The Malta Independent 18 October 2021, Monday

'Vibrations during metro stations excavation, but none expected during train operations'

Kevin Schembri Orland Monday, 11 October 2021, 10:00 Last update: about 7 days ago

While residents near the sites of metro stations would feel some vibrations during the excavation stage, “it is not expected that they will feel any vibrations while trains are in operation,” a spokesperson for the Transport Ministry told The Malta Independent.

The government recently published a study for a metro system on the island. The study was carried out by Arup Group, a London-based design, engineering and planning firm. The metro system as proposed will include three metro lines with a total of 35km of tracks and 25 stations across Malta's main urban area. The study suggests that the metro system will mostly be underground, with a small part of it above ground between Naxxar and Bugibba.

The project’s website reads that the next step after the current consultation includes further technical studies, including economic, geological, and environmental impact studies.

Some concerns were raised regarding the possible vibrations that would affect residents living above the metro lines, given the lack of geological studies conducted thus far.

The Malta Independent contacted the Transport Ministry to ask about the kind of geological studies it will carry out, what the minimum and maximum depths of the tunnels would be, as well as about the possibility of residents feeling vibrations in their homes during the excavation and operational stages.

“The geological studies being referred to are geo-technical studies which need to be carried out along the alignment and in each location where the stations are proposed. The latter will take place once the station locations are confirmed. In addition, monitoring of any seismic activities around the stations over a period of time would also be carried out,” a spokesperson for the Transport Ministry said.

“As already stated, we are still at the stage of a public presentation of the proposed network and hence everything is subject to change.”

“As per all excavations in any construction sites, and in this case excavation of the stations, some vibrations would be felt. All excavations to be carried out will follow the same regulations and permits currently in place. With respect to tunnelling, Malta has already went through tunnelling projects and we are not aware that previous tunnelling projects affected residential areas. A case in point are Enemalta tunnels and the flood relief project. Depth varies between 15m and 25m. Also depths in certain locations is subject to change depending on the results of the geo-technical studies. It is not expected that residents will feel any vibrations while trains are in operation. The rolling stock to be used would be autonomous and electric.”


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