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Sofia station – one of a kind

Sofia station, visionsbild
Around a hundred metres below Stigbergsparken on Södermalm is where the trains will stop at Sofia station. This makes the station one of the deepest in the world – and requires a number of solutions rarely seen in the Stockholm underground.

“There will be no escalators, only lifts,” says project manager Martin Hellgren. “This is mainly for the benefit of passengers. It will be much faster and more convenient to travel by lift rather than by escalator. It takes around five minutes by escalator, but only half a minute in a lift.”

The reason why the station needs to be so deep is that the line will pass through the rock under Saltsjön on the way from Kungsträdgården to Södermalm. Building a tunnel entirely in the rock is both cheaper and safer.

Sofia station

Sofia station

Sofia station will be the sole new station to have only lifts. There will probably be six large lifts operating from a hall located in the centre of the platform. Each lift can carry up to 40 people and the lift journey takes around 30 seconds. Both the lifts and the lift hall will be under camera surveillance and there are also emergency telephones in the lifts. Backup generators are also available if the power fails. 

 “This kind of lift can be found in a number of places in the world, such as at the new deep stations in Barcelona. It has been shown that in places that are deep underground and have both lifts and escalators, the vast majority of people choose the lift, simply because it is so much more convenient,” says Martin Hellgren. 

Evacuation rare
It is very rare for stations to need evacuating, but that scenario is of course incorporated into the planning of Sofia station. The lifts will still operate in an evacuation situation and the evacuation route is the same as the normal route, which is good for safety. There will also be emergency stairs that go all the way up to the park, as well as the ability to evacuate via a service tunnel, which runs parallel to the underground’s track tunnels.

The evacuation capacity will be very high. The requirement is for it to be possible to evacuate two full trains at the same time. This means 2,400 people.