard deviation 15; range 18-74). New measurements and data processing methods are proposed allowing statistical analysis to be performed. The results provide quantitative evidence of the preferences between flows. We found that the bias in the evacuation was slightly in favour of the walkway when train exit was at 0 m in height. Contrary to expectations a moderate dominance of walkway flow was observed at 0.8 m in height. Less variation was found for the train exit at 1.2 m in height with a clear priority of walkway flow. This happened despite deference behaviours performed by participants, i.e. people stopped to help those entering from the rail car. This novel contribution aims to provide a new method for those involved in development and validation of new and current evacuation modelling tools and those who want to improve their understanding of merging behaviour during evacuation in rail tunnels.


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How to Cite

Balboa, A., Alvear, D., & Abreu, O. (2020). Interdependence of flows when merge in rail tunnel evacuations. Collective Dynamics, 5, 372–379.



Proceedings of Pedestrian and Evacuation Dynamics 2018