How metro tunnels lighting system is upgraded

How metro tunnels lighting system is upgraded
Photo: Photo by the Mayor and Moscow Government Press Service. Denis Grishkin
The installation of new lighting has been scheduled for 2021. The new lights are resistant to the vibration produced by trains, consume three times less power and last seven times longer. The new lamps in the tunnels will eventually be tied into a single system and metro employees will be able to learn about malfunctions and replace lamps more promptly.

The lighting system in the Moscow Metro’s tunnels is to be upgraded. The new equipment was developed and tested by the metro. The lighting will function more efficiently in unfavourable conditions: it will be more resistant to the vibration caused by trains as well as to other factors. The lamps can remain on around-the-clock, even at night when the metro is closed and the tunnels are undergoing maintenance.

Since the lights have to be replaced and disposed of from time to time, an environmentally friendly solution will be used: the light bulbs will be free of noxious substances. They do not contain mercury. Another feature is higher cost-efficiency: such lighting fixtures consume about three times less power but last seven times longer.

“The lighting upgrade will increase Moscow Metro safety. The metro maintenance staff that works in the tunnels at night will find it easier to monitor the track condition, and train drivers will be better able to control the train,” said Maxim Liskutov, Deputy Moscow Mayor and head of the Department for Transport and Road Infrastructure Development.

Today, there are over 195,000 lights in metro tunnels. PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) technology is to be adopted in the upgrade of the metro lighting system. It will tie all the lamps to a single network to monitor their condition remotely. The duty officer will be immediately notified of any lamp malfunction, and workers will be able to replace the lamp promptly. This will make lighting maintenance much easier in the tunnels that are many kilometres long.

According to the plans, the new technology for the tunnels will be installed starting in 2021.

In addition, metro track rails are also being replaced. Over 80 km of rail were replaced last year and over 100 km of rail are slated for replacement this year. Rail service life depends on the frequency of train movement in a given section and other factors. The maintenance schedule is drawn up after the load has been analysed on each section of the line. Timely rail replacement increases the reliability of metro infrastructure. Trains run more smoothly when the tracks are properly maintained.

In 2018 the Moscow Metro replaced 19,700 railway sleepers, 170 km of cable (which supplies current to the contact rail), repaired 57 escalators and renovated facades, concourses and pedestrian tunnels at 39 stations.