FS Group and the Metropolitan City of Florence: a Civil Protection exercise on hydraulic and hydrogeological risk in the railway sector

Emergency response procedures were tested. There were no repercussions on railway traffic.

Florence, 19 June 2022

An exercise to verify in an emergency situation the effectiveness of the procedures, response times and coordination of the structures within the territory putting into practice the periodic training of railway staff and the personnel of the entities and institutions involved in the rescue operations.

Organised by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana and Trenitalia together with the Metropolitan City of Florence, the simulation is one of the initiatives included in the FS Group’s annual Civil Protection Exercise Plan.

The activity took place with the involvement of the Railway Police, 112 EU Emergency Line and the 118 Emergency Service of Florence. Also involved were the municipal administrations through the associated Civil Protection managers of the Union of Municipalities in the Empolese Valdelsa District and the Intercommunal Centre of Colli Fiorentini along with Civil Protection volunteers. Present were the mayors of the municipalities of Barberino Tavarnelle, Montelupo Fiorentino and Certaldo, where the structure was set up to assist volunteers in their role as passengers evacuated from the train. The operations centre of the Provincial Command of the Florence Fire Brigade was also alerted.


The exercise took place throughout the night between Saturday, 18 and Sunday, 19 June on the Empoli-Siena line, between the stations of Certaldo and Poggibonsi, without repercussions on railway traffic. The scenario envisaged was an intervention to rescue and assist travellers aboard a train stopped on the line due to extensive flooding and hydrogeological instability in the area traversed by the tracks, caused by the continuation of a situation of severe bad weather in the Val d’Elsa area. The exercise included the participation of people acting as passengers to be evacuated and assisted, as well as the involvement of people in technical and medical rescue roles and the activation of the civil protection system with the involvement of the Unions of Municipalities concerned.


The activity, which is also envisaged in the cooperation protocol between the FS Group and the Metropolitan City of Florence, is aimed at improving the speed of intervention, the safety standards and the protection of people, property and the environment. All operations were carried out in accordance with the health protection regulations in force.


The main objective of the exercise was to test the flows of communications/information from the RFI Operations Room to the outside and to verify the ability of all those involved in the rescue to coordinate and operate according to common procedures, constituting an advanced Command Post from where all actions for the safe and secure transport of passengers can be determined.

Ferrovie dello Stato, the Metropolitan City of Florence and all authorities involved wish to thank those who collaborated in the success of the exercise.