About the Speaker
Fiona Tsui has been with MTR Corporation for about 8 years. She has led a team of fire engineers, responsible for the fire safety standards and strategies for new and extension projects. She has been overseeing the fire safety and security strategy for West Island Line (opened in 2014), Kwun Tong Line Extension (opened in Oct 2016), South Island Line-East, Express Rail Link, and Shatin-to-Central Link. Managing fire engineering related design matters is one of her many duties including statutory liaison. During 2012 to 2013, Fiona had been involving in the development process of the “Guidelines on Formulation of Fire Safety Requirements for New Railway Infrastructures” issued by Fire Services Department.
Prior to join MTR Corporation, she had been working in consulting firms for many years responsible to deliver fire engineered design solutions for a range of building and infrastructure projects. She during 2002 to 2006 was working on Buildings Department consultancy project to develop the Code of Practice for Fire Safety in Buildings.
Fiona possesses a PhD degree in fire engineering and the MSc degree in Business Management, both from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She in 2004 was awarded the NFPA David B. Gratz scholarship (annual scholarship to the best fire research student outside USA). She was the part-time visiting lecturer at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University during 2002 to 2012. She currently is the Committee Member of HKIE Fire Division.
As an essential part of the Hong Kong public transport network, when planning a metro railway within a densely built-up district and with mountainous terrain, various inherent geographical constraints challenge the viability of a railway scheme, including: existing building foundations, ground conditions, catchment of residents at various elevations, land availability for entrances, limitations on track alignment gradient and curvature, to name just a few. In most cases the railway must be located deep underground.
West Island Line (WIL), an extension of Island Line, opened in December 2014 provides a perfect example of this phenomenon. During the preliminary design stage of WIL in 2006, new features “long adit” and “lift-only entrance” were essentially developed to address the abovementioned constraint, in order to provide a viable scheme that could best serve the local community. Specially designed lifts are used to transport passengers from Sai Ying Pun station and HKU station to and from highland areas that could not practically be served by escalators. These specially designed lifts, typically serving only two levels – station and ground, during a fire emergency have another function to assist station evacuation for some fire scenarios.
This seminar will outline the challenges involved in planning deep stations and the resulting fire safety design, with particular emphasis on the development of the “lift-only entrance” new feature, including normal passenger movement, the robustness of fire safety built into the design enabling safe evacuation, the emergency access arrangement, the concept of refuge lobby located one level above the concourse lift lobby and the modes of lift operation in both normal and evacuation conditions. Acknowledgement by NFPA 130 and local Railway Guidelines for the use of lifts to assist in station evacuation will also be described.
With the relevant design principles for the essential new feature “lift-only entrance” established, Lei Tung Station of South Island Line (East), which has encountered similar terrain was then able to simply incorporate the essential feature during that line’s preliminary design stage in 2009. Without these new features, these deep stations would not have been realized. Further application and evolution of the concept of “lift-only entrance” is anticipated in planning future new railways in order to overcome the unique challenges due to mountainous terrain.