Genova Voltri: emergency drill in the tunnel. A verification of safety procedures

The simulation saw the diversion of a freight train loaded with dangerous goods and injury to the driver

Emergency response procedures were checked, preparatory to activating the second track of the tunnel

Genoa, 26 May 2021

Put to the test was the effectiveness of the procedures, response times and coordination of structures in the territory in the case of an emergency, putting into practice the periodic training of railway staff and the personnel of the entities and institutions involved in the rescue operations.

The exercise, organised by the FS Italiane Group coordinated by the Prefecture of Genoa and under the direction of the Provincial Command of the Genoa Fire Department, is part of the initiatives planned and arranged with First Aid to monitor the coordination of activities between the subjects involved: the Provincial Command of the Fire Department, the Liguria Region’s emergency number 112, the emergency health number 118, the Regional Civil Protection, Genoa Police Headquarters, Liguria Railway Police Department, the Genoa Command of the Carabinieri, the Guardia di Finanza, the Municipality of Genoa, the Red Cross and Public Assistance, the Borzoli Blue Cross, the Rivarolo Pink Cross, the local healthcare unit ASL3, the ARPAL (the Regional Agency for the Protection of the Ligurian Environment) and, for the FS Italiane Group, the Italian Railway Network and Mercitalia Rail companies. 

The Setting

The exercise took place in the “Doria Monte Gazzo Fossa dei Lupi” tunnel, on the Voltri beltway of the Genoa junction.

The simulation sees the diversion of a freight train comprised of six wagons containing dangerous substances. After the train has come to a stop, the driver immediately raises the alarm with an emergency call. Alighting from the locomotive, the driver falls, resulting in a likely fracture of a lower limb. The second driver assists the first driver and, hearing a loud hiss coming from a wagon positioned at the centre of the train, leaves the locomotive area to head towards the wagons.

There was no impact on railway traffic.


The activities are also envisaged in the agreement between the FS Group, the Liguria Region Civil Protection and the protocol in place with 118 through which the Italian Railway Network provides the coordinates of the points of access to the line in order to improve the speed of intervention, the safety standards and the protection of people, things and the environment.

Today’s exercise is also aimed at activating the tunnel’s second track and opening it up to transporting dangerous goods, linked to the complex system of works in progress at the Genoa and Terzo Valico dei Giovi junction.

All operations were carried out in accordance with the health protection regulations in force.


The main objective of the exercise is to test the Emergency and Rescue Plan, verifying the effectiveness of the coordination and communication systems provided by RFI, both inside and outside the tunnel. Furthermore, the flow of information was verified, in particular that pertaining to the safety of the infrastructure, along with the times for raising the alarm concerning the external rescue structures with the timing of the intervention teams.